TSG CEO, Rory McKeand, talks work culture, what it means to be a leader & employee wellbeing

On Friday 20th May, I was invited onto the Industry Angel podcast to discuss a variety of topics which encompassed unlocking the potential of technology, fostering a positive company culture and the future of modern working.  

In this article, I’ll talk more about work culture, leadership and employee wellbeing.  

The truth about running an IT support and services organisation 

There’s no secret formula that determines the success of any organisation, let alone a managed IT company. It’s my belief that organisations need to foster a positive culture in order to become more successful.  

Positive cultures begin with hiring the right people, being open and honest with your staff and leading by example, not by dictatorship.  

Hiring the right people for us, not just the most talented 

We spend a large amount of our lives working, so for us it’s important that when it comes to the hiring process, we don’t just hire for talent – we look at how well the people we’re interviewing would fit into TSG.  

It’s important to have a good work ethic and it’s also important that we build a team that really cares about each other and believes in TSG’s core values.

We also want people who want to give back to the community, which is why we offer 2 CSR days per year, so that our staff can volunteer for a cause close to their hearts.  

Our B-Heard surveys tell us how happy our team is working here, and we’re proud to be one of the Top 100 Best Companies to work for in the UK, as well as one of the Best Technology Companies in the UK. I believe this is down to hiring the right people, who want to be here and really care about their fellow team members as well as believe in the work we do for our customers. 

Breaking down to the stereotypes of senior leadership teams 

When we look at the stereotypes of what people would expect a senior leadership to look like, there seems to be a common perception that leadership teams dictate and tell others what to do.  

In my case, this is further from the truth at TSG. We work very hard to ensure every one of our team members feels like they’re listened to and heard, which is why I encourage and work with my senior leadership team to be open and vulnerable about failures as well as successes.  

Being vulnerable as a leader can be difficult, as failures can be taken quite negatively; but the truth is what we learn from our failures has only enabled us to learn and grow. No organisation can ever say they’ve never failed – in fact, failure is a necessity on the road to success. By making it clear we don’t expect everyone to be perfect, as we ourselves aren’t, we open that door to transparency and honesty from our team. 

As well as that, we encourage our teams to bring us suggestions for how we can improve. We want everyone here to have a voice, and that starts with treating your staff as a team, not just employees. 

Mental health & flexible working from home 

One of the more critical aspects of having a successful organisation stems from how you approach mental health and wellbeing. When the pandemic hit, we quickly realised the importance of flexible working. We’re fortunate that we were able to move quite quickly and adapt to this model.  

It was received positively and, to this day, we still encourage our team to choose to work wherever they are most effective and encourage them to find the right balance between home life, customers and their teams. Having trust in our team to do their job no matter where they are also enables them to feel more comfortable approaching us which is exactly what we want them to do. 

With that being said, working from home ended up stemming a conversation about mental health and wellbeing.  

Our Head of HR proactively began to address this – the HR team now monitor mental health and wellbeing across our company with regular check-ins so they can address any team members who may not be in a good place. We also run fitness competitions and even provide life coaches to address those with serious concerns about their overall lifestyle and the effect it might be having on their mental health. We can often forget that our team mates have lives outside of work, and may be going through some tough times such as divorce or sick loved ones. It’s important to check up on them and make sure we do all we can to support them. 

We know that not everyone will enjoy working from home, or be able to – in fact, remote working has shown to negatively affect some people, leaving them feeling more isolated. We tackle this by encouraging more social in-person interactions, like our TSG Festival and regular social outings after work days. 

Listen to the podcast here

Don’t miss out on part 2 

In part 2, I’ll be talking more about the services we offer, and what the future of technology looks like. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn so you don’t miss out and feel free to follow me for more updates and information about TSG.  

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