SwiftKey

Hidden mission statement
http://www.swiftkey.net

Officially a Very Good
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Officially a World Class
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Best Company to work for in the UK
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ACCORDING TO ITS co-founder Ben Medlock, the best thing about SwiftKey is “building things that blow people's minds”. Medlock, who is also chief technology officer at this London-based firm, has helped turn its “magical word-prediction technology” into a global business selling mobile apps that autocorrect and predict words. Founded in 2008, the new entry has 95 employees in the UK, with 41 joining in the past year. Its people believe the firm is driven by more than profit (they give it a top-10, 85% positive score) and that it makes a difference to the world (83%) — by saving mobile-phone users billions of keystrokes. The other co-founder, chief executive Jon Reynolds, hit on the concept as a 22-year-old graduate trainee for the British government, when he would watch colleagues struggling to type on tiny keyboards. He enlisted his friend Medlock, who has a doctorate in language-based artificial intelligence, and they soon expanded from their bedrooms to a worldwide market with the bestselling Android phone keyboard and a service for iPads and iPhones. Software engineers earn around £47,000 a year, everyone has share options and they each get a free phone or tablet once they are through their probation period, so the staff feel they are fairly recompensed for their responsibilities (78%).

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

93% of staff agreed

I believe I can make a valuable contribution to the success of this organisation

In 2011 SwiftKey introduced special effort awards. These are peer nominated awards made to employees who have 'gone the extra mile', for example to meet a demanding deadline or just for a job extremely well done. There are no restrictions on who can nominate who; SwiftKey wanted to encourage wide adoption of the scheme and a culture in which all employees think about how they can recognise the contributions of their peers, whether 'junior' or 'senior' to them and whether part of the same department or a different department. All nominations do require at least one seconder, to ensure that they are appropriate for the scheme and to prevent unfair bias. They believe the scheme is both unique and effective because it doesn't rely on a restricted or formulaic choice of gift (such as a cash bonus or shopping vouchers). They get to know their employees and their personal interests and values, so that they can select a well-considered gift that's particularly meaningful to them. This also encourages people to nominate their colleagues, because they know that the gifts are carefully selected. Examples of gifts that they have previously given are jazz show tickets for a music fan; a copy of a hard-to-find author-published book on 'Arch Linux' for an enthusiastic software engineer; a hamper of locally brewed beers for a CAMRA member; and a 'go pro' camera for a tech enthusiast who's always got a new geeky project on the go.

Personal Growth

95% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

In 2011 SwiftKey introduced special effort awards. These are peer nominated awards made to employees who have 'gone the extra mile', for example to meet a demanding deadline or just for a job extremely well done. There are no restrictions on who can nominate who; SwiftKey wanted to encourage wide adoption of the scheme and a culture in which all employees think about how they can recognise the contributions of their peers, whether 'junior' or 'senior' to them and whether part of the same department or a different department. All nominations do require at least one seconder, to ensure that they are appropriate for the scheme and to prevent unfair bias. They believe the scheme is both unique and effective because it doesn't rely on a restricted or formulaic choice of gift (such as a cash bonus or shopping vouchers). They get to know their employees and their personal interests and values, so that they can select a well-considered gift that's particularly meaningful to them. This also encourages people to nominate their colleagues, because they know that the gifts are carefully selected. Examples of gifts that they have previously given are jazz show tickets for a music fan; a copy of a hard-to-find author-published book on 'Arch Linux' for an enthusiastic software engineer; a hamper of locally brewed beers for a CAMRA member; and a 'go pro' camera for a tech enthusiast who's always got a new geeky project on the go.

Leadership

93% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

In 2011 SwiftKey introduced special effort awards. These are peer nominated awards made to employees who have 'gone the extra mile', for example to meet a demanding deadline or just for a job extremely well done. There are no restrictions on who can nominate who; SwiftKey wanted to encourage wide adoption of the scheme and a culture in which all employees think about how they can recognise the contributions of their peers, whether 'junior' or 'senior' to them and whether part of the same department or a different department. All nominations do require at least one seconder, to ensure that they are appropriate for the scheme and to prevent unfair bias. They believe the scheme is both unique and effective because it doesn't rely on a restricted or formulaic choice of gift (such as a cash bonus or shopping vouchers). They get to know their employees and their personal interests and values, so that they can select a well-considered gift that's particularly meaningful to them. This also encourages people to nominate their colleagues, because they know that the gifts are carefully selected. Examples of gifts that they have previously given are jazz show tickets for a music fan; a copy of a hard-to-find author-published book on 'Arch Linux' for an enthusiastic software engineer; a hamper of locally brewed beers for a CAMRA member; and a 'go pro' camera for a tech enthusiast who's always got a new geeky project on the go.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

List Positions

National Ranking
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54
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54
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