Jan 29th 2021

Super startups spotlight on… OpenMoney

SUPERPOWER: Financial power to the people

From modern healthcare to smart FinTech and everything in between, we recently pulled together a list of the Manchester startups raising the tempo in 2021. The Tempo team researched hundreds of companies, each with their own stand-out superpower.

When it comes to work perks OpenMoney does it right, making their place at number 5 as one of Manchester’s best companies to work for is well deserved. We sat down with Clair Staines, Group Head Of People, to find out more about why this is such a great place to work. 

Hi Clair, for starters, please can you tell us why OpenMoney is such a great place to work?

It’s the people, above anything else. We have had nineteen new starters join us in the last quarter of 2020 and when I have meetings to ask how they are getting on they’ve all said how great everyone has been across the board. 

We are all so passionate about our mission of making financial advice affordable for all. This has resulted in everyone being on the same wavelength, and therefore everyone has full autonomy, flexibility, and is treated like an adult. Each person at OpenMoney is responsible for their own destiny and what part they can play. 

How have you maintained success for OpenMoney during Covid and a new way of working?

We have always had a flexible working from home culture. But with this becoming more long-term, we ran training sessions on how to work from home effectively. In May we did ‘mindful May’ focusing on helping people with their mental wellfare. 

With us being in the finance industry we have the option to stay open, however, we decided to stay closed for safety. Our offices are in a shared space, and so our people still have the option to work from there if it’s difficult at home. We also regularly share lockdown videos to keep morale high and to keep in touch with what everyone has been up to. 

What’s the company culture like at OpenMoney and do you see it changing much in the future? 

Our company culture comes largely from our values: Play your part | Positive perseverance | Do the right thing. We are a startup team that has a variety of skill sets, and the success of our company comes from bringing these different skills to the table and using them to work together as a team. We want to give people the autonomy to be their best selves. 

Whatever roadmap is laid out, whatever challenges are thrown our way, we know our ultimate goal – affordable financial advice for everyone. We also know where our focus lies, and that is ultimately at the heart of everything we do. 

Another one of our big cultural focuses is diversity and inclusion. We want our people to represent who our customers are and so we are a diverse team that means we all have our own different approaches to things – and that will never change. 

You touched a bit on diversity just now and as you know, this has been a big year for Black Lives Matter. How have you approached diversity and inclusion as a business?  

We actually started to approach this at the beginning of 2020. We had one of our apprentices present to our office all about diversity and inclusion in the workplace – which was amazing. 

We believe that diversity in the workplace starts right from how you attract and onboard new talent. If you attract a diverse group of people then they will bring with them their individual ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. And we have such a diverse team that does just that. 

We are continuously trying to have an inclusive culture in everything that we do. This year we are launching a cultural calendar that celebrates all different religious and non-religious holidays. Our marketing and senior leadership team are also taking a fresh look to see if we are doing our best to represent our customers with diverse talent. We want to make clear that there is no bias in our business.  

Sounds like you’ve got some good initiatives in place. What processes do you have in place for learning and development? 

We have memberships with several professional bodies, which offer online learning for our people. We have a clear path to promotion and budget is set aside for all areas to support the development and growth of our people at OpenMoney. 

We have also put in place a partnership between the learning and development and the cultural side of things. That way if people are interested in other parts of the business then we can help with the transition into something different. We want to keep the best talent within the business and to help everyone perform at their best using the skills that they have, which greatly enhances our people’s engagement.

For us, learning and development also take place in different forms to just an online course. It happens on a day-to-day basis. For example, we have innovation days within some departments where you partner with people across the business to complete a task, thinking about key challenges in a different way.

How do you plan on maintaining your company culture as you grow as a business? 

Our work environment already has strong foundations in place, with people who believe in them and want to maintain them. It all starts with recruitment, recruitment is key. From attracting the right talent to the first interview right through to onboarding. It’s all about setting the tone from the beginning in terms of what we expect an OpenMoney person to be.

As we grow our thought process will not change. We treat people like adults here and allow full autonomy in how you work – if someone takes advantage they are not the right fit for us. 

With 2021 being a year of high growth, what advice do you have for those who will be applying to OpenMoney careers? 

We want people to be themselves and be comfortable. You’re not in a silo here doing one thing, we want people who are thinkers and innovators about the product or service, which is the same in a lot of startup roles. 

Thank you for your time. It’s been great to hear about all the exciting initiatives you have in place and it looks like you are set to hit the ground running this year. 

Head over here to check out the other of Manchester’s best companies to work for in 2021. Otherwise, stay tuned for our next deep dive into Manchester’s top startups.