Quality and values

We work hard to make our clients happy, while upholding rigorous ethical standards and giving back to the global community.

We strive at every stage to give clients the best agency experience they’ve ever had – from an extensive range of tailored services, to diligent time, quality and data management. We work for each of our clients in absolute confidence and to the highest professional standards.

Recognised quality

Our clients are drawn from across the private and public sectors globally and united by their need for actionable insight from an organisation they trust. For that reason, we monitor quality closely and, this year, our clients rated us an average of 4.7 out of 5 for quality and 4.8 for communication. Many of our clients come back to us again and again.

Our high quality of service has also been recognised by the Education Investor Awards, in which we have been finalists for 7 years, as well as winning in the 2019 ‘Education Business Services’ category.

Striving for positive impact 

What this means: We believe in the power of insight to make things better. We strive not only to minimise our negative impact on the planet and its people in our day-to -day operations, but to be a positive force for change through our research output– working with our clients and their stakeholders to make a healthier, more equitable and sustainable future for all. 

As a B-Corp™ market research agency and a mission-locked organisation, our articles of association formalise the objectives of Shift Insight to be both to promote the success of the company, through our business and operations, for the benefit of its members as a whole, and to have a materially positive impact on society and the environment. 

What we do: 

  • While we stand behind all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there are three that the team at Shift have decided to focus on. We aim to have impacts in these areas both through how we operate and the work that we do. 
  • We measure and monitor our social impact, publishing an impact report each year. The report for 2020-21 can be downloaded here.  
  • We want to be useful. We work with well-intentioned clients in the public and private sector, aiming to provide research and recommendations that lead to strengthened decision-making and good public outcomes. 
  • We don’t always do work just for money. We carry out at least one pro bono project each year and we allow our teams to take two volunteering days a year.  
  • We donate 1% of our profit to a staff nominated charity. We also encourage our clients use donations to charity as incentives for research. As a result we have generated almost £50,000 of charitable donations to organisations such as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Médicins Sans Frontières. 
  • We monitor and aim to reduce our use of the earth’s resources as well as carbon offsetting our business footprint.  These goals are dynamic – by making regular reviews and adjustments we’re always improving.  
  • We have formalised these ambitions – we are signed up to the MRS net zero pledge and we have a Carbon reduction plan
  • We support our clients in making good decisions. We publish free to access white papers, which help to inform the debate around issues that we care about. We also apply a carbon surcharge (donated to climate-based charity organisations) on any projects requiring us to take flights. 
  • We support our employees to make good consumption decisions, for example:  
  • They are subsidised for biking to work. 
  • We share information on green living and working. 
  • We are passionate about recycling and reuse. 
  • We have a written policy limiting corporate travel. 
  • Sustainability is built into all our decisions around suppliers. 

Never standing still 

What this means: We understand that without experimentation there can be no progress. We are not just responsive, we are constantly looking for innovation in methodology, process, technology and business strategy. We like new things and enjoy seeing the world from a range of different viewpoints. We know we can always get better and we embrace that challenge. 

What we do: 

Method innovation 

  • We develop methods in response to individual briefs – ensuring the best method design to meet client objectives. 
  • We use advanced methods and are fearless in trying new approaches. 
  • We have a role dedicated to new method development and invest in training to spread new approaches across the team.  

Process and technical innovation 

  • We look to continually improve our processes and enhance both outcomes and the research experience for our teams, clients and respondents. 
  • We’re not afraid to try new technologies and work flexibly to adapt them to our needs.  

Embracing change 

  • We want our people to feel safe in taking risks. We provide a supportive management structure and culture so that all team members feel safe to try out new things, while being scaffolded to do so. 
  • We accept and actively seek out critique as a way of helping us to get better. We do this through client satisfaction surveys, reviews of each other’s work, informal interaction and more formal 360-degree reviews. 
  • We critique each other sensitively, being mindful that some people are more sensitive than others and we all have good days and bad days.  
  • We encourage all staff to reflect on their own lived experiences and how those might differ from other people’s. We work to increase our awareness of our own biases, including how they might impact on our work and on others. 

Amazing standards 

What this means: Without a strong reputation, we can’t have impact. We always look to exceed our own quality expectations, ensure the highest level of rigour in our research outputs and high standards in our behaviour.  

What we do: 

High service levels 

  • At every stage of a project, we strive to give clients the best agency experience they’ve ever had.  
  • We understand that clients’ working lives and those of their stakeholders can be challenging. We meet this need with tailored services, swift communication and diligent time, quality and data management.  
  • We empathise with our clients’ situations; we help them to meet their goals and support them in overcoming obstacles.  
  • We listen to our clients’ opinions closely. In 2021, our clients rated us an average of 4.7 out of 5 for quality and 4.8 for communication. Our high quality of service has also been recognised by the Education Investor Awards, in which we have been finalists for 7 years, as well as winning in the 2019 ‘Education Business Services’ category. 
  • We also empathise with our respondents. We design projects and research tools that are respectful of their time and we listen to their feedback in our backchecking exercise. In 2021, our interviewees gave us 9.4 out of 10 for their experience. 

Engagement and expertise  

  • We engage fully and intelligently with projects, clients and respondents, thinking deeply about the issues they present. 
  • We immerse ourselves in our projects and sectors, ensuring we have solid and up-to-date contextual and technical knowledge for each project we undertake. 
  • Where we don’t have expertise, we work with partners who do and who share our values and standards. 

Working with integrity 

  • We operate honestly and within a strong ethical code. We empathise with our team, with clients, respondents and suppliers, and act with openness and integrity in all our interactions. 
  • We ensure that our research is robust and is not misrepresented.  
  • We adhere to national laws and relevant codes of conduct, including the MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR.  
  • We have standards around who we work with and what we work on. We do not work on projects that might have a negative social impact or with clients who don’t meet our ethical standards.  

People-centred 

What this means: We value our people, help to develop new talent, and have a commitment to training and creating an open and collaborative working environment. We measure our success not only in the financial value we generate, but also in the good that we do and in the richness of our own lives.   

What we do: 

Investing in people and developing talent 

  • We believe in the value of education and training. We invest in our people via over 100 internal training programmes, through external training and through our day-to-day support of each other.  
  • We have a culture of development − we are all responsible for training and developing each other. 
  • We offer structured career paths that are flexible enough to adapt to the skills and qualities of each individual. 
  • We reward success and celebrate achievement, but also support people through times of difficulty and underperformance. 

Staff wellbeing  

  • We recognise that our drive to please our clients and have high standards can sometimes impact on staff wellbeing and workloads. Because we care about the wellbeing of everyone we work with, we monitor our teams’ stress and happiness, train our teams to be aware of potential issues and implement interventions and support when our staff are struggling. 
  • We help our people to create a good work-life balance through resourcing our work properly, providing flexible working and giving them the skills and tools to manage their workload and stay healthy. Our employees can choose to be in the office for only 2 days a week, they have the choice to work overseas for up to one month a year and they can take a paid sabbatical after a period of long-term employment. 
  • We recognise the link between mental health, physical health and the good we can do for others. We also believe in the power of fun and connection. We empower and resource our teams to create initiatives in all these areas through our Wellbeing pod and other initiatives. 

Listening and working together 

  • We believe that the best results come through working collaboratively, both within our team at Shift and with our clients. We help others to meet their goals, develop their careers and overcome obstacles. We share each other’s peaks and troughs and offer our time when others need it. 
  • We are signed up to the MRS inclusivity pledge and we are working to build an organisation that is not only rich in diversity, but also able to reflect and communicate diverse perspectives.  
  • We are tolerant of those with whom we disagree. We listen before judging and use curiosity and empathy to understand each other’s perspectives.  
  • We consult each other on key decisions and listen to colleagues of all levels of experience. 

We want to be a responsible business that meets the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, while being a force for good in the world. We do not work on projects that might have negative social outcomes.

Shift Insight is committed to:

  • Acting in a socially responsible way
  • Encouraging our business partners and suppliers to strive for matching performance
  • Encouraging our staff to be mindful of the effect of their actions on any natural resource or person
  • Complying with all applicable national and international laws and regulations, in addition to professional codes of conduct
  • Ensuring our partnerships and collaborations are open and transparent
  • Supporting diversity and inclusion.
Data protection

We are members of the Market Research Society and European Society for Opinion and Market Research. We are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and inform the ICO of any lists created and held with personal information. Our researchers fully abide by:

This means that, amongst other things, we do not mislead respondents as to the nature of our research. We also ensure all transfers of data occur through our project management system, Basecamp, or through a secure FTP. For more information on how we use personal information, please see our privacy policy.