Grace Ingham is Head of People Support at Chess and she's been with the business for over 12 years. In her role, she is responsible for performance management, payroll and benefits. Together with her team, she helps to create and maintain the culture that has kept Chess in ‘The Sunday Times Top 100 companies To Work For’ list for over 10 years.
Grace Ingham, Head of People Support at Chess, celebrates Chess celebrating 30 years. She covers:
Chess has achieved so much over this timeframe but the highlights all stem down to the People and what we have built as a collective Group over the years.
Time has bought new People, with these People brings new skills and opportunities which supports our growth strategy. We’re passionate about our unique team spirit and we own our vision, culture, and values. Every day, we encourage, motivate, and support each other to maintain a friendly positive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and cared for.
“Wow, 30 years! I think my highlight is always going to be the Chess People, they’ve helped build Chess into a business we can all be truly proud of. One of the best things we ever did was create our Blueprint because it sets out who we want to be and what we want to create. I think this shows with how we won Best Company to work for in the UK and it doesn’t get much better than that. Happy Birthday Chess!”
A Great Place to Work
The really special thing about chess which is so unique is that although we have grown tremendously as a business and welcomed lots of new faces over the years both organically and via acquisition, we have retained the Culture and family ethos that means so much to all of us.
Best Companies Awards
A highlight for me has to be 2018 – the year we won #1 in Best Companies. The excitement, the build up, and the celebrations were just superb. It's such great recognition for all the hard work that goes into making Chess a great place to work.
Chess has been in the top 100 for 14 years and top 15 for the last 7 years, having placed #1 in 2018 and in the top 3 for four years. In 2022, we also received the highest accolade 'world-class to work for' 3-star accreditation rating and placed #5 in the Technology sector awards.
The culture we have grown and nurtured over the 30 years is irreplaceable. Our Cultural Ambassadors do a tremendous job at driving this Culture through our business whether this is through our annual January Step Challenge, where our people raised £3500 for MIND, or Celebrating events such Pride Week or International Women’s Day.
Embracing hybrid working means we also host events virtually, from biscuit decorating and pancake flipping to quizzes and online yoga sessions, our People take part in a wide range of cultural activities, no matter where they are.
Diversity and Inclusion
At Chess, we feel passionate about celebrating the differences that make us all unique. Promoting and supporting workplace diversity is an important aspect of good people management. It’s about valuing all people as individuals. To reap the benefits of a diverse workforce, you need to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their full potential.
Our environmental and social impact is at the heart of many decisions here at Chess. Our dedicated Green Team are always on the hunt for new initiatives to support the environment, and across the wider business our People have made pledges to have a positive environmental impact.
We use a Microsoft Teams Channel where our People are great at sharing eco-tips and tricks. We also use a SharePoint site to share information about upcoming eco-events and display our People's environmental pledges.
Our Blueprint for Success
Our Blueprint sets out the reasons why we want to grow, our vision for the future, the areas we want to focus on and the importance we attach to our culture and values. All our people use it every day and at every opportunity; with suppliers, customers and in recruitment.
It helps us explain who we are, and we use it to make sure we remain true to our values. Every Chess person uses the Blueprint to challenge the business and our leaders, if they feel we are not living up to our beliefs.