Share your story – Onecom: Leading the marketplace with a united workforce

Written by Investors In People

Share your story – Onecom: Leading the marketplace with a united workforce

Onecom is the largest independent business telecoms and cloud communications provider in the UK. The team of more than 600 people is the driving force behind their continued success and growth within the industry. 

Onecom’s mission is to enable UK based organisations to realise the potential of communications technology, develop a competitive advantage and empower their people to succeed.

We spoke to People & Culture Director Parysa Hosseini-Sech about how Onecom makes work better for its employees and what winning an award would mean.

Can you give us a brief description of how you’re making work better?

Our staff’s health, safety and happiness are imperative and always will be. Our Employee Plus programme, launched in 2017, was designed to benefit employees both in and outside of work. 

It comprises Onecom Rewards, Onecom Active, Onecom Foundation and Onecom Academy. We recently introduced Onecom Extras to this programme – a bespoke benefits portal that offers a broad range of exclusive discounts and offers at over 3000 retailers. 

Personal and professional development are particularly key focuses at Onecom. Our people can sign up for various training courses through our Academy to further enhance their knowledge and skillset. 

Always looking to improve the employee experience

We encourage cross-departmental learning, for example, undertaking ‘work experience’ within another department of interest. We’d much rather have a valued team member fill a vacancy in another department than lose them entirely.

We continually look for ways to reinforce our values in our work and remind our people that their voices count. A great example of this is the launch of Officevibe, a platform where we engage with our people to gather and share feedback openly or anonymously. 

Our managers directly respond to answers submitted by their teams to provide a thoughtful comment acknowledging the feedback and an action plan on what will happen with the information gathered. The manager will then escalate internally or give more detail.

This creates accountability, reinforcing trust across the organisation. Our Executive Leadership Team reviews feedback and demonstrates our commitment to finding new ways to innovate and enhance our offerings. 

In addition, we focus our internal comms on raising awareness around various mental health and wellbeing issues alongside celebrating dates in the calendar that represent our diverse workforce. We invite our people to share ideas of what they’d like to see recognised to ensure we are as inclusive as possible.

Why did you enter The Investors in People Awards 2021?

We entered the Investors in People Awards 2021 because we are proud of the rapid growth we have achieved whilst upholding the core values at the heart of the business. 

We firmly believe Onecom is the best company to work for in the industry. Our motivation to continuously develop our people, processes and systems has been key in our success, and entering this awards scheme provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our hard work and be recognised for our efforts. 

The last 18 months, whilst challenging at times, have given us even more pride in our people, our programmes of engagement and demonstrated the camaraderie that’s an inherent part of our organisation.

Are there any goals or challenges you hope an award will help you achieve or solve?

Onecom’s goal is to lead the marketplace with a united workforce, and recognition in this prestigious award will encourage our people to work together as one. To achieve our goal, our people must continue to aspire to exceed targets whilst having trusting relationships, both with one another and customers. 

An award could assist in creating a smooth blend across Onecom people, resulting in a flexible, inclusive and positively productive atmosphere in all areas. This award is ‘for the people’, and whilst it will be Onecom’s name in lights, recognition like this wouldn’t be possible without our teams. 

It’s a chance for everyone to be recognised and feel a sense of pride rather than relate to a specific project owned by a smaller group of people.

Tell us what distinguishes you from other companies in the category you’re shortlisted in.

Our people strategy, which aims to create a consistently great place to work through greater connection with our values and principles, is designed to enable autonomy and empowerment, build on our existing recognition mechanisms and focus on open communication. 

The core element of the strategy – fun. It’s a reminder to all our people that we are here to work hard but that it’s important to enjoy ourselves while we do it.

We were quick to act on the feedback from our people during the pandemic and implemented our Agile Working Policy. We believe it does what it says on the tin – it allows our people to work in a way that is agile enough to respond to the demands of the role, their environment and how they work best as an individual and in their team.

Our people team is commercially focussed and innovative, continuously looking at ways to improve the employee experience. We seek out feedback from as many different avenues as possible to help inform what we offer our people. We invest the time in these initiatives because it pays off when we deliver something our people will love.

What does being shortlisted mean to everyone at your company?

Being shortlisted has created a great sense of pride among Onecom people, and we feel overjoyed that our committed efforts have been recognised! We understand that our people are fundamental to our success, and we communicate this clearly to everyone at Onecom. 

Being ambitious is one of our core values, so we really celebrate every win and always look at ways to improve, leaning into the cycle of continual development. For all of us, but particularly individuals early in their career, it’s a chance to feel a bit boastful that they are working for an organisation so highly accoladed.

What would it mean to win?

Winning an Investors in People Award 2021 would be a form of hard-earned recognition for our continued dedicated investment in our people over the past year and an incredible all-around achievement for everyone at Onecom.

We are demonstrating our clear focus on consistent communication, recognition, and development for our people. It would be the ultimate testament that our core values remain a central part of our success whilst we continue to grow at pace. 

We want to continue to attract new talent and retain our superstars – this award would certainly help support that mission.  

How does being shortlisted benefit your customers?

Being shortlisted for these awards is evidence that we prioritise our people, as well as our customers. The nature of a workplace directly correlates to the productive output. 

Therefore, ensuring Onecom consistently has a fun and inclusive atmosphere benefits our customers through a consequent greater level of top-quality customer service. Our mantra ‘delivering simply brilliant customer experiences’ – the formula is exceptional technology, partnerships, and people. The shortlisting shows to our customers, our external stakeholders, just how seriously we take that.

How would you use being the recipient of this award to influence others?

As an example, we want to create organisational awareness, holding others in our industry accountable for improving their wellness programmes. 

We’re not afraid of some friendly competition, and it ensures we keep continuous improvement front and centre, establishing an environment where people can prosper and productivity excels.

Part of the Onecom business operates a partner channel comprising a mixture of organisations, particularly small companies looking to expand. Onecom’s winning formula could provide valuable advice, guiding them through their people strategies.

What can we expect to see from your organisation in the next 12 months? (And beyond!)

As we grow, wellness will remain a priority, ensuring acquisitions contribute to Onecom’s ‘family feel’ culture. Our objectives for the next 12 months are to continue finding innovative ways to engage our people, remain competitive by creating a best-in-class leadership development programme and invest in and implement a new HR system. 

Furthermore, feedback from Officevibe will create tangible actions whilst continuously measuring eNPS to benchmark ourselves. An updated Training Academy will provide further opportunities to develop our people. This creates loyalty in our talent retention strategy, cementing Onecom’s position as the best company to work for in the sector.

What advice would you give to anyone applying for The Investors in People Awards 2022?

Our advice to applicants for the Investors in People Awards 2022 is to support your statements with relevant examples that specifically detail how you stand out from other organisations. 

Include the values your organisation operates by and how these influence your people and their professional performance. Think back on all the great work you’ve been doing – it’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day and forget all the fantastic achievements you’ve had along the way.

About Investors in People

Investors in People have been working with a huge range of big and small organisations from Public Sectors, SMEs, Charities, PLCs and anything in between for over 30 years. We have accredited more than 50,000 organisations and our  accreditation is recognised in 66 countries around the world, making it the global benchmark when it comes to people management. So we know we speak your language and can offer the specific kind of support and guidance your organisation needs.

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14th Nov 2023 | Old Billingsgate, London



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