How to create a positive workplace culture while driving business growth
When looking for a bespoke software and app development agency, you need a team that lives and breathes technology. However, the tech is just one part of what makes a software upgrade or new development project a success. You also need to make sure you choose an agency that places an emphasis on team and workplace culture. You need to know the people you are working with will understand and support your company throughout the project, will be people with whom you can easily build rapport, and who all contribute to an agency with a strong vision for future growth.
Overseeing many of these elements is Lucy Snell, AppDrawn’s Business Manager. Recently, we took ten minutes to chat to Tim Kloss, MD and founder of AppDrawn, to give our existing and new clients a better idea of the inner workings of our agency. Now, we’re doing the same with Lucy.
Today, Lucy oversees the finance, HR and marketing departments and plays a key role in business planning and development. However, her position has evolved since she joined the company in 2015, reflecting AppDrawn’s growth and the increasing demand for bespoke software and apps.
Starting in a financial role, Lucy has since taken over marketing and recruitment. This includes overseeing AppDrawn’s HR strategy and ensuring a positive workplace culture - something the company has won awards for. In fact, this was one of the things that first attracted Lucy to AppDrawn: a strong team ethos and “the importance of prioritising a healthy work/life balance.” It’s a company ethos that works. Since Lucy started at AppDrawn, the company has doubled in size and is currently onboarding several new members of staff. And with a happy, healthy team, come happy clients and a healthy business: “our turnover has also doubled during my time here,” says Lucy.
“That time” includes the past 15 months, during which many businesses were forced to tighten their purse strings and manage uncertainty. However, it was also a period that saw consumers adopt digital services at an incredible rate - and businesses upgrading systems and launching new digital apps and services as a result. “We have been incredibly fortunate to be among the small number of companies that have continued to thrive,” says Lucy. “As doors to the outside world closed, everyone turned to digital and began to consider investing in future scaling and growing efficiency.”
Again, AppDrawn’s workplace culture, flexible policies and prioritisation of a healthy work/life balance were also important in AppDrawn’s continued growth during this time. “Because of the nature of our work we’ve always had the capability to work from home so practically there wasn’t a huge shift in the way we operated. Our team continued to collaborate on projects, to work closely with all of our clients, and to deliver projects on time and on budget. And, most importantly, we remained happy and healthy!”
Looking to the future, Lucy has been pioneering AppDrawn’s preparations for the further easing of restrictions. After a search for the ideal location, Lucy spearheaded the company’s recent move to a brand new office next to Watford Junction station - just a short distance for clients in London and a key transport hub for the rest of the UK. The space is also bigger and - to support team members returning to work - safer. “The office move means we’ve now got far greater capacity for growth and has allowed us to implement an increased sustainable cleaning regime which, due to the pandemic, became a key consideration.”
Moving offices, managing an expanding team and helping to develop strategies for a growing business: Lucy has certainly been busy over the past year! And it’s not only at work: “I got a puppy in the pandemic, which seemed like a great idea at the time but has had it’s challenges since!” So how does she relax outside of the ‘office’ (albeit virtual for now)? “The puppy has also forced me to take time out, as I love to walk her before and after work. My house is about five minutes from a large country estate and so I’ve really enjoyed taking her to see the bluebells over the past Spring months.”
Even when working for and helping to grow a thriving business, ensuring a positive work/life balance is clearly front of mind for Lucy. And it’s in preaching, living and working this ethos that AppDrawn has continued to win awards and retain clients.