The Business Magazine asked the CEOs and leaders of the Thames Valley SME 100 Growth listing, which celebrates the region’s high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises, to share their experience of managing a company in 2021. We asked Chris Berry, CEO of CIPHR, the following three questions:
The HR software solutions company had an overall growth of 22.6% and a turnover of 11.4%, which is 9.3% higher than the previous year. Through its services, Marlow-based CIPHR reached number 42 on The Business Magazine’s Thames Valley SME100 Growth index this year.
Chris Berry: Thankfully, CIPHR was well prepared to continue operations during the pandemic and was able to make the switch to 100% remote working overnight and without any hiccups. However, ensuring our remote workforce remained engaged, productive and informed about the business’s activity was tough. Nevertheless, we made a significant effort to ensure that CIPHR continued to achieve this. Completing the acquisition of Digits, a company we had partnered with for several years, and integrating Digits into the rest of the CIPHR Group while working remotely was also a challenge. Lastly, onboarding new employees to a remote working environment and ensuring they understand CIPHR, our customers, and our culture is a challenge, but one that we were well equipped to deal with.
Chris Berry: Responding quickly to the needs of our customers and developing functionality to help them manage the furlough process efficiently and effectively, as well as providing new solutions to help our customers communicate with and engage their people.
Chris Berry: That all COVID restrictions are lifted and a proper new normal is established by the end of the year and that CIPHR completes multiple successful acquisitions in 2021. Also, that we will be able to meet our ambitions in relation to our hiring goals for the year. Finding talented and ambitious people is always challenging. We’ve done this well in the past, we just need to accelerate this in the future.
CIPHR is included in the Thames Valley SME100 Growth index for the second consecutive year. To qualify for the listing, businesses need to be based in the Thames Valley, have a turnover of no less than £1 million and no more than £20m, and to have grown their turnover significantly in the past year.
All Thames Valley SME 100 Growth members are now invited to enter the nominations to this year’s awards, which will recognise outstanding achievements in six categories.