Our ethos is based on self-management and mutual trust

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Hatmill is ranked the No. 1 Best Workplace™ in the Small size category. Founder Simon Dixon explains why.

I’ve been determined to create a culture that avoids the usual corporate traps and focuses on what’s important – for both our clients and our team. Particular ways of working have been fundamental to our growth. The result has been a culture that is focused on collaboration, shared values, peer feedback to improve client value and the delivery of successful projects.

Our operating model is non-hierarchical, and the team has significant influence over its work, which boosts retention, morale and wellbeing. We deliberately don’t use job titles, as they serve no purpose in consulting organisations.

Clear values guide the team in decisions and behaviours, against which team members can check themselves and each other. They share in our financial success, which motivates them to meet business objectives.

Our values shape the way we work with clients and are at the heart of everything we do. Even before the pandemic, we largely worked virtually. I’ve never been a fan of consultancies having offices – I’d rather the team were spending time at home with their families when not away on client jobs. That is time far better spent than managing internal perceptions and politics in an office.


How does your culture encourage innovation?


Our ethos is based on self-management and mutual trust. Our people describe this unique approach as innovative, refreshing and sincere. It enables us to value long-term relationships with our clients, deliver success for them and allows our people to thrive.

We’ve attracted experts, who are drawn by the culture, and we operate a policy of only recruiting people from industry. Teams are self-managing, because the people closest to the challenge are best placed and motivated to decide how something should be organised. This allows the consulting team the freedom to address problems themselves and come up with innovative solutions, rather than passing challenges up the chain of command.


“Clear values guide the team in decisions and behaviours, against which team members can check themselves and each other”


How are your benefits unique?


Since founding Hatmill 13 years ago, the growth and success of the company have been beyond my wildest dreams, and in 2021, I transferred 100% of shares to an employee-owned trust for the benefit of employees.

It was such a proud moment – transferring ownership into my amazing team’s hands has ensured that Hatmill’s culture and values live on, which was one of the most important considerations for any next chapter for the company. Creating a ‘great place to work’ is fundamental to my business principles, and being employee-owned has helped drive an increase in turnover and calibre of clients, as demonstrated by our latest results.

This is a key differentiator between Hatmill and our competitors, and our clients value the difference it makes to them. It hugely influences our ability to both attract and retain the very best talent in the industry. Our people are entirely responsible for our success – it is only fair that they benefit from Hatmill’s success.


“I would describe Hatmill as energising, refreshing and inspiring”

Naomi Harryman-Hassan

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