Company: Yerra Solutions, Basel, Switzerland
Nomination Category: Employer of the Year – Legal
Employer of the Year Essay:
Capitalizing on her family’s entrepreneurial spirit and decades of experience across legal sectors, Rajitha Boer founded Yerra Solutions in 2013. Yerra is committed to helping our legal & IP, eDiscovery and compliance clients achieve long-term operational excellence. The firm’s growth from a small room in Basel, Switzerland to a global contender with 7 offices worldwide and 150 industry experts servicing the likes of UBS, Novartis, and Thomas Reuters, is in no small part down to the firm’s dedication to workplace development.
For Yerra, creating a positive team environment is foundational to its business model. Establishing a motivated group of employees has served to strengthen client relationships, and contribute to Yerra’s year on year revenue growth.
As Yerra has grown and established itself, it has collected numerous awards for the work culture it has cultivated. Yerra was named in the small business category of Best Workplaces in Switzerland for 2017 by the Great Places to Work Institute. This positioned the firm amongst the top disruptive entities in Europe, and amongst winners in other categories such as Google and IKEA. Yerra’s success built on another accolade announced in 2015, when the firm was granted the “Investors in People Gold Standard”, a top UK award, for their tireless approach to employee training and development.
In addition to these awards recognizing the workplace culture that Yerra has cultivated, Rajitha has been singled out for her achievements as the firm’s CEO. In May of this year the European CEO Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, selected Rajitha as the winner in the category of Business Consultancy. In 2016, Rajitha was also awarded a Finance Monthly 2016 CEO award, for her leadership and achievements in businesses growth.
Yerra has fostered an employee-focused approach to its work. The company has invested in an intranet and additional communication channels such as Slack to ensure greater interaction with employees at all levels. Yerra has also adopted a highly collaborative approach to its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
From the company’s inception, Rajitha has fostered a dialogue with her employees on the priorities for Yerra’s CSR donations and activities. Employees have provided input and direction on a range of initiatives, centered on children charities across the world.
Yerra has pushed for environmental friendly business practices across its offices, such as a ‘paperless’ workplace. The company cuts its carbon footprint further by participating in the “Cycle to W ork Scheme” on behalf of its employees. This sponsors each employee to buy a quality bike at an affordable price, for their commute and leisure.
Yerra has typified its employee-centric approach through prioritizing investment in the “Yerra Academy”. This is a learning platform, combining content from Yerra experts and content purchased from industry-leading certification groups, for all employees to improve their skill sets, and better understand Yerra’s offerings.
Furthermore, Yerra has focused on celebrating employee achievements. At the 1st, 3rd and 5th year of service, each employee receives an award. Spot awards for teams going ‘above and beyond’ are also awarded throughout the year. Personal achievements and formal examinations passed are celebrated by the whole team.
Yerra’s innovative approach across all its practice areas has also contributed to an open, cooperative work culture. In IP for example, the firm has engineered “The Magic Triangle” Model, a new approach to patents and products that links products with IP and contracts to provide an overview of IP protection and contractual liabilities. On data privacy, Yerra’s employees teamed up to create a simplified infographic for GDPR, upcoming EU data privacy regulation.
In sum, Yerra has consistently been recognized for its efforts to build an employee-focused work environment. Through Yerra’s collaborative, caring work culture, the firm has established itself as a forward-looking, inclusive workplace.
Employer of the Year Summary
-Yerra was named in the small business category of “Best Workplaces in Switzerland for 2017” by the Great Places to Work Institute.
-Yerra was granted “Investors in People Gold Standard” in 2016, a top UK accolade for their approaches to employee development
-CEO Rajitha Boer was the 2017 winner of the European CEO Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Business Consultancy. She also won the Finance Monthly 2016 CEO Award Founded a collaborative CSR program
-Participates in the ‘bike to work’ scheme
-Attended the annual meeting of the INTA in Barcelona, in May 2017, speaking with reporters from top IP publications; launched their Magic Triangle model for IP from the meeting
-Created the Yerra Academy for employees to enhance their knowledge base and cultivate relationships with Yerra’s experts