Director of assessment Dr George Sik, of Best Employers co-founders eras ltd, reflects on how the company’s culture of teamwork has brought out the best in its employees during the pandemic.

There is no doubt that the last couple of years have brought with them many challenges and uncertainties for all organisations, and here at eras we have felt them acutely. However, sometimes the most difficult of times can bring out the best in people and our team spirit has been instrumental in helping us pull through the pandemic.

At eras we provide psychometric tools for the workplace, aptitude tests and personality questionnaires (many will be familiar with our flagship product, The Quest Profiler®) which our clients use in selection and recruitment, as well as team building and the development of existing employees.

Our office is in Diss on the Norfolk/Suffolk border but, because our products are largely administered online, our reach extends across the UK and, increasingly, across the world. People have found themselves using our Psychometric Portal®, which also includes job analysis and 360° assessment tools, in India, Australia, Canada and many other countries.

Of course, one of the things we provide is the survey used in the Best Employers Eastern Region programme with its emphasis on culture, values, engagement and – particularly recently – wellbeing. We were co-founders, with Pure Resourcing, of the initiative.

This year, the award for the Most Improved Organisation was named the Alex Pearce Award in honour of our colleague who started the ball rolling a decade ago and whose loss in 2020 shocked and saddened us all.

This event, on top of the pandemic, was felt very deeply but it is how we have reacted to it as an organisation that I have found heartening and inspiring. Teamwork has always been a value high on our agenda and the way that we have come together to readjust and to keep going in the spirit that Alex would have wanted speaks volumes about our approach.

Customer Focus was also always a big part of our makeup and, recognising that many of our clients had got to know Alex personally, we were able to reassure them that his approach and his spirit would not be forgotten.

Like many organisations recently, home working has become the norm for many of our team, but video calls and conferencing were adopted so readily that I can honestly say that I ‘see’ more of the team now than I ever did before.

Training our clients to be proficient in the use of tests and questionnaires is also now done remotely and the reaction has been extremely positive: no more long journeys and infuriating traffic – and there is a greater intimacy during discussion than can be achieved in a conference room.

Our clients have also been happy to adapt – some very brave delegates on the other side of the Atlantic agreed to four days of 9am starts which, for them, were at four in the morning!

Sometimes it is in adversity that people’s true qualities shine through, and I couldn’t be prouder of my colleagues at eras for demonstrating this so vividly.

The Best Employers programme was founded by recruitment specialists Pure and psychometrics experts eras, and is supported by Archant and full-service law firm Birketts.