Since its founding in 2015, Public Digital has always put its people first. We have nurtured a unique culture based around trust and openness, learning and collaboration, and a strong belief in public purpose. The result is a working culture that we are deeply proud of.
In this post we explore what it means to be part of the PD team.
We have the freedom to do what we do best
Public Digital doesn’t micro-manage. We have a high level of confidence in our people, and foster a culture of trust. We recognise that our people are talented and hardworking, and so will work best on their own terms. The result is a relationship with managers and teams where our people feel supported, not overly directed.
Public Digital also offers its people the freedoms provided by flexible working. We interpret work output based on quality and impact, rather than how many hours per day someone spends on their laptop. Equally, while some of us choose to be in the office most days, others work almost entirely remotely. We give our people the right to deliver their work when and how they want to, allowing them to design a work life balance which suits them.
The result is that everyone has the freedom to do what they do best, in an environment where they feel valued and supported.
Learning and sharing is everything
Sharing and collaboration are cornerstones of the Public Digital culture. We produce high quality and sometimes groundbreaking work for clients across a broad range of sectors, using often unrivalled expertise. This means there is so much we can learn from listening to each other, and we have real potential to inspire and inform each other’s work.
We often talk to our clients about the value of working in the open, and the structure of Public Digital’s own internal operations is shaped by this principle. We employ three core practices which enable us to work in the open:
The Gathering: a weekly meeting and informal check-in where everyone reports on the work we are doing.
Weeknotes: everyone sends a weekly email sharing their work over the past week and providing updates, both personal and professional.
Show the Thing: A weekly session consisting of three presentation slots, open to anyone to present new work they have done to the rest of Public Digital. These presentations are not simply a status update, but a chance to demonstrate the ‘thing’: the product of the work itself.
The circle of sharing created by these practices underpins the Public Digital culture. It not only encourages collaboration, but shows that whatever our experience in the company, we all have knowledge and insight to share.
We are an egalitarian workplace
Our collaborative culture, in turn, creates an egalitarian workspace where everybody has a voice and is free to speak their mind. For instance, through a practice we acquired called ‘tunking’, we are encouraged to seek other people’s views in the pursuit of honest, unbiased feedback.
At PD, there are no formalities which dictate who can learn from who, enabling us to generate a strong culture of learning and continuous development. We don’t like hierarchies, and we don’t practise inward-facing, top-down leadership. Rather than a stratified approach to communication and training, our people benefit from a 360 learning experience. And by valuing the input of everyone equally, we support an existing ethos of friendliness and mutual respect.
High trust in our people creates high transparency, meaning that everyone has the ability to make a difference at all levels of the organisation. For instance, our Ethics Review meetings, where we make key decisions on whether to proceed with certain business opportunities, are open to everyone at PD. The outcome and rationale discussed within these meetings are communicated to everyone internally.
We are purpose driven
In line with the first of Public Digital’s positions, our people are driven by a strong sense of public purpose. We care about using our skills and expertise to make a difference, and we take pride in the work we do.
With most of our team coming from previous roles in government, the health sector, and international development organisations and NGOs, our people are already highly experienced in their respective fields when they join Public Digital. As a result, they come equipped with a specialist understanding of how to make a difference, and real enthusiasm for the work that we do.
“I joined PD in July 2022 - attracted by the public positions and ethics, and the calibre of people who work here. The commitment to delivering work that matters is important to me - and I've had the opportunity over the last 6 months to do just that. Great team, great people, great work!”
Cate McLaurin, Director
“Public Digital’s impressive and light-touch knowledge management has made such a difference for me. It shouldn’t be so surprising as this is a genuine learning organisation — but to be honest, I’ve never been lucky enough to work anywhere before that actually, consistently practised double- and triple-loop learning at an org-wide level.”
Audree Fletcher, Director
“I joined PD in April 21. It's the first time I've worked in a consultancy and I made the move because I wanted to experience a wider variety of work. At PD I've got that and more. From the outset I was trusted to get on and do my work. I've worked in my main sector (health), but also in the private and international sectors. The people at Public Digital are great, the work is fantastic and it's always a place where you can ask questions and learn. It's the happiest I've been in my career.”
Matt Harrington, Director