Everyone says they’re a ‘people business’. But at Walker Sime, we don’t just say it; we live it. We asked six members of the team to shine a light on what it’s really like to work here. This is what they told us.
MACHALA, MANCHESTER: “Personally I have never worked at a company that gives so much back to their employees – and not just gifts, but their encouragement and support too.
“The gifts are always lovely though, and always really thoughtful. This Valentine’s Day everyone was told to buy a take away or a meal to cook at home (which was particularly good as all the restaurants were closed). We received sunflower seeds to plant on the first day of spring which made everyone smile. And this Easter, a chocolate treat box went down very well.”
Making it personal
ALISON, MANCHESTER: “There’s always so much thought that goes into the rewards and treats we get. Last Christmas, Caz [Caroline Bacon, Director of People & Culture] did personalised hampers for everyone. They were beautifully presented big gift bags and she’d written a lovely poem.
“Singles and younger members of the team got Amazon vouchers, different types of ales, cheeses, bar snacks and tonnes more. Those who had families got mince pies, chocolates, a big Santa jigsaw and a bottle of fizz. Everyone also got honeybee jars filled with chocolates and a beautiful handmade Christmas heart to hang on the tree. All made by a local business. They were lovely!”
Going above and beyond
RICHARD, MANCHESTER: “ I really like the way the company shows its appreciation when members of the team go the extra mile. Sometimes it’s just a (fairly) small token – like a takeaway or a bottle of wine, but it’s very welcome. Sometimes it’s much bigger. I was part of the Quantity Surveying Infrastructure team on a project that involved going far above and beyond – which is something you just do to ensure projects are completed on time. I received a Hawksmoor At Home box containing a meal for two, a bottle of red wine, cooking instructions and suggested Spotify playlist.
“I really didn’t expect that and it was much appreciated.”
We enjoy ourselves
IAN, MANCHESTER: “There’s loads of stuff going on throughout the year – we have a challenge with a £20 prize every month – but Christmas is always huge at Walker Sime.
“Last year, we had a 12 Days of Christmas event with a different challenge every day. There was a ‘best Christmas cookie/cake’ and a ‘quickest 2k Santa dash’. I also really like the way that some of the challenges – like the email prize draws – take account of the fact that not everyone likes dressing up and going mad.
Carolann takes the ‘quickest 2k Santa dash challenge’
“Best of the lot was the ‘best human Christmas tree’ challenge, where Nick Wdowczyk stripped to his boxers, was painted green by his wife, and then was wrapped in Christmas lights and baubles. You can’t unsee that!
“The prizes were absolutely brilliant. I think the top cash prizes were £250, and some people won meals for two at top Manchester & Liverpool restaurants.”
CHRIS, LEEDS: “Whenever I hear my friends talking about the companies they work for someone will always say, ‘No one ever tells us anything’. You just don’t hear that here. Every Monday morning (whenever there are plenty of people in the office!) we have ‘Huddles’ that keep everyone updated. Senior leaders run ‘Ask me anything sessions’ – and the answers always feel genuine; it’s never a box-ticking exercise. And we get the chance to have our say in ‘Tell us what matters’ sessions which help to ensure that the communication flows both ways. You always feel in the loop.”
CHRIS, LIVERPOOL: “This is a pretty big business and I guess like everywhere there are people you’ll work with all the time and others you’ll barely know. I really like the fact that Walker Sime decided to do something about that.
“We run a ‘coffee roulette’ once a month where anyone who registers is paired with someone else in the business they wouldn’t usually work with. It’s only half an hour but it just gives you a chance to grab a coffee and build some new connections. It’s really useful for new starters too. It’s not compulsory, but plenty of people get involved.
“In our monthly newsletters, we also do a ‘how well do you know your colleague?’ feature where you have to guess the clues to the mystery person within the business. Guess correctly and you can claim your lunch back as a prize.”
If all of that has left you thinking that Walker Sime feels like a pretty rewarding place to work (in every sense), take a look at our current career opportunities, or contact Clare Gilmore for more details.