Trust, delight, wellbeing marketplaces and paper airplanes
Name: Charlotte White
Role: VP of People Operations
Coffee of Choice: Cortado
Bipsync’s Cardiff office is situated on the pinnacle of an architectural delight: a telescopic, bright orange, six-storey staircase known as an oculus (the first of its kind in the UK) where, according to Charlotte White – Bipsync’s VP of People Operations – a neatly folded paper airplane will glide safely all the way to the ground floor, where the coffee shop is.
The oculus is a neat metaphor for the Bipsync business: unique, daring, inviting, useful, brilliantly designed and heading for the top. And yet also somewhere with possibilities, where you can express yourself and enjoy.
A place to stay and thrive
Charlotte has been at Bipsync for almost 7 years, originally as Office Manager when the business was still just a dozen or so employees. She’s been as close as anyone to the growth of Bipsync on both sides of the Atlantic, leading efforts to build a world-class team that’s evenly split across New York and Cardiff. “We’re up to almost 50 people now and actively recruiting to our graduate scheme to support our growth. We’re really proud of our staff retention. When people join, they tend to stay, and – importantly – thrive in the ways they want to.”
Bipsync’s product development base is at the heart of Cardiff University’s Innovation Campus at Sbarc | Spark making it easily accessible for colleagues to drop in. The windows of the Cardiff office face west (towards where, 3,500 miles away, Bipsync’s New York City office is) with gorgeous views of the sunset overlooking the Principality Stadium.
“Many of our customers have historically been centered around New York – hence the Manhattan base – but Cardiff is equally central to the Bipsync story. We have close links with the University but still had to work hard to get into Sbarc | Spark. We came in spring 2022 and it felt like the right time to leave the city center. Besides, we wanted a creative workspace with enough room for the whole team, if needed, and with amazing facilities to meet, collaborate or just focus on things.“
As well as leading on creating the best possible hybrid work environment, Charlotte has been instrumental in building Bipsync’s enviable employee benefits package which plays a big part in attracting new recruits.
“Our pitch to prospective talent is basically: first assume we will satisfy salary expectations – now what else can we do to make you happy, fulfilled and successful? Our interviews are designed to identify potential and to give candidates the opportunity to find out if we’re right for them, just as much as if they are right for us. Graduates are very important to us but the same philosophy is true for everyone. It’s about rewarding your potential now, and then giving you the environment you need to go and achieve that potential.”
Bipsync’s graduate expertise has become more prominent as the business has grown and become more recognized in South Wales for its software success with investment companies and professionals, not only in North America but around the world. Charlotte represents Bipsync on the Cardiff University Student Futures advisory board where she directly inputs into employability initiatives that help prepare students for the demands and opportunities within the world of work.
Unlike other employers, Bipsync committed to policies like unlimited leave, wellbeing perks and flexible and remote working opportunities long before the pandemic forced their hand. “We’ve had things like genuine flexibility and unlimited leave for so long now – since the very start of the business in fact – and this is deeply embedded into our culture. We actively encourage people to take time out for the sake of their mental wellbeing and work-life balance, and not think of PTO as a limited pool with a minimum or maximum. It reduces risk of burnout, protecting individuals and the whole team. We’re believers in effort over hours, encouraging employees to work when they feel like they can accomplish the most. We organize everything to reflect our belief and trust in our people so they do well and we all gain.”
According to Charlotte, that means recognizing that people are different (diversity and inclusion is very important at Bipsync), appreciating the impact difference has on our teams, and that individuals want and are motivated by different things – and the benefits package has to reflect that.
“You know what’s right for you, so we put you in control. For our UK-based employees that includes high-tech equipment and a home office budget as well as private medical cover (in the US, the wellbeing package is optimized toward extensive health insurance coverage). We know that wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and don’t pretend to know all the things that make you happy – like with discounts to a mandated restaurant chain, or gifts of wine, beer or spa days you might not want – so we give you carte blanche to choose from a ‘wellbeing marketplace’ and top-up your credits every month.”
Recognizing different priorities
“Also, our family-friendly policies support anyone with caring responsibilities. It should be a given nowadays that employers can identify when parents need to work flexibly around childcare and school drop offs. We go further to ensure all other employees with grandparents, relatives and even pets aren’t stopped from being enabled in the same way.
We listen hard to what individuals at Bipsync tell us their priorities are and we are very conscious of self-reviewing HR policies we thought were brilliant to see if they really turn out to be valuable. Employee feedback is regularly sought and acted upon – everyone’s opinion counts; we all play at the same volume.”
Surely, amid all this apparent joy and fulfillment, is the serious business of getting work done, meeting deadlines and supporting business success?
“A Bipsync day is about more than just getting work out the door. We value trust, respect, delight, and most importantly, a positive and supportive environment where we can thrive together. If that approach wasn’t ultimately successful, we’d have found out by now! The results speak for themselves. That’s part and parcel of the environment we create, where taking responsibility, contributing ideas and focusing on the performance of the company are paramount. It’s incredibly important for Bipsync to be a safe place where people can speak up, share when they need help and let us equip them to stay happy and healthy.”