How are our most successful clients winning in 2021?

Posted 30/6/2021 by Benet Hanley

Talking to our Semiconductor and Photonics clients over the past few months what stands out is the impressive resilience that has been demonstrated by all the companies we have spoken to. So how are our most successful clients winning in 2021?


  • How do you develop technology ideas into money making products whilst growing a team all whilst navigating the changes to the rules of operation imposed due to a global pandemic? 
  • How do you look after your personal and your staff’s mental wellbeing whilst observing so much pressure on your family, friends, community, industry and all those within your business? 
  • How do you progress out of these challenges?

Here is what our top clients are doing to succeed in 2021.

1) Culture and communication
Those companies who have built and created a culture of loyalty, transparency and trust are winning.  For example, implementing the following strategies:

•    Monday morning, all hands meeting, just a quick touchpoint at 09:15 to give people a chance to get a cup of coffee and then start their PC at 9:15. With everyone having to have their video on this sets a tone of people being present and encourages everyone.

•    Weekly 1-2-1's – gives everyone an opportunity to speak and be heard. Keeps communication lines open. 

•    Leadership meeting every Friday at 17:00. Sometimes it’s work-related celebrating the wins of the week. Sometimes it's looking at somebody’s chickens in the garden to have a little bit of levity within the work scenario.

•    Monthly business update to all staff detailing the finances, the business plan and being clear from top to bottom where the company is.

•    Quarterly online events including virtual Christmas dinner.

2a) Mental Health
Those with younger teams found that mental health has been a key concern and have made efforts to address this and support people.

Clients have worked on mental health and physical wellbeing programs for their staff including lunchtime online Pilates classes, health and wellness sessions and worked hard with staff to understand and achieve a work/life balance that is suited to them as individuals.

One client has trained up to five of their colleagues on mental health first aid or mental health awareness.

Numerous companies have engaged in the many social healthy living initiatives from couch to 5k running, open water swimming, cycle challenges and walking challenges.

2b)Handling Holidays

It's been difficult because some people who have furloughed had built up holiday entitlement, and then they didn't take holidays. So, when a holiday year is concluded, some people had a lot of holidays. We have spoken to companies who have allowed people to carry over as much as 20 days where normally it would be 5 days from one year to the next. 

The other key has been encouraging people to take their holidays including and especially in leadership positions to set a time that holidays should be taken. It is about positive encouragement that work is important, but so is not working and doing stuff with your family and leaving the office/work headspace.

3) Adapting and adjusting to the needs and demands of workforce flexible working
Adapting to staff views

One of the most consistent themes has been companies adapting practices and policies to consider changing views on work practices and taking in staff opinion on this.

One client has held a review with all staff and agreed a 3-month trial of new flexible working options that allow staff to choose to work from home when they wish. How this is to be reported and tracked. Agree requirements for being in office for team meetings and set events.

A number of companies have held health and safety assessments of all staff’s homework space and provided set up support where needed.

Clients have worked hard to communicate and survey their staff leading to reviews of working practices and establishing and trialling new rules on working practices.

4) Getting ready for return to office
All companies had to make adjustments to their offices to be compliant for covid-19 rules a lot of health and safety work has been carried out in terms of workspace separation; masks on and hand sanitiser stations. Reduced capacity offices reducing capacity anywhere from 40% to 60%. Manufacturing sites changing shift patterns and offices going to a schedule with people in 2-3 days a week. 

It is clear that if companies and leaders take care of these 3 areas: Communication (includes listening), Health and Wellbeing, Adapting and adjusting to staff needs they are significantly on the right path to success

There are two other areas that came through in all the conversations we had.

Sales - it is clear that sales is key and we are seeing companies gear up their sales teams and adding sales resource and people to their businesses now.

Recruitment - There are certain key skills which are obviously rarer in the market and because people have been more reticent to move through Covid, there's a pent-up demand and I think for some of those key skills salary levels are quite a lot higher than they would have been 18 months or two years ago. The feeling seems to be that it always comes around to getting the right people in the door and even if you have to pay more for the right person the consideration seems to be that's generally the right thing to do. 

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland and the UK. Check out our blog page for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us or call us on + 44 131 510 8150


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