How Engine Creative Achieved It's Best Year Yet.

Breaking Through The Growth Ceiling With Better People Practices

How Engine Creative Found Success Through
HR Consultancy

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What They Said

Matt Key, the MD of the business, explains how HR was a challenge before Wright People HR. “As the sole-owner and director of the business, and wanting to grow, I had so much on my plate in terms of generating new business, developing our IP and managing just the day-to-day, that I didn’t have time to focus on our HR.”

The Problem

In adding more people to the business over the years, the HR systems and processes had not been developed with it. More people were bringing more complexity but not having an HR expert meant that HR was not getting the attention it required. At the same time, Matt was becoming increasingly frustrated with not being able to get the right team alongside him, so he could delegate confidently some of his workload. He was starting to feel overwhelmed.

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Why Wright People HR?

“We were trying to do it ourselves – just using someone to look at the “legals” when we had a problem to make sure our decisions were compliant. It was a very reactive approach.

We wanted more of a HR function. A single point of contact and face to HR, someone who was accessible and available to the whole team, and Helen at Wright People HR provided that.

Alongside that, we realised that we needed help getting the right people in the right role, if we were to reach another level.”


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Everyone was running hard just to stay still. With the consistent cycle of winning work and delivery of work, the business had plateaued. The real growth opportunity, through Reydar, was not getting attention.

Fatigue was slipping in. And the ability to attract and retain the right people with highly sought-after technical skills-set – with the added disadvantage of being outside of London – was proving problematic. Staff turnover was becoming costly and affecting the quality of delivery, continuity of service and relationships with clients.

A different approach was needed.

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  • Engine Creative now have a HR Plan, where we help them to identify the type of people they need in what roles to meet their business objectives, including those for the development of Reydar. They understand now where they need to upskill and where they need to recruit.
  • We have introduced regular one-to-ones so that managers have regular dialogue with everyone, and the expertise to do them properly so people feel engaged. We hold managers accountable to sticking to a schedule of one-to-ones; previously they only happened when people had time, so rarely happened
  • During COVID, the one-to-one process was invaluable with the regular check-ins with people, making the transition to remote working a smooth one and ensuring  wellbeing and continued engagement 
  • The one-to-ones have resulted in action plans to upskill the team and improve their performance. The team are more energised and engaged.
  • HR is now far more pro-active. Job specification and their objectives are much clearer, which means that they’re creating better jobs ads and attracting higher calibre recruits with clear expectations of them from day one.
  • We have helped Engine Creative re-structure the leadership team, and recruit new key individuals to the team and reduce the dependency and stress on the MD.

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  • Engine Creative no longer use recruitment agencies, because of the methods introduced by us in better specifying their roles and new job advertising channels. We have saved them approximately £15K with 2 new senior appointments alone.
  • Psychometric testing of all new recruits has resulted in better recruitment decisions, meaning a better fit, greater productivity and better retention.
  • No more expensive legal costs. Less HR issues emerge with a more engaged team and, any that do, are quickly and effectively dealt with so they don’t escalate.
  • Better service and project delivery to clients has improved client satisfaction, repeat business and profitability, through having better people.
  • Capacity now exists to dedicate time to the development of Reydar, which is becoming a bigger part of the business, with the potential to spin-off as a separate business
  • We have helped Engine Creative scale in turnover and headcount without the extra stresses and strains that adding new people can cause.

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