The positive ethos of animation studios salamandra.uk CEO, Christine MacKay, is paving the way for other SMEs during these difficult economic times. Christine puts her staff and their ambition to innovate and experiment before profit which she believes has led to 20 awards and nominations this year alone ranging from featuring in f:Entrepreneurs #ialso 100 to film festival awards from all around the globe. One of the most recent successes will see salamandra.uk celebrated on Small Business Saturday, December 5th, having earned a spot on their #SmallBiz100 campaign.
With all of the restrictions surrounding COVID-19, causing many businesses to close up shop, support from campaigns such as Small Business Saturday provides a well-needed air of positivity and support which salamandra.uk is overjoyed to be part of and its company ethos sings a perfect harmony to the SmallBiz100 community song. Being wonderfully passionate about the versatility of animation and its value, particularly for Business as well as for Entertainment, CEO Christine revels in being able to share her infatuation with others and would like to introduce all sized businesses including SMEs to this medium to show how they can convey their complex messages quickly and succinctly on any platform.
“It all starts with company culture. We are a lizardy lot of parrot tamers and shark divers, narrowboat natives and dragon keepers who all live by the company values that we created together. I really do pride myself on learning what makes my talented team tick… and it seems to work! Let me reassure any fellow business owners, it’s not been easy!”. –
As Small Business Saturday approaches, we would like to celebrate @glamavan as part of our #smallbiz100. They provide a mobile service for children’s pamper parties, slumber parties and eco-friendly glitter bar hire for weddings, parties & events. pic.twitter.com/GQEsjPfs45
— SmallBizSatUK (@SmallBizSatUK) December 1, 2020
Christine firmly believes that employees should feel like a crucial part of the team from the second they step through the doors at salamandra.uk’s lizard lounge. She notes that for any business to be successful and produce real innovation, the employees must enjoy their work, contribute and collaborate and that communicating a business’ core values that reflect this, should be a focal point in your business strategy. At salamandra.uk, the whole team lives by its main core values, every day, reflecting on how to work, be perceived and attract like-minded talent and clients. They defined these innovative core values together as a team, deliberating over which wording portrayed them and the company’s raison d’etre most accurately. Check them out here: https://www.salamandra.uk/about on their brand new website which launched this November.
Success at the lounge is always celebrated, from little wins to birthdays and award nominations. Salamandra.uk keeps track of film festivals throughout the year so that they can nominate a team member’s work and celebrate recognition on a grander scale. They’ve now been recognised at business awards and film festivals alike including Cardiff Animation Festival, The Orlando International Film Festival, SME News: Business Elite Awards 2020, The Lift-Off Sessions, The Latitude Film Festival, The PM Digital Society, The Best Business Women Awards, The LA Independent Shorts Award and The LA Indie Short Festival.
This is how Christine has grown salamandra.uk into an award-winning, multi-studio business, however, she also believes it’s about finding the best innovative ways to gel your team together for the benefit of your specific clients, your specific employees and your specific business. Christine believes the benefits of building your business using this ethos include:
Higher staff retention rates. It is expensive to hire new employees and it is extremely time-consuming. By nurturing your staff and supporting their continuous learning, not only will they stick around for longer enabling you to build long-lasting relationships but they will be motivated to develop within your company. In the words of Richard Branson, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to”.
It makes communication between team members more efficient. Having a trusting relationship with your colleagues will allow them to communicate with more ease and more effectively thus improving productivity.
Less risk of ‘burnout’. Keeping communication flowing between team members and company owners reduces the risk of burnout by opening up channels for them to tell the owner if they are struggling. Burnout can induce a variety of health and physical symptoms as well as reducing work performance and creativity so ensuring your employees are coping well is a benefit for all and reflects in the work delivered.
Your employees will engage more with company life. Having an employee first policy encourages employees to get involved, with a ‘no question is stupid’ policy and thus strengthens your brand and reputation in the market.
Staff are more productive. This one is an obvious one but it is also the biggest benefit of finding innovative ways to create an employee first strategy at your company.
Salamandra.uk uses innovation every day for award-winning client work and within their corporate culture.
“The bottom line is that you would not have a company or product if it wasn’t for your employees. Nurture your team. Value them. Celebrate them. Success, reputation and satisfaction will follow.”
– Christine MacKay