It's official! We're Colombia's Great Place to Work®.

By
Natalia Bochenska, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager in London, UK
Date:
28 October 2021
Photograph:

We’ve won quite a few awards over the years, but nothing ever beats recognition that comes straight from our people. With all the culture accolades we scooped recently – #1 medium-sized business in the UK awarded by Campaign Best Places to Work, and a top-scoring business with a standout employee engagement (and #1 place to work in South Carolina and D.C.) awarded by Inc. Best Workplaces in America, there was one very special place missing from this list. Our Colombia home.

We’ve set up our team in Colombia back in January 2020, growing in strength from 0 to over 75 Somo-ers in less than 2 years. Before we first opened our office, a skilled Somo team spent a huge amount of time in Medellín to ensure our new Somo home looks and feels just like our London headquarters. Little did we know that the global pandemic will redefine the rules of play a mere two months later, forcing us to rethink our employee experience and the way we support our people during these unprecedented times. Despite the challenges we were faced with, we’ve proved we have built a culture that allows us to thrive, whatever the circumstances – and wherever we’re based.

This is why we’re so delighted to have been officially certified by Great Place to Work® – the only company culture award in the world that selects winners based on how fairly employees are treated, how trusted, respected and valued they feel, and how much pride they hold in what they do. Companies go through a rigorous assessment process, where employees score their business across more than 60 statements gauging what the working experience is really like, and how they feel about their work as a whole – its benefits, initiatives, managers, colleagues and everything else that impacts them on an everyday basis.

When people think of a great workplace, they often picture a company with lavish perks, fancy parties and amazing benefits. While those elements are present in many of the well-known Best Workplaces, the definition of a great workplace goes far deeper than perks and benefits.

In fact, at its core, a great workplace is about the level of trust that employees experience in their leaders, the level of pride they have in their jobs, and the extent to which they enjoy their colleagues. Somo stood out for their outstandingly high results, clearly showing they have created globally exceptional employee experiences, high-trust relationships and a workplace that is fair and equal for all.

- Elliot Slade, Director at Great Place to Work

Our results have been mind-boggling. We knew the culture we’ve built in Colombia is something quite special, but we weren’t expecting to rank well above the benchmark in almost all areas – from fair treatment, leadership effectiveness, integrity, values, justice, camaraderie, engagement, communication, innovation by all, collaboration, fairness, and more.

“I’m so thrilled to see all the work we’re doing on creating a people-first and value-driven culture hasn’t gone unnoticed”, says Nick Haywood, Somo’s COO, Americas. “Great Place to Work recognition is a testament to our continued focus on building a place our people can be proud to be a part of every single day, a place that recognises their greatness, supports their values, celebrates who they are as individuals, and appreciates their daily effort. Despite the hurdles brought by the pandemic, we’ve managed to build quite an exceptional culture, and every one of us is part of that success”.


Culture is who we are.

There’s a number of things we have in place to make sure our people keep thriving. Some of these are:

We're a values-led business, always have been.

Our four values form the backbone of everything we do and everything we strive to be. They describe the things that matter to us, they shape our people, characterise our spirit, and echo through our work. Serious stuff, and we mean it! Twice a year, we pick a few Somo-ers who live and breathe one (or all) of these values and sprinkle them with gifts, appreciation and Somo-wide fame in return for their exceptional work. Because we know how to recognise greatness. 

TWITTER - All Values glue

We’re people-first.

We believe in our people. We know we’re all different, and we celebrate those differences. We trust they can do their work wherever they choose to be – after all, we hired them as experts, and we know they’ll deliver. People do their best work when they enjoy it. So we do our best to create an environment they can be proud of, celebrating small wins, encouraging positivity, creating a sense of togetherness. 

Somo Great Place to Work people quotes

Adapting to the global pandemic

Extra staff surveys allowed us to help our people deal with the sudden shift and learn how they want to work moving forward. Self-assessments with a generous cash allowance for the right WFH set-up, flexible hours to help Somo-ers juggle homeschooling and working, and regular mental health check-ins are just a few initiatives we’ve undertaken. 

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