30 July 2018
30 July 2018
Make, London: Welcoming, Respectful, Trusting.
The Culture of Practice
Owned by its 157 staff, Make believes this employee-owned form of practice sets the tone for the culture of the office. “Being employee-owned makes a massive difference to the practice,” says Partner Katy Ghahremani. “We trust each other. It comes from a sense of ownership of the business.”
“Everyone gets a profit share so there is that physical evidence of the set up. All the money is dissipated out,” she adds. It is all part of what she calls the ‘Make way’ – an attitude in their values and culture which doesn’t come from a design stance but is related to the way they act towards each other.
Many of the practice’s staff, who have been based in an old car park in Fitzrovia for the last two years, have been at the firm since they were students. They tend to recruit at Part 1 and Part 2 and then they grow through the studio.
The two interviews prospective employees face test not just design ability and technical skills but also personality fit. Everyone is interviewed by the practice Founder Ken Shuttleworth himself and they all receive a welcome letter which outlines the culture of the practice before they start. Staff tend to stay at the firm for a long time with most more experienced partners having joined the studio at the very beginning.
“When people leave it is for very specific reasons like going travelling or into teaching. We don’t tend to lose people to other studios. Allowing people to grow within the studio really helps,” comments Ghahremani. “When we started we were very small. All of us had predominantly worked together before and so everyone was already embedded in the culture and understanding of the practice,” she adds.
Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers