Five minutes with Rachel Clacher
Rachel Clacher is the founder of Moneypenny, the world’s leading provider of telephone answering, live chat and customer service solutions. Based out of Wrexham in Wales, the company connects talented people to cutting-edge technology to ensure great customer contact for clients across the world.
Having recently expanded to the US, we talk to Rachel about holding on to talent, building the perfect workplace and creating opportunities for ambitious young women through the company charity, WeMindTheGap.
Describe your organisation's purpose
Moneypenny wants to consolidate its world leading position by being an integral part of every customer-focused organisation in the UK and the US. Our 24-hour service allows our clients to have amazing conversations with their customers. By giving companies of any size the chance to engage with customers in the best ways possible while being ‘always-on’ we play a part in democratizing business – and we provide the tools to do it.
We also run a charity called ‘We Mind the Gap’, which provides under-served young women with opportunities in work they may otherwise not have the opportunity to access. We offer traineeships, work experience and mentoring to give women a chance to get into any line of work they want to.
Our belief that people should have opportunities regardless of background, and our actions to make sure that it happens give a sense of purpose to everything we do.
How would you describe the culture at your organisation and how do you maintain it?
The key culture aspect is honesty. It runs through everything Moneypenny does. We are constantly communicating with everyone in the organisation so that we can keep them updated and no one is left out of the loop. For example, when we completed a recent acquisition, we told everyone the news – no matter their role – at the same time.
We hold real conversations with the people who work here, speaking openly about what the business wants to achieve and listening to everyone’s advice. By doing so, we are able to learn from our people and turn their ideas into positive action for the business.
What is the main thing that attracts and retains talent in your organisation?
We recruit based on attitude so anyone with the right attitude can find a home here. We don’t necessarily seek out people who have in-depth knowledge of what we do, because we know they will gain that naturally by working here. We can provide people with the skills to succeed in our organisation – but we cannot always change their attitudes.
We employ more than 600 people from a wide-range of backgrounds, all with different skillsets and different experience. We’re a growing company and growth naturally attracts more talent.
In terms of talent retention – this is something we manage by trusting our people to do the right thing and providing them with useful resources. We also have a strong internal recruitment mechanism and provide real career progression opportunities.
That’s not to mention our incredible office building. Set in 11-acres of beautiful woodland and designed by our team, the space has a hugely positive impact on how our people work. It’s really a manifestation of our culture – welcoming and friendly.
What has been the biggest challenge to your growth and how have you tackled it?
It can be difficult to describe what we do, so we always start by communicating the benefits we can provide. Until someone sits alongside our teams and sees them in action, it can be hard to understand, so we encourage that to happen as soon as possible in client relationships.
If we could bottle up the capabilities and culture of our company and give it out then that would help our growth enormously. It’s definitely something we’re working towards achieving.
How does your organisation prepare for the future world of work?
We’re working with Microsoft and IBM Watson at the moment to find new ways for AI to improve our offerings.
I passionately believe human contact will always the gold standard for customer service: there is a real opportunity to offer digital solutions for less complicated issues, while still being able to roll out the red carpet with people solutions when necessary.
What does a vibrant economy mean to you?
A vibrant economy is an ecosystem where individuals and organisations have the chance to thrive and do good business.
Good business doesn’t just refer to just ‘doing deals’, but delivering social good at the same time. Businesses have a responsibility to the communities they are a part of. Our work with ‘We Mind the Gap’ and the support and pride of our Moneypenny team proves time and again that a vibrant economy is built by giving as many people as possible opportunities to grow.