Building a Culture of Employee Growth and Well-Being

Zoe Darracott | 3 July 2023


MGISS can be quite a fast-working environment, therefore we have a duty to support and proactively invest in the growth and well-being of the entire MGISS team.

Our team are the MGISS heroes, they are the difference-makers. They are also human beings and need brain space for life outside of work, therefore it is of vital importance to us to look after each other and our minds.

Some seem to see wellbeing culture as a “soft” issue, a “slogan”,  and not a management problem but the evidence disagrees: adopting a thorough well-being culture and strategy positively impacts performance. It is a mindset. This must start with management as, if there is no engagement at this level, the cascade to the wider team will not succeed.

Fostering this type of culture creates a workplace that attracts and retains great people, increases team productivity and drives business success. A survey by Westfield Health found that 86% of UK employees were more productive at work if there was a supportive culture. To accent the scale of the impact, Craig Duncan of Engenesis stated that each year in the UK, approximately 9.9 million working days are lost due to compromised wellbeing. Need I say more?

Supporting Growth & Development at MGISS

We assess employee engagement and satisfaction quarterly via the survey platform Work Buzz. This is both personalized to the business and anonymized to encourage full, honest feedback from the team – this then helps us pinpoint the drivers that impact our team to inform our listening strategy and decision-making.

Our values govern our day-to-day work, believing in an inclusive, positive, trustworthy and informed workforce. Over the past 6 months, this has involved participating in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion training with Health@Work and Declan Doyle. This will improve our outlook on ever-changing work practices across all dynamics. Additionally, Mental Health Awareness training with Philip Bridges at The Mind Map has helped us become more understanding and empathic towards each other and highlight the significance of mental health interventions. We have full Mental Health First Aid Training coming up, to supplement already having two qualified Emergency First Aiders in the team. Additionally, Leadership and Management training is scheduled for our next half year schedule to provide the leaders of MGISS to have the best mindset possible to support the rest of the team.

One of the best ways to encourage employee growth is investing in professional/career development; in fact, a study ran by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it offered learning and development opportunities. By focusing on well-being employees are involved in development; they find a meaning and purpose in their work; they are empowered. We encourage opportunities for training and development and attendance at conferences and networking events to promote learning and connection with kindred professionals and industry peers.

Each team member also works against KPI’s which are reviewed quarterly- this keeps us on track, so we don’t get lost in the constant movement of the GIS/Geospatial world and keep our individual and team goals in check.

 “I am fulfilling my continued professional development by enrolling on a marketing programme ‘MAD/Fest’ which aims to help marketers adapt, make sense of accelerated disruption and turn upheaval into competitive advantage. I am grateful to MGISS for financing my place in the programme, a key training opportunity for myself to upskill as Marketing Manager.”

Anna, Marketing Manager

Our Professional Services (PS) team have also benefitted from training opportunities. As an Esri partner we are assigned enough training credits for each member of PS to attend a training session of their choice each year.

“Gareth’s recent completion of the ArcGIS JavaScript API course was put to excellent use as he is now using those tools to build a new bespoke web app for a customer.”

Darius, Principal Consultant


We have always promoted positive well-being within the MGISS team, however, due to stress levels understandably increasing with the coronavirus pandemic in 2020/21, looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our whole team became exceedingly significant. Our dedicated well-being lead, Zoe, led us through much-needed well-being exercises and activities in this time and has continued to do so since, gaining BIMA100 recognition subsequently.

Here are some of our highlights:

  • Being awarded The Workplace Well-Being Charter by Declan Doyle and Health@Work twice-over in 2019 then again in 2022, improving our level moving from “Commitment” to “Achievement”. This helps us assess where we are with wellbeing every two years and what we can strive to improve for the next assessment.
  • Membership with local networking initiative, Striide (previously Contact Sport) to provide a different networking experience while promoting physical activity.
  • Releasing The Candid Colleague podcast, collaborating with managers and other professionals sharing a passion for workplace wellbeing and work-life balance.
  • Introducing the importance of mindfulness in team meetings, whilst promoting stress prevention and actively signposting relevant mental health/well-being resources.
  • Offering a paid-for membership with Vitality for each team member to encourage individual well-being tracking and goals while receiving various benefits and discounts.
  • Our Partnership with Trees for Life will support our outbound sustainability initiatives and provide opportunities for volunteering, teambuilding and knowledge transfer. The partnership utilises our expertise to support a worthwhile cause of reintroducing wildlife to the Scottish Highlands, working with the multi-award-winning conservation charity. MGISS will be training the team in all aspects of GNSS and how to utilise geospatial data for asset management purposes (a more valuable use of our time in “giving back”, than the often-over-hyped big business “painting sheds” or “planting trees” as a tick-box exercise for ESG!)

As a partly remote team, it is essential to stay well-connected, scheduling a) weekly department meetings and 1-1s b) fortnightly online team meetings and c) quarterly in-person meetings followed by a team social. This regular communication and influx of feedback keeps the team on track with each other’s tasks and roles and helps to prioritise actions.

When looking for a new role, I always look for somewhere that I can feel a sense of community as well as somewhere that I can make a valued contribution. With that being said, after meeting the team at MGISS and understanding the long-term vision with regards to the company and what they aim to achieve internally and externally, I knew it was somewhere that I could see myself.”

Wes, Customer Success Manager

Integrating values into Day-to-Day Activities

  • Inclusive: From recruitment to departures, our strategy is led by inclusivity. We strive to gather as much feedback and perspective from the team as possible to angle the business in the right way for culture-aligned recruitment and ongoing business processes
  • Positive: We encourage an open-minded and sustainable approach across all aspects of our business to promote a positive future for our team, our customers, and the world
  • Trustworthy: We aim to be our customers’ right hand guy, to be there when they need us, conditional to a reciprocated attitude. This cascades down to relationships within the MGISS team
  • Informed: Through customer and market research and validation, we ensure the information we share both internally and externally is accurate and from reliable sources. We have and intend to recruit the ‘best in the biz’ to give our customers the most knowledgeable, grounded and authentic solutions.

Realistically, there will continue to be a debate on whether a positive culture, structured around well-being, significantly impacts team performance. The short answer from us is, yes! If there is truly, genuinely a culture of respect, trust and support at all levels, people will be more supported and motivated to do their best work. We don’t get it right all of the time – who does?! But failure is what makes success, and we aim to transform our errors into the best environment possible for our team. The key is…listen to your team!


Zoe joined MGISS part-time to supplement her Psychology degree. She developed in her role as Wellbeing Lead for the business which has received recognition by the BIMA 100. A self-described Jack-of-all-trades, master of none, Zoe has developed many skills working in different roles at MGISS from Market Research to Employee Wellbeing. She has now got her Sales & Marketing Coordinator hat on, allowing her to exhibit her efficiency in organisation, process and internal and external comms