Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend time at Sky Central, Sky’s main hub in Osterley, outside of London. I was there to shoot a video about Sky’s experience with Glint and how it helps them listen to their people and inform their long-term strategy—an exciting testimonial for Glint from one of Europe’s foremost thought leaders in workplace happiness. What I experienced was so much more than that.

Sky Central is an amazing, energetic place. The campus is a 45-minute tube ride from the center of London and absolutely beautiful, an enormous open workspace featuring levels of open mezzanines connected via ramps and stairs, in what amounts to “connective tissue” between workspace “neighborhoods.” 

The grounds boast a list of amenities that would show up even the most legendary of Silicon Valley technology company real estate: The recently renovated space features a wide number of “canteens” (dining areas), a fitness center, a salon, impeccable landscaping, and even a market for purchasing groceries and mid-day goodies.

I was admiring all these exciting and creative amenities for employees when I saw something even cooler: Over the main “street,” in the heart of the workspace of thousands of people, was the Sky news studio—an enormous, freestanding glass box from which Sky news is broadcast live throughout the day. I couldn’t have dreamt this place up. (Don’t just take my word for it; Sky Central was granted the top spot in the British Council for Offices’ Corporate Workplace Award in 2017 for a “truly unique and dynamic working environment.”)

A People-Centric Workplace

Although Sky’s work environment is, indeed, truly unique and dynamic, what struck me the most about it was something more underlying: Sky is a people-centric workplace in every sense of the word. It’s a place fully committed to the happiness and success of its people—and this was immediately apparent to me from the moment I set foot on campus. 

Here’s how I know:

  1. The physical workspace is designed to promote employee happiness. Not only is Sky Central filled with impressive perks, it’s made up of beautiful, organic spaces that feel intimately connected with nature—a connection that’s been proven to promote kindness, happiness, and creativity. Among abundant foliage, natural wood, and even an indoor olive tree grove are countless communal spaces where Sky employees are encouraged to hold their meetings, promoting a transparent and collaborative vibe. I was hard-pressed to find a meeting taking place in one of the few enclosed spaces sprinkled throughout campus, while the cafes and couches were packed with conferences.
  2. Their leaders understand the connection between their people and their business outcomes. While we were on campus, we interviewed five wonderful Sky spokespeople representing HR, employee engagement, sales, property services, and customer experience. Each one of these leaders was concrete in their belief that people drive the organization’s outcomes, expressing the connection between employee happiness and results such as sales metrics and NPS scores. As such, people success and business success are inextricably intertwined in everything that Sky sets out to do.
  3. As a result, the employee experience is at the forefront of leaders’ agendas. This understanding of the connection between people success and business success drives an urgency around enhancing the employee experience. This extends beyond the amenities to the organization’s strategic thinking. One representative expressed the organization’s commitment to providing its employees with technology that matches the quality and level of innovation of the technology Sky provides its customers—a primary example of Sky’s focus on employee happiness and success. Understanding how people are doing on an ongoing basis is foundational for the leaders at Sky, I learned, and they will never stop focusing on improving the happiness and success of their people.

What I heard from the employees I met with confirmed this feeling over and over again. One business leader expressed that,“Employee engagement plays a massive role in the long-term strategy at Sky.” It’s clear that the organization listens intently to the employee voice and takes action to improve. Sky is—on a daily basis—committed to creating a meaningful employee experience, no matter where employees sit (half of Sky’s workforce is remote from the main campus) or what they do.

I’m honored that Sky has partnered with Glint to accomplish this for its people and its business, and I can’t wait to share their story! Check back in a few weeks to learn how leaders at Sky are using the voice of their employees to optimize People Success and its success as an organization.