Watch This Sp_ce hosted their inaugural Re-imagination at Work Awards that were part of Watch This Sp_ce Conference for National Inclusion week, to celebrate people and organisations that rethink the way they work. They set out to celebrate those making a real difference to reimagine the world to make it more inclusive.
Are we really reimagining the way we work to make it more inclusive? Or are we just doing what comes naturally? 🧐
What’s the secret to building a #PeopleFirst Culture? 🤨
There is NO secret to putting people first. A People First culture is an environment in which employees feel comfortable sharing feedback, raising concerns, have a voice, feel listened to and their suggestions and opinions are respected. Also … promoting and encouraging a Diverse and Inclusive workforce! No two people (not even identical twins) are the same. Whoa! Isn’t this just common sense?
Some key components of creating and building a People First Culture include; employees believing in the Core Values of the company they work for, are treated fairly, respectfully and who see opportunities for growth (personally and professionally). These employees will feel respected, trusted and empowered and are more likely to express their opinions and remain engaged.
So why on earth were WE chosen for an Award?
Well it’s simple, we believe in our Core Values; Trust - Collaboration - Kindness - Passion - Humility - Candour.
We at ASquared are also very much committed to diversity and inclusivity, but we don’t just want to talk about it, we want to DO something about it.
So, what have we done? Aside from the ‘common sense’ stuff, we’ve also committed to the following initiatives:
ASquared, are Putting People First and we are proud to be part of Breathe’s Culture Club.
Some of the examples of us putting our people first are highlighted here: 👇
- Culture Workshops, because Culture is ALL of our responsibility and most importantly, in order to get everyone’s buy-in, we started with our most valuable commodity - our People. None of this, “let’s start with Leadership” malarkey. It’s not ‘their’ culture; it’s OUR culture and guess what? Our Leadership Team buy-in to that!
- Creating and implementing a Professional Development Framework for all our employees (all levels within the business)
- We signed up to (and live by) the Workplace Mental Health Charter to show our support and encourage awareness to our employees.
- I am a Workplace Mental Health First Aider. Not only have I completed the MHFA England Training, I have personal experience with mental health challenges.
- We implemented Spill, an all-in-one mental health support for all our permanent employees. Spill provides therapy sessions, manager mental health training, and regular feelings check-ins, embedded into our company's Slack.
- We support the Miscarriage Association and signed up to the Workplace Pregnancy Loss Pledge.
An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. A smaller but significant number will be ectopic or molar pregnancies. Some people will experience multiple losses. Most workplaces have staff and managers who have been or may be affected in the future.
The standard asks employers to understand and implement the rules around pregnancy-related leave, create a supportive work environment, to have a policy or guidance in place, to ensure line managers have access to resources to help them manage a difficult situation and to support people, including partners, back to work by showing flexibility wherever possible.
Managers are not always clear on their responsibilities and often employees may not know how to behave or what to say. We, at ASquared, have ensured that our Managers and employees have access to a Miscarriage Guidance Document. Pregnancy Loss is not limited to Miscarriage, we are aware that our employees may experience the loss of a pregnancy or baby due to pregnancy termination, stillbirth and/or neonatal death. Our goal is to continue to create a supportive environment.
- We are a supporter of the Menopause Workplace Pledge, and yep! You guessed it, we signed up to it! But WHY? Well, did you know that women make up nearly half of the UK workforce, but many quit their jobs because of the menopause. We at ASquared are taking positive action to make sure every one of our employees who are currently going through or those who will go through the menopause is supported and as we are an inclusive employer, this support extends to our male employees who’s partner’s/wives/daughters may be experiencing menopause symptoms. Let’s face it, the mental health challenges that some men may experience by supporting someone through the menopause should not be taken lightly!
These pledges aren’t simply to comply with a tick box exercise, we (and I) actually talk about these real-life matters. I am also an open and honest person by nature and I therefore do speak openly about my own experiences of menopause, childloss and mental health. If we’re going to work together to remove the stigma around these topics, we need to lead by example and what better place to start than within our own People Team.
This is why WE were chosen for an Award 🥳
There are so many more topics and initiatives that we will be focusing on in our quest to Re-imagine how we work: talking more about a wider range of Mental Health topics such as Suicide in Men, the high statistics and why we don’t seem to be talking about THIS in the workplace, a deeper understanding of how far ahead, or how far behind we are when it comes to diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives - yes, we’re doing a fair amount but there’s so much more we can and should be doing. And how can we make hybrid working exciting (for those that want to work hybrid) whilst ensuring our remote employees continue to feel a sense of belonging.
And this is HOW we aim to continue to rethink how we work - together.
Article written by: Angie McKenna | Head of Warmth, Smiles & Fun (Yes, that’s an actual job title! 😁)