Supporting the team’s career development: The BioStrata approach

22 June 2023| by Lauren Barham

BioStrata team development

In today's professional landscape, investing in employee career progression is crucial for a company's success. This investment does more than just create a skilled workforce — it cultivates a culture of trust, loyalty, and mutual respect. By fostering continuous learning and creating opportunities for advancement, employers can unlock their teams' full potential to drive the company's growth and elevate the entire organisation.

As echoed by the Society for Human Resource Management, providing robust career development opportunities can stimulate productivity, bolster employee retention, and create a pool of qualified talent ready to step up when opportunities arise. As a proactive and forward-thinking organisation, BioStrata recognises this and crafts an environment that promotes continuous learning and career growth.

At BioStrata, we’ve made it no secret that our people are our number one priority. We recognise that each team member brings unique skills and talents that not only shape our collective identity but also drive our shared success. To help our team unlock their full potential, we’re committed to creating a culture that nurtures talent and promotes career development. We believe that this is key to fostering engagement, motivation, and productivity — all crucial to our mutual success.

In this blog post, we delve into how BioStrata's recent initiatives (which contributed to us being shortlisted for ‘Best Employee Development Programme (Agency)’ at the 2023 UK Company Culture Awards) are empowering our team's career growth, and how we plan to continue our proactive approach towards employee development.


Our “people-first” approach

Unlike the high-pressure and rapid pace typically linked with agency environments, our goal is to challenge the “norm” by consistently prioritising our people. All the decisions we make are driven by the best interests of our team members.

Our unique “3Ps” business model, centred on People, Purpose, and Profit (in this order), manifests our belief that by supporting our People, we can fulfil our Purpose and generate the Profits needed to invest further in our team's growth.

Our aim is to attract and retain individuals who truly resonate with our core values and mission to bring 100 game-changing scientific impacts to market by 2030. We aim to provide each member of our team with opportunities to reach their full potential, do great work together and enjoy themselves doing it.

Our commitment to career development is rooted in the understanding that a motivated team is a productive team. By ensuring our people are constantly developing, we empower them to provide exceptional service to our clients. The shared passion, energy, and knowledge of our team propel our mission to make the world a better place.


Recent improvements to our career development initiatives

While we already had a number of career development initiatives already in place, including four paid days for learning and development and two paid days for volunteering for each person, we knew we could do more, so, last year we launched a new employee development programme. The new programme aligns individual goals with business objectives, and puts more emphasis on skill and career development. By doing so, we can foster greater engagement and motivation within the workforce.


A time shift in our appraisal system

Historically, we've run an annual employee performance appraisal programme. As part of our agency operating system (EOS), we work in 90-day stints. This means that every quarter, we set company-wide and department-specific goals. As part of our new employee development programme, we decided to align our appraisals with this system, with the aim of keeping conversations around personal development constant and current. By checking in on our team's performance development more regularly, we can ensure that we're doing everything we can to support them.

Introduction of the Individual Development Plan

We've also introduced a new tool called the Individual Development Plan (IDP). This is designed to help everyone identify professional and personal development goals and break these down into actionable priorities. The IDP sets a motivating long-term career vision, outlines quarterly goals, identifies challenges and solutions, and prioritises training and development in line with the agency's priorities.

Rethinking our bonus scheme

We also restructured our bonus scheme, removing the personal performance component without affecting the overall bonus potential. This change encourages team members to contribute to the business's success while striving for personal excellence without fearing bonus loss.

Measuring the success of these initiatives

Our People and Culture Manager, Caroline uses anonymous quarterly engagement surveys to collect feedback from the team. The insights gained from these surveys help us understand our team's needs better, and tells us what they do and don’t like about our systems, processes and initiatives, which enables us to create personalised plans for career growth and adapt our offerings as needed.

"I think the difference of BioStrata is that care that the leaders have for the whole team. You know that they're obviously focused on running a successful business that delivers a top-level service to clients, but they also really do care about each and every one of us within the team, and it's been proven time and time again since I’ve been here."
- Jo Butler, Senior Account Director

Watch the video below to hear more from Jo and other team members about career development at BioStrata.



A nurturing environment that prioritises your professional growth

BioStrata's dedication to career development is a fundamental aspect of our culture. As we continue to strive towards our long-term company goals, we remain committed to enhancing our career development initiatives to ensure our team feels empowered and valued. We understand that each individual has unique career goals and learning styles, so our approach is flexible and adaptive.

At BioStrata, we believe that fostering a culture of continuous learning and career development is key to our success. We will continue to prioritise our team's professional growth, cultivating an environment where everyone feels motivated to pursue their career aspirations.

If you're looking for a company that genuinely cares about your career growth, we invite you to consider joining our team. At BioStrata, we are committed to creating a supportive environment that prioritises career development. We believe that by investing in our people's professional growth, we can all contribute to making the world a better place.

Learn more about working at BioStrata