How WorldFirst Stay True to Their People First Culture

Michael Dean

The last 18 months have been transformational for WorldFirst. With the team growing from 360 to more than 600 people, the company now sits on the Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’ – the league table of Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing revenue.

With such rapid expansion, Kelly Jackson, WorldFirst’s group HR director, describes the task her team faces: “One of the key challenges for HR, especially in a fast growth business and particularly in today’s world, is that change is a constant, and you don’t have unlimited resource to do things.”

For me HR is about adding value through data … the reason we chose Peakon is because it has a very intuitive, user-friendly dashboard, and this takes away some of the barriers around what to do with the data and how to utilise it.

To understand the views of WorldFirst’s employees and help the company scale, Kelly and her team partnered with Peakon. “You can really learn from areas of the business that are performing very strongly, and replicate that more globally, and also really prioritises our HR support and resources”, she explained.

“When we were selecting who to partner with in relation to a more frequent, agile, platform, it was very much around the usability of it – how easy it was for a line manager to drill into what their team were saying. The reason we chose Peakon is because it has a very intuitive, user-friendly dashboard, and this takes away some of the barriers around what to do with the data and how to utilise it.”

Each employee at WorldFirst is asked around five short questions every two weeks. Using this feedback, Peakon delivers insights to more than 100 managers at WorldFirst via their interactive dashboards. In a few short months since introducing the platform, significant improvements have already been made.

“We’ve changed in some teams the way they work”, said Kelly. “So we’ve introduced laptop usage, so they can work remotely, they can work around the office and collaborate more with other teams. We’ve introducing some flexible working policies, again to move away from this idea that you have to be in the office.”

As an international payments business, it’s no surprise WorldFirst has teams split across seven offices around the globe. Therefore, to make the most accurate and effective investments, Kelly and her team rely on the detail available to them through Peakon. “It’s been key to addressing some of the learning needs in our Hong Kong office – so we’ve taken the initiative to upskill on our customer service training, as a result of the feedback teams were giving us through the Peakon survey.”

During this growth phase WorldFirst’s leadership have focused on maintaining their company values. With the company placed in the top 25 percent of the Peakon benchmark for value fit between employees and the organisation, this priority is really paying off.

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