After securing recognition as a Great Place to Work in 2022, 15gifts were delighted to learn that we’d also been awarded two further certifications: Great Place to Work in Tech and Great Place to Work for Women! In honour of our recent recognitions, we’re kicking off a mini blog series to get to know the people behind 15gifts.
Culture is a huge part of 15gifts and it’s more than just making work a fun place to be (although we have our fair share). From making sure every employee feels supported, to encouraging a healthy work life balance, to making 15gifts a place people want to be. Not always an easy task.
In the first of this series, we spoke with Sarah McCausland, People and Culture Manager. Sarah plays a fundamental role in building the amazing culture we have at 15gifts.
People & Culture Manager
How many years have you worked at 15gifts?
I recently had my 7 year anniversary!
How did you come to be in your current role with 15gifts?
I joined 15gifts as part of our Customer Success Team, and spent 4 and a half years managing our partnerships with our telco clients. What I really loved about that role was working with a wide variety of people, both internally and externally, and building relationships.
The culture at 15gifts was always really important to me, as it was like nothing I’d experienced before. As the company grew, I was given the opportunity to own some cultural initiatives whilst in my CS role. This led to me becoming interested in pursuing a career in people & culture, and I was very fortunate that the business supported me and gave me the opportunity to move into my current role.
What does your average day look like?
My days are generally very varied! I work closely with our Line Management and Leadership Teams on projects that introduce positive cultural change and people processes, as well as advising them on employment law. I also work closely with Yulia, our People & Culture Executive, on the day to day maintenance that keeps our team and the office up and running!
Each quarter, I collaborate with a different group of volunteers from across the business on a chosen culture initiative that they feel passionately about. I also collaborate with a separate group of volunteers on mental health awareness.
I might also be planning or facilitating a company-wide event, workshop or meeting. Or I could be interviewing candidates, or welcoming new team members and helping to get them up to speed on how we do things at 15gifts.
I like to be in the office more often than not, so that I can collaborate with people, both in person and remotely.
What do you love about working at 15gifts?
We’ve got a really fab team of people that I love working with and seeing every day. Each day is different, and I’m always facing new and exciting challenges that keep me on my toes – I don’t remember ever being bored in the last 7 years!
What’s been your biggest achievement at 15gifts?
When I began to work on cultural initiatives in the business I won a few internal, team-voted awards, which meant a lot to me and showed me that I was making a difference. Often in my role I’ll be doing something that’s new to me, or out of my comfort zone, and I find achieving those elements of the job really rewarding.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?
Go for it! I did an online CIPD course to get qualified, which I’d highly recommend. It’s a lot of work alongside a full-time role, but you can complete the initial level within a year and move into a new career.
How do you stay connected with colleagues when working remotely?
I’m regularly communicating with people over Slack and Zoom throughout the day. We also have a quick company-wide meeting first thing on a Monday and last thing on a Friday, which is always a great opportunity to see everyone’s faces and connect with the full team.
We’re also randomly matched with a colleague each week for a catch up, which is a great way to gradually get to know everyone a bit better, on a personal level.
Finally, what’s your favourite thing about living and working in Brighton?
Being able to walk everywhere, having access to the sea, the countryside, and all of the great things going on in the city!