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People & Team


We proved culture beats budget to hold on to our staff

Small businesses, like Hannah Dawson’s, need to be creative to find and retain the best staff

The problem

London-based company Futrli found it challenging to retain staff as a young business in the technology market. Its competitors are often bigger and with larger budgets for wages and training, which proved a “huge draw” for staff.

The solution

The first step for Futrli was to make sure it was offering sufficient opportunities for staff development. The company started holding regular “pulse” surveys to gauge what employees felt was missing. Surveys were done anonymously, so staff had a safe space to be honest about what they were looking for.

The next step was to implement a structured training and development programme at the company. It helped to make sure training was regular and consistent, rather than something the company did once or twice a year. Futrli also made sure staff had access to mentorship opportunities, both internal and external.

For founder Hannah Dawson, it was particularly important that the management team had everything they needed to approach responsibilities in the right way. Futrli held dedicated management training sessions and implemented a schedule of regular one-to-ones between management and staff. It meant there were “no surprises” when it came to staff development – each employee’s manager would know where they wanted to evolve to in the company and could support them in getting there.

The results

In the last two years, Futrli has grown rapidly. The company now employs 100 staff members – 97 per cent more staff than in 2017. In the last financial year, it achieved 46 per cent revenue growth.

Dawson believes its attitude to people management and personal development has helped Futrli to build a skilled, dedicated team who are driving sustainable growth for the company.

“Ultimately, we want our staff to achieve more,” Dawson said. “Whether it’s training and development opportunities or mentorship – you name it, we’ll provide it. And we want to keep the door open for our staff to grow into other roles they might be passionate about. It’s so important to keep staff happy, engaged, and constantly learning and progressing.”

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