A Pure approach to workplace culture

Pure is a UK-based recruiting company with 80 people in four offices located around Eastern England. Founded in 2002, Pure set out to build a people-focused and supportive culture for their business, a different approach in their industry. As the company grew, aligning values and communication, scaling a consistent culture, and maintaining a unified approach to achieving the vision of the company became more challenging. With these core needs in mind, Pure found and deployed a new employee intranet in 2013.

Over the past three years, Pure’s leadership and a team of brand ambassadors have maintained a diligent, aligned approach. They’ve kept their people-focused culture strong, while encouraging consistent and engaging internal communications across the organization’s multiple sites using their Jostle® intranet. Their efforts have paid off, as Pure’s culture is stronger than ever with engagement rates of over 90%, year after year. Pure has also been recognized with two Jostle Awards for their inspiring work around building their culture and transforming their organization, one person at a time.

  • Company:
  • Size & Locations:
    80 people spread across four offices around England
  • Sector:
    Professional recruitment services
  • Interviewees:
    Gill Buchanan, Founding Director
  • Participation:
    86% weekly 97% monthly

A different approach to recruiting

Founded in 2002, Pure is a UK-based specialist recruitment company with 80 people located across offices in Cambridge, Norwich, Ipswich, and Chelmsford. The founders at Pure set out with the intention of keeping people as their priority, despite the fact that many recruitment companies in the United Kingdom often have an unsupportive, performance-based culture leading to high turnover rates.

Pure strives to maintain a workplace environment where people feel connected and as valued parts of a larger team. They want employees to feel like they’re in a place where they can work efficiently while also having fun. With its vibrant culture and progressive values, Pure’s workforce dynamic is more relationship-driven than that of a typical recruitment company, but no less committed to positive outcomes for their clients and candidates.

The challenge: managing continued growth

Communication easy at first but harder over time

When Pure was first founded, communication was very simple and straightforward in the then small organization. Ensuring that the team was embracing their corporate values and working in positive partnerships with clients was simple because, as a smaller company, everyone was connected naturally and shared the same approach. Regular communication via email was easy to do and regular face-to-face meetings in their single office were straightforward.

But over time, some communication became more challenging. The organization has expanded significantly over the years, with 20% growth in just the last 12 months. In addition, the growing organization added office locations, which made effective internal communications and information-sharing a higher priority. Leadership has had to be more diligent about ensuring that all employees are working and communicating consistently and regularly across the company’s various offices. Ensuring values were aligned, the culture was consistent, and a unified approach was maintained to achieve the vision of the company was at times becoming harder to realize the more the company grew.

Survey says: time for change

Pure sends out an annual survey that their employees answer anonymously in order to gain feedback around the quality of their culture, communications, development, and leadership. A few years into the company’s growth, some employees started noting on the survey that they felt they weren’t kept up to date with company ongoings, news of new hires, or company-wide announcements depending on their location and role.

Leadership also received feedback that if an employee was excluded from an email group, they would be lacking knowledge on things like a new employee onboarding initiative. Sometimes this could create resentment by some staff members, which countered Pure’s positive and inclusive culture. Announcements were made at company-wide meetings, but if a staff member missed it, they would be reliant on their manager to update them.

Staff also indicated on the survey that they wanted a central repository in order to find documents such as marketing materials and policy procedures. Their former system wasn’t serving its purpose effectively. Employees were storing documents in folders that often didn’t contain the latest document version, which affected consistency and accuracy across the organization.

Finding a tool to help

Pure wanted to find a tool that would enable all employees from all offices to be kept up to date with everything happening around the organization. They wanted something where internal information and documents could be accessed readily and easily. At the same time, they wanted something that would enable them to celebrate successes and contribute to the fun and positive workplace environment that had always been the core of their culture.

With their survey results in mind, leadership set out to find a better way to connect and develop their growing organization and its equally growing needs. They started doing some research on intranets and reached out to their client roster (such as legal and technology firms) to hear about what tools these companies used in their organizations.

A common theme they noticed in their research was that many of these intranets were designed in a dry and technical way. They didn’t understand how companies could encourage employees to use these types of tools. They were difficult to navigate, boring, not interactive, and above all, not designed with people in mind. It was this focus on people and culture that led Pure choose the Jostle intranet as their tool of choice in 2013.

“The Jostle intranet is fundamental to upholding our values, our culture, and overall approach.”

Gill Buchanan, Founding Director Gill Buchanan
Founding Director

A puzzling launch

Once they had chosen the Jostle intranet, the leadership team was tasked with getting the entire organization familiar with the platform and its capabilities. They tackled this by sending out a set of company-wide emails, each with a different photo of a Pure “jigsaw” puzzle piece. Each piece of the puzzle was accompanied by a different question about their Jostle intranet. They used this initiative to create a little bit of mystery and excitement before launching their new intranet platform.

The complete puzzle for the launch of the Pure intranet

The complete puzzle for the launch of the Pure intranet

Along with this online initiative, Pure held a company-wide meeting to talk about the reasons they were launching a new intranet platform, what it was, and how it responded to the pain points outlined in the annual survey from the previous year. Pure’s leadership wanted to show the organization as a whole that they were listening to their people’s needs and implementing tools and changes within the organization to better serve those needs.

The impact

Mobilizing brand ambassadors

Pure has a core team of brand ambassadors within each of their locations who meet quarterly to monitor how the company can improve both internally and externally. These brand ambassadors are also key to ensuring that Pure’s intranet is engaging and exciting for employees to use.

The brand ambassadors look at NEWS items to make sure a variety of content is being posted regularly and to ensure documentation in the LIBRARY is up-to-date and current. They also focus on engaging the Pure team as a whole to participate in and post on the platform regularly. The brand ambassadors have given very positive feedback to Pure’s leadership team about the Jostle platform and how it has improved the organization.

“The Jostle platform has played a vital role in improving communication across Pure. We're based across four offices, and it has been challenging in the past to keep all staff in the loop regarding company news, notices, and updates - but we now have a central “go to” place for all staff to access at anytime, even on the go with the Jostle app. It has allowed us to share and celebrate successes, and encourage team work.”

Katherine Bell, Brand Ambassador Katherine Bell
Brand Ambassador

Winning with focused internal communications

Since launching their Jostle intranet in 2013, a focused internal communications strategy has become central to Pure’s employee engagement approach. This strategy rests on their core values of innovation, well-being, putting people first, being supportive, and helping people belong. These tenets have been part of Pure since the beginning, but with the right tool in place they’ve been able to effectively scale, disseminate, and reinforce their values.

Accordingly, Pure has improved internal communication in the areas of information consistency, documentation leadership, cross selling, special industry and role awareness, and new employee onboarding. In a climate of significant growth in both size and capability, it’s been incredibly important for new team members to be familiar with the organization’s values, what differentiates Pure from other recruiting consultancies, where to find corporate materials, what corporate initiatives are underway, and who does what in the business. The Jostle intranet has been fundamental in enabling this clarity and consistency.

Vibrant NEWS on Pure’s intranet

Vibrant NEWS on Pure’s intranet

Over the past three years, Pure’s leaders and brand ambassadors have worked diligently to ensure alignment across the business to build a stronger, more vibrant Pure culture. Their efforts are paying off - Pure enjoys over 90% engagement year over year on their Jostle intranet. Pure has also been recognized with two Jostle Awards in the past two years - first, for their commitment to building a vibrant culture, and second, for their demonstrated track record of organizational transformation.

“If people are happy at work or enjoy what they're doing or feel rewarded and engaged, that energy will come out when they're talking to their candidates and when they're talking to their clients. That feeling is reflected in increased sales and in the further opportunities that we gain to work with new clients. It all links together, really, and the Jostle intranet is very much a fundamental part of that.”

Gill Buchanan, Founding Director Gill Buchanan
Founding Director

An external campaign highlights internal best practices

Pure’s external Best Employers Eastern Region campaign has helped them continue to strengthen their internal culture. The campaign is a bi-annual culture survey that Pure offers to their clients to benchmark against other companies. At the end of the campaign, Pure runs an awards event to celebrate which companies performed the best on the survey.

The Jostle intranet helps support the team and internal communications during the campaign. Employees regularly post Shout-Outs to one another to highlight successes and good practices. They also post NEWS Articles counting down to awards deadlines or to share incentives and participate in DISCUSSIONS and polls to organize specific campaign events.

The campaign creates an opportunity for each of Pure’s four locations to actively participate and engage with one another, even while physically separated. The Best Employer campaign also showcases Pure’s internal employee engagement, leadership, and development practices.

Survey says: a more cohesive workplace culture

On their latest annual survey, three years after implementing their Jostle intranet, Pure employees have confirmed that the initiative taken by leadership to find and implement the tool has been instrumental in facilitating better communication between peers and in building a cohesive and stronger culture across all of Pure’s four sites.

The leadership team at Pure has taken steps to ensure all of their staff continue to embrace and make the most of their Jostle intranet over time. These initiatives include posting quizzes on where to find information, regular ‘spotlight’ NEWS Articles on different staff stories, and celebrating good work. They also post Shout-Outs in relation to fun activities in each office, including charity days, birthdays, and work hire anniversaries, which all add to the vibrancy of the Pure culture. The Jostle platform has helped Pure unite their organization to a greater degree, and has demonstrated their commitment to always keeping people as a priority.

Vibrant NEWS on Pure’s intranet

NEWS Article on Pure’s intranet

Setting the bar for engaged workforces

In an industry that typically sees employee turnover rates of more than 50%, Pure maintains an incredibly low turnover rate of less than 5%. Founding Director, Gill Buchanan, believes this is largely due to the sense of belonging and pride that employees feel at Pure. There’s also emphasis on highlighting success and recognizing individual contributions that encourages a feeling of belonging and loyalty, and in turn, generates a highly engaged workforce.

These outcomes are connected to a firm commitment to focused internal communications and the maintenance of a culture backed by well-defined values. Pure has clear strategies to further grow their business and their team. We’re confident they will continue to accomplish many truly amazing things with such a strong foundation and clear focus.

About Jostle Corporation

Jostle is on a quest to make workplaces happier and more productive with our People Engagement® platform. We help companies satisfy the five workplace needs: purpose, culture, clarity, recognition, and trust. Our elegant, work relevant approach is achieving participation rates that are 5X industry norms. For more information contact info@jostle.me or visit us online at www.jostle.me.