We uphold strong traditions that are passed on from team member to team member. Some of these traditions are age-old and span generations, some of them are not so old and have become as important to our culture as the old ones.
We grow. This is both our code and our tradition. For us to truly stretch ourselves to make a difference and create a better future.
We have always had a very strong tradition of getting involved and giving back to our many communities. We value a sense of community with an eye to making a difference where we can. We engage, working hard at staying connected with what’s new across the globe through trade shows, forums and tours. We put our hand up to attend, have a presence and speak at our industry events. We are active members of a range of industry and knowledge groups, and we engage the research sector to find innovation and improvements through technology. We collaborate in initiatives like mentoring, sponsoring, judging, research, and assisting in accessing grants with the Universities. We support many great causes and often become involved in the organisation of events and fundraisers.
Whenever we can, we get together. Around here, celebration is encouraged. We throw parties each year – some just for our tribe to celebrate, some that include our life partners. We invite our kids to play where we work every Easter and Christmas. This way they can appreciate what we create each day and get a real sense for where we go. We have meetings over breakfast. We have birthday cakes every month. We love a BBQ. We gather to learn, we gather to share lunch, we gather around the coffee machine where some of the best plans are made. Every morning, one of our rituals is to gather for fruit.
Tenure originates from the Latin word tenere which means “to hold” and more recently means permanent employment. We celebrate tenure. We do this by recognising and rewarding our team for each 5-year milestone of service – the reward different for each milestone. For each 5-years we make a video that honours the person and is shared to everyone on our Facebook feed. Heaps of us have significant milestones–people tend to stick around here. We have a few at 45 years and counting!
We have some other traditions that relate to service. Tom hosts “The 20+ Club” which is for our people with 21+ tenure. It’s a growing concern. And “A Boomerang” is our name for someone who comes back to work with us. There are a few boomerangs on people’s desks around the place as an artefact to honour this.
We acknowledge constantly and simply through our posts, likes and comments on our Facebook feed. The “Inside Wiley” group means we can connect using Facebook. It is our main and single vehicle for communicating with the team. It empowers and connects our people no matter where they are on the globe. Everyone can post and we use it to learn, share, be recognised and most importantly be transparent. Everyone is across what is going on in real time. Tom’s belief is that if you ask a question on Facebook, you crowdsource multiple answers from different perspectives and you share with the whole company.
“Inside Wiley” is our main Facebook group and we have others based on pods, teams, project, thought areas, initiatives, the cycling club and even one for carparking. People and Development Director at Wiley, Kate Peardon, says “we have found Facebook an excellent tool for bridging the gap between people. It’s not all about business. It’s about 70/30 business/social. Recently I really enjoyed a post from someone who retired and the comments that were posted with stories covering the past 50 years. It’s messages you would read in a card but can all enjoy. With a workforce scattered about Australia and Asia in different offices and onsite, it is important for everyone to still feel connected. Distance means you have to build a technical relationship first, and a personal relationship second. Facebook groups allow you to connect technically and then get to know people’s personalities.”
We celebrate success and equally things that weren’t successful. To properly learn, we need to look at what we did well and why. Equally, if it wasn’t great, what we did and why. So around here we celebrate and acknowledge our successes and our journey there (aka failures). One of our rituals is to ring our bell when we win a job.
We make our stars known. As well as on Facebook we are making a habit of recognising our star performers in person, at events, wherever we can. Our main event each year are our awards. They are voted for by the team (and not everyone gets a ribbon). We award excellence, making a difference, leadership, specialists, young guns, those who develop our business including a special LinkedIN prize for our mightiest linker. Everything is announced live on Facebook.
The top award is the Paul Phillips Award for Excellence – affectionately known as the Phillips Head award. We honour our people who make a difference and Paul certainly did that. He retired with us after 50 years of mentoring our people. In his time here, and in his own very unique way, he taught his craft to many.
We welcome the new babies, we send champagne when someone ties the knot, throw a party for anyone who retires, and when someone is in need, we support them. We are gifted something to share around our family Christmas table every year. We make it our business that we look after our people. People win over projects.
We seek out meaning always striving for a better way to engage our people. Our people and people we engage with are witness to and sense our inclusive purpose.