As the author Michael Scott once said “the day we stop learning is the day we die”, and lucky for me, I’m definitely still learning.

Over this past year, I have seen a considerable and positive improvement at LendingMetrics, most notably in terms of the positive attitude, morale and enthusiasm of the team that work here. Don’t get me wrong, (I believe) it’s always seemed to be quite a nice place to work, but despite our best efforts (competitive salary reviews, events, commercial success, office perks) it never seemed to be referred to as a “great place to work”.  The company has been doing very well, but on occasion, it felt as if it wasn’t moving forward quickly enough and along the way it was losing some of the people we valued the most.

Completely unrelated to this narrative, the LendingMetrics management team had decided that we must prepare for ISO Certification, specifically 9001 and 27001. This was a big decision for an SME like ours because it would mean investing considerable management time in the process whilst still managing the day to day of the business’ needs. The team would need to do many new things and the company would need to introduce new systems and procedures and would need to make these an integral part of the company culture. This led directly to a review into the way in which we deal with HR matters and in particular, how we value our people and how we communicate with them; not just at their annual or quarterly review, but ALL THE TIME.

This review allowed us to come to the realisation that, despite being an SME, we were communicating with our staff rather poorly and despite them being keen to help make the company a success, some did not know what part they could play and therefore how we would achieve this.

So, without boring you, here is what we have learned. The process of preparing for an industry certification such as ISO led to the introduction of a new way of thinking at LendingMetrics and resulted in the establishment of systems and procedures in all sorts of areas. And, in the case of our team, it has most definitely resulted in a happier place and a stronger sense of purpose.

We became ISO certified 1 year ago, and have just completed our first annual recertification (against a whole new set of additional standards) and although we have seen improvements for ourselves, it was also nice to hear the ISO auditor state

“You are very detailed as an organisation, with a strong management team. Your culture and innovation will ensure that the service and platforms will continue to develop”

he added

“Your quality and business management systems are excellent and I will be sharing with others the excellent way in which you measure innovation”

So here’s the secret. Want to make your workplace a happier and more productive place? Listen to your employees, talk to your employees and action your promises to your employees. Therefore creating a culture of innovation and success that everyone can be proud of.