Laid-back firm boasts zero staff turnover

In an industry where you can expect to lose a third of your staff every year, Auckland-based Web Media claims no one has left in two years.

In an industry where you can expect to lose a third of your staff every year, Auckland-based Web Media claims no one has left in two years.

And with surveys showing more people than ever looking to move to new employers, the web design company's Ken Newell credits the three-year-old firm's culture. This has helped Web Media grow from six staff two years ago, when Newell joined, to 50 today, with offices in San Francisco, Hong Kong and Melbourne.

"We work hard to make Web Media a fulfilling place to work. Our people work really long hours. We give them a lot of toys. We treat them very well. We listen to them. We understand the success of the company really depends on them. We recruit the right people. They understand the vision of the company," he says.

Newell says people leave employers for many reasons, such as not feeling valued, with money a "pretty distant" reason. "We pay at market rate or a little above, but it is about more than cash. We have taken staff on from other positions where they were paid more and they were happy to come to us.

"We try and encourage them. It seems crazy but it works," he says.

To help make people feel valued with an input into the business, Web Media even has a full-time "culturalist". Staff meetings are regular, offices are open plan, and workers have pool tables, football and ping pong. At 5pm there is no exodus, apart from those who have to pick up children.

"If people want to get involved in 3D, if they are pushing towards software, they learn what they want to learn. That is a massive benefit to us. That way people are loyal to us and give us good value," says Newell.

As part of the flat management culture, Newell has no formal title, bar the vague sounding "R&D".

"We are not really big on manager of director titles. We are a team, not really a hierarchy. Web Media is a collective," Newell says.

The company recently featured in fellow IDG publication Unlimited magazine's Good Employer awards.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
[]