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Jenny Kitchen: How To Create a Great Environment for Your Employees

On today’s podcast we talk with Jenny Kitchen, MD of Yoyo Design, a company specialising in designing digital solutions so that every brand can tell its own story and create a genuine user engagement.

Jenny was crowned Young Business Person of the Year for 2016 at the RTW Business Awards, as one of the top 30 under 30 women in Digital by The Drum, young business leader of the year and recognized by BIMA as one of the Hot 100 in digital for the past 3 years—all for her incredible achievement growing Yoyo. 

But since winning, she hasn’t sat back on her laurels, instead she has channeled her energy into growing the business further, making sure all Yoyo clients are happy, but more importantly, making sure that the team she has created and molded are motivated, inspired, driven and delivering work that is considered and beautifully presented. 

On today’s podcast:

  • How Yoyo Design has grown so quickly to become one of the UK’s leading digital agencies.
  • Why she became MD out of all three business partners.
  • How to measure being a great place to work.
  • How to find and attract new employees.
  • How to come back from maternity or paternity leave.
  • How to be a better business owner by embracing flexible working.
  • Why the myth of having it all, is just that, a myth.

Links:

Jenny Kitchen was named as one of the top 30 under 30 women in Digital by The Drum, young business leader of the year, and recognized by BIMA as one of the Hot 100 in digital for the past 3 years. This is because of her extraordinary efforts to grow her digital design agency, Yoyo Design, to become one of the UK’s leading digital agencies. Jenny is one of the three founding partners and was appointed MD due to her phenomenal drive and vision to expand the agency. 

Not only is Jenny passionate about ensuring the service Yoyo provide to each and every client is top notch, but she is incredibly proud of her team she has curated and molded to provide this wonderful service to their clients. 

She shares with us her top tips for ensuring every business is the best it can be and how to get the most out of your employees. 

Have a purpose

The purpose at Yoyo is threefold:

  1. Create incredible work.
  2. Deliver incredible client service.
  3. Build somewhere that people want to come to, to work. 

These are the drivers that keep their business together, ensuring it runs smoothly and keeping it on its growth trajectory.

Find a way to measure happiness at work

  • At Yoyo, they enter employment awards and use their ranking as benchmarks.
  • They focus their attention on maintaining their purpose and ensure they create lots of conversation around it. 
  • They also make sure that everyone who works at Yoyo provides feedback through their twice monthly town hall meetings. 
  • They also use Officevibe, an online platform, to gauge general feeling in the office. By keeping track of how the employees feel about working at Yoyo, Jenny can tell instantly if there is something not right.  

Find and attract great employees

Yoyo struggled initially deciding where to set their offices up, but settled on Tunbridge Wells as they are able to capture a different type of worker to those in London. 

People who live in Tunbridge Wells are at a different stage of their life and are looking to work for a local business, one where they feel they are contributing and like they are a part of the organisation, rather than just an employee. 

Be a flexible employer

Jenny has experienced first hand how tough it was to go back to work after the birth of her first child. She felt she had to prove her capability and her worth. But second time round, she returned to work on her terms, taking meetings at her house and ensuring neither work nor her family missed out. 

Flexibility and understanding is required with employees who are parents. The ambition and motivation is still there, it’s just that they need a bit of flexibility to make it work and make nursery drop off and pick up. 

Book recommendations: 

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