Developing a positive culture 'is the race that never finishes'

Patrick McAliskey addresses the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards launch at Hicksons Point. Photo: Declan Roughan
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE co-founder of Belfast IT services provider Novosco has talked up the importance for staff, customers and prospective new employees of businesses seeking awards recognition.

Patrick McAliskey, whose company featured in the Top 100 Sunday Times UK best companies to work for fours years in a row, was speaking at the launch of the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards, in which Novosco has also been a multiple winner through the years.

He founded Novosco (it now employs 300 people) more than 20 years ago and played a key role in its commercial, leadership, PR and talent-management areas before it was acquired by German group Cancom last October in a £70 million deal (he continues to be an adviser to Cancom).

He told guests: "Why do I think it's important to be recognised in the Workplace & Employment Awards?

“Well, it's great for your team members to see you are recognised and make them feel they work in a world class organisation.

“It's great for customers to know you are recognised and really look after your staff.

“And it's great for future employees to see the name and the recognition so that they want to apply to work there."

Mr McAliskey added: “Our recognition in the Irish News awards had a huge impact, especially with our HR team, who got heavily involved in the whole experience. It's a night of celebration and we need to do that as much as possible to show all our teams we value them."

The Workplace & Employment Awards, now in their 14th year and which focus on businesses' people asset, take place in Titanic Belfast on Thursday June 11.

The launch reception at Hickson's Point was attended by a range of business organisations, and among the speakers was new Department for Economy minister Diane Dodds.

Also present were representatives of the initiative's key business partners Carson McDowell, Progressive Building Society, Queen's University, Ulster University Business School, KPMG, First Derivatives, Glandore and venue partner Titanic Belfast, as well as new wellbeing partner the Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort.

Mr McAliskey spoke about company culture, and said it should be the role of every chief executive to make sure everyone in the company clearly understands what the ‘north star' of the company is and very importantly it forms a big part of the induction process.

“In fact, you can usually get a very good feel for the culture of a company when you look at that process.

“It should be something you talk about a lot and should be a big focus in all company communications. It should be something you are proud of and want all your customers to know about. It should be something you want all your team members talking about, especially when they go outside the office.”

He added: “Company culture has always kept the directors at Novosco up at night and that will always be the case because developing positive culture is the race that never finishes.

“Novosco invested significantly in creating a world-class working environment that supports and inspires its people to deliver the best service for its clients in pursuit of its vision to be recognised as the premier IT infrastructure and managed services provider in the UK and Ireland.

“We have adopted the mission statement 'Fearless Champions of Better'. It is our mission to pursue and continually deliver better advice, better service and better products to our clients

“We have created, embraced and continually promote a culture of togetherness among our colleagues. We understand that a rewarded, respected that a collective workforce is the key to delivering the best service. Our values of excellence, fun, respect and teamwork are ingrained in the business and its operations.”

:: For more information and details on entering the awards, go to

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