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Rise Well

Employee Experience The CEO behind the award-winning employee experience

Following last Friday’s Employee Benefits Awards ceremony, I was delighted to catch up with Guy Hayward, the CEO of Goodman Masson who was the winner of arguably the most important award of the night- Best Employee Engagement Strategy.

Goodman Masson is one of London’s leading specialist Finance and Technology recruitment businesses based in London, Düsseldorf and New York. Their recent win reinforces that their strategic ambition to help every employee wake up happy is working!


Goodman Masson have an annual ski trip. Picture: Val D’isere 2018 #lifeatGM


RW:  Congratulations on winning Best Employee Engagement Strategy at the Employee Benefits Award.  Why do you think Goodman Masson won?

GH:  Creating uniqueness to our flexible benefits programme The Benefits Boutique® was important to us and by reflecting and considering the modern-day challenges that our people face we believe we achieved what we set out to do.

The range of benefits was directly linked to these challenges such as buying a house, repaying your mortgage, home improvements, supporting first time parents, access to exotic holidays, reducing student debt and learning new skills.


RW:  What does your employee engagement programme aka ‘The Experience’ look like and what is the premise behind it?

GH:  The catalyst of The Experience® was our unwavering and at the time slightly unfashionable belief that the retention and way we looked after our people should be the Company’s primary strategic objective, above all others.

The Experience® is our approach to how we look after our people and indeed has become our employer brand. At the heart of it is our fascination with the modern workplace and our belief that we all want four things from a working experience. The tools & infrastructure to be able to do a great job, the opportunity to professionally develop, to be well and correctly rewarded and to work in an environment that they want to be part of and don’t want to leave.


RW:  How do you measure and attribute your employee engagement programme to improvements in business performance?

GH:  We wanted The Experience® to create a unique working environment that our people wanted to be a part of and didn’t want to leave. Longevity and low attrition alone we felt would help the business grow.

We measure it I guess in several ways.

  • Business results from a sales and profit perspective (we are the largest we have ever been)
  • Attrition levels
  • Client growth and retention – Service levels, retaining our clients and securing new PSA’s is a metric we believe is intrinsically linked to the engagement and subsequent retention of our people
  • Employee survey results awards (this year we were ranked the 9th ‘Best UK Workplace’ by Great Place to Work. We were also awarded the Laureate Award in recognition of our 5th consecutive year as being ranked within the Top 10…having previously been ranked No1, No3 twice and 8th)


RW:  What have been the key learnings from The Experience which have helped your business performance thrive?

GH:  Keep doing more and be as wonderfully creative as possible. Remember you can do whatever we want.


RW:  How do you get employees to participate in engagement campaigns and initiatives?

GH:  I think the simple answer is choice.

It’s always up to the individuals and can’t be forced. Offer a whole range…from sports massage to mortgage fund and from beauty therapists to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro…eventually you will find something for everyone.

Interestingly the choices available in The Benefits Boutique® has seen over 70% of our people use it.


RW:  Why do you believe it is so important that businesses create a successful employee engagement programme?

GH:  More than any time before…people want to work in an environment that inspires, engages, challenges and makes us happy. If they don’t, they will seek it elsewhere…and the grass is never greener.


RW:  What mantra do you live by at work?

GH:  Laugh!