A note from Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts

A note from Emma Roberts

Our CEO Emma Roberts reflects on team happiness, the complications of black bean curry, and our mission to make Creaseys one of the country’s best places to work.

A few years ago we stated our aim to make Creaseys a great place to work. We were and still are a great bunch of accountants and tax people but we wanted more and we started by improving our work environment. We made sure we had decent coffee, moved into some really nice offices, got everyone a nice desk and chair and made things a lot nicer.

We had made Creaseys a better place to work but it still didn’t feel like a great place to work. So we asked ourselves what more could we do? Of course being accountants we wanted a metric; something we could track to see if we were making progress, but what were we going to measure?

That was when we started refining our thinking and reflecting that what we REALLY wanted was to be a happy team and only part of that was Creaseys being a great place to work. So we decided to start measuring people’s happiness every week and giving them the opportunity to comment on what had gone well and potentially not so well for them over the past 7 days. It was a revelation.

I had a conversation with my son the other day about two types of people; those who make simple things seem complicated and those that make complicated things seem simple and we wondered which the hardest one to be was.

It made me think that perhaps there is (at least) another type of person. One who just fails to recognise the complexity and sees everything in very simple terms. Perhaps that is the sort of person I am and why I took on the challenge because the truth is when we said we wanted to make Creaseys a Great Place to work, it just didn’t feel that hard.

It felt logical and obvious and something that was pretty readily accessible. I now see it was potentially a classic Roberts overstretch as we call these episodes at home. You know the sort of thing you’re making a lasagne and you’ve got the oven on so you may as well make a quiche for next week and roast some vegetables for a pumpkin and black bean curry. It can get quite intense.

That outlook is how I became the CEO of a business whose primary aim has become a simple formula Happy Team + Happy Clients = Great business.

Once you start thinking about people’s happiness it’s a different ball game entirely; that’s deep stuff man and you can only start with yourself. Am I happy? Who even am I? What does success look like for me?

Encouraging your team to ask themselves these sort of questions and what success looks like for them is the next logical step, if only because you don’t know the answers to your own questions. Those questions and conversations start a different sort of engagement in the team.

We quickly realised that we can’t make our team happy, so what we have to do is create an environment that helps them find their own happiness. We want our team to be masters of their own destiny, own their own outcomes and understand the choices they have.

Sounds simple doesn’t it…

On Wednesday 20 February, some of our team put on their glad rags and headed off to The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2019 awards dinner in Battersea. We had already been told that we had been awarded three stars, the highest accolade available, in their survey of UK workplaces.

On the night we found out that the survey placed us 80th in the list making us the best Small Accountancy firm to work for in England.