In the fast moving technology industry staff turnover is high. On average people move around on a 2 year cycle. Conversely, Sol-Tec have many long-standing staff members, some of whom have been with the company for 19 years! Quite extraordinary, so what’s so special about Sol-Tec?
Hannah Guster started with Sol-Tec back in 1998, she’s had two children since then and progressed from Accounts Assistant to HR Manager. Here she tells her story of her career and work life balance at Sol-Tec.
1. What first attracted you to Sol-Tec?
I was introduced to a role here. It was the relaxed and friendly style of the interview which gave me a good feel about the company.
2. What was the first position you held?
I started as an accounts assistant.
3. Tells us about your experience of having a baby and maternity leave at Sol-Tec?
I had been at Sol-Tec for 9 years when I left to have my first child. The journey starte 5 years earlier and Sol-Tec couldn’t have been more supportive and understanding.
4. How would you describe / did you find the terms of Sol-Tec’s maternity leave?
I found Sol-Tec’s maternity terms very good, especially considering the size of the company. It was the company’s flexibility and job security that was the most valuable.
5. Did you keep in contact with Sol-Tec while you were on maternity leave?
Yes, I used some of my *KIT days to work. Sol-Tec hold regular staff social events. During my maternity leave I was always included and went along to them while I was off, which made me feel like part of the team and was a nice interlude from nappies.
6. Why did you decide to come back to Sol-Tec after maternity leave?
I enjoyed working at Sol-Tec, also as a working Mum it’s incredibly important to trust that the company you work for is ‘family friendly’ and can be flexible when you need time off to look after your children when they are sick etc. I knew I could rely on Sol-Tec in this respect, which gives me the peace of mind I need to juggle family and working life to maintain the balance.
7. When you went back to work how did Sol-Tec welcome you / help to reintegrate you?
It wasn’t really an issue as it was like I had never been away.
8. Did you take up full-time employment or were you offered the option of part-time and/or flexitime?
I was offered a part-time position after my first child but I have had another since then and I am now working with the benefits of part-time and flexible working.
9. Do Sol-Tec offer flexible working arrangements that enable you to achieve a work/life balance around your family commitments?
Yes, I have always been able to work from home if one of the children are unwell. I have always been given time to attend children’s plays, sports days and medical appointments without any challenges.
10. What career progression has Sol-Tec offered you?
Having started off as an accounts assistant dealing with sales and purchase ledger I quickly moved on to take up additional responsibilities such as dealing with the payroll and banking. The lady who covered my second maternity has since taken on the role in accounts and is studying for her ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification. I am now managing the HR requirements of the company, which are growing rapidly.
11. Has Sol-Tec offered you any training / support to help your career progression?
Yes, both in Accounts and HR. I did a short course when I was in accounts but didn’t continue. I am currently doing my CIPD level 5 certificate in HR Management, which has been funded by the company and I feel fully supported in this.
12. What do you like most about working for Sol-Tec?
I like the people, the ethics and the family feel of the company. Everyone gets along and respects each other. I have grown from a young adult to middle age here and have developed really good relationships along the way.
13. What is the coolest thing you’ve achieved since working for Sol-Tec?
I would have to say my HR certificate. I have passed 5 out of 6 assessments so far and the last results are in just after Christmas. My course has given me so much more confidence in my role and I feel Sol-Tec have really encouraged me and supported me in my career in HR.
Nineteen years sounds like a very long time to work at a company but I am not the only long term employee. In my department alone, my colleague Clare has also been working at Sol-Tec for 19 years. Elze, who covered my second maternity is still here 6 years later, having taken on and developed the role. Dawn who was employed to cover Clare’s maternity leave is also still here 4 years on. Jade is another long-term employee. She started off as an apprentice and has worked her way up to team leader. She has returned after having her first child and is leaving soon to have her second. Jade has worked at Sol-Tec for 7 years.
Wow, well there are not many company’s in this day and age that can boast employee longevity like that. Sol-Tec are clearly an employer that embrace equal rights, offer good maternity terms and go the extra mile to ensure new Mum’s still feel part of the team. Sol-Tec invest in their employees and encourage professional and personal development. Work/life balance is an intricate part of Sol-Tec’s culture and success. Sol-Tec is a company built on friendly, driven, productive individuals who work as a team to achieve some incredible results.
Sol-Tec are currently recruiting for a Cloud Consultant. If you are interested in applying please submit your CV with a covering email to Hannah Guster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*KIT – Keep in Touch days. Legally you allowed to work 10 KIT days within the period of your maternity leave without losing your entitlement to maternity pay.