Back in February, in a pre-COVID-19 world, when jumping on a plane from Melbourne was the norm and working from home was a novelty, Paul Woods from Evolution Business Systems joined us on the podcast for a bit of a chat. Paul gave us the rundown on what motivated him to start his own business, and how he fosters a great working culture by tailoring benefits to the unique needs of individuals.
Paul, originally from New Zealand, started his career as an industrial chemist, but disliked the repetitious nature of lab work and found himself looking for a career change. After joining an accounting firm by chance, Paul found he enjoyed the work but was frustrated by a company culture he couldn’t control. It was the desire to create a great workplace that inspired Paul to branch out on his own and so in 2001, Evolution Business Systems, a Microsoft Dynamics ERP partner, was born.
Paul is of the opinion that if you make the job and working environment as collaborative as possible then good results will come naturally.
At EBS, they encourage every employee at every level to get involved in innovation and problem-solving - Paul acknowledges that some of the best business ideas have come from unexpected places due to the open dialogue EBS has encouraged in the workplace.
The team at EBS keeps things fun by doing daily workouts together; these workouts are completely voluntary but the team has grown close because of them. Paul believes that it’s this focus on health and mental wellbeing that has contributed to a 17% drop in absenteeism.
Different people want and need different things; it’s that simple. Paul says that tailoring workplace benefits around what EBS staff value at an individual level, has been crucial when it comes to being able to attract and retain great talent. One size does not fit all when it comes to benefits. Working mums, for example, may need more flexibility around how many hours they put in and when they work. By being receptive to individual needs, EBS has been able to compete with large organisations when it comes to snapping up great hires.
Paul places a strong emphasis on hiring based on shared values and connection. Hard skills and experience are very important in such a technical environment but Paul has found that for the right candidate, a knowledge gap isn’t always a big deal. EBS is happy to invest time in some training for the right person, but a great attitude and shared values are a little harder to instil.
We hope this episode brings some inspiration for a fun work culture. Just a reminder for context, this episode was recorded back in February. If you’d like to hear more about Evolution Business Systems, Paul’s story, and the famous office dog, Mr Popcorn, check out the latest episode of The Pay Off Podcast.
Here at KeyPay, our thoughts are with Paul and EBS team as they navigate their way through the current pandemic which has been particularly unkind to Melbournians.