Giving Something Back - The extent to which employees feel their organisation has a positive impact on society
Giving Something Back focuses on the organisation’s social responsibilities. If key factors such as ‘Leadership’ and ‘My Manager’ are performing well, it can influence the improvement of all the other factors, boosting your overall engagement.
The organisation has 17 trained Mental Health First Aiders across the business and its Employee Assistance Programme gives staff multiple avenues to discuss their mental health in an open and confidential manner. The HR Team also run Mental Health in the Workplace sessions for Managers, which are compulsory for them to attend.
AJ Bell publish a regular series of interviews with its CEO and other members of the Executive Committee to its staff intranet. The videos cover business and performance updates, as well as personal reflections, and support the organisation’s work on an open and accountable culture. They also ensure staff receive a consistent message from leaders.
In February, the organisation launched its new charitable initiative – the AJ Bell Futures Foundation – initially committing to contribute 0.5% of its profits before tax to the Foundation each year – to establish deep-rooted, long-term partnerships whilst building futures in its communities. To date, it has donated £100,000 to each of its charity partners.
Employees have sustainable performance reviews with their managers to assess their personal growth and professional development. These meetings cover goal setting, self-assessment completion, and constructive feedback requests. This cycle motivates employees to achieve their set objectives and goals. These reviews foster a culture of commitment and development to all its employees, managers, and clients.
Albany Beck ensures its management team are set up for their role through executive coaching sessions. These come in the form of mentoring and skills training. It also provides continuous soft skills and technical training sessions, employee coaching, a ‘Buddy’ programme, conference participation, educational material, career conversations, and group workshops.
The organisation is dedicated to its CSR which focuses on four key areas; Corporate, Environment, People, and Social. Its 'charity of the year' is MIND and Albany Beck encourages its people to take part in fundraising activities such as the 55-mile bike ride from London to Brighton and charity skydiving.
Alpha Financial Markets Consulting has 15 wellbeing champions who are mental health first-aid trained to support colleagues whenever they are struggling. It has a walking challenge to promote physical health, and runs a time-to-talk event where hard topics are discussed and employees share their experiences, bringing the issues to life.
The company supports employee growth and development through formal training, experience-based learning, on-the-job training, and LinkedIn Learning. Everyone can access over 18,000 courses, where they can learn business, technology, creative, and personal development skills at their own pace.
It is targeted in its approach to giving. Every employee has the opportunity to vote for a charity to become its 'Charity of the Year' (COTY). Last year, it partnered with 'Cities for Children' (C4C), whose mission is to provide children living in poverty with the right to read, play, and feel safe.
Blackstone employees are encouraged to start the week on a high with 'Blackstone TV' – a global call in which the leadership team shares valuable insights and updates to connect, motivate and inspire. The team also regularly posts videos, podcasts and newsletters and visits regional offices to host town hall meetings and invite questions.
All Blackstone staff are encouraged to hone their leadership skills. The firm doesn't view them as specific to certain job positions; it wants all employees to be able to convince others of their ideas and make them happen together. All staff are evaluated on their leadership and managerial qualities during the annual 360 review process.
Volunteering is big at Blackstone. It includes mentoring and career guidance for at-risk young people, renovating buildings for those in need and volunteering at food redistribution centres. During 2022, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation donated £336,000 to UK charity partners. Its London employees raised a further £228,500 through their own initiatives.
The leadership team have developed a vision traction organiser, which has helped to define its vision and core focus to all employees. Additionally, it has introduced an accountability chart within the organisation which has provided clarity and ensured it has the right people in the right seats within the business.
All managers have a quarterly check-in with their line manager, which gives them the opportunity to discuss their development, training, and coaching opportunities. Talent Toolbox, its Talent Management Platform, ensures all managers fill in a quarterly pulse survey which asks them questions in relation to their mental and physical wellbeing.
Employees pick the charities they want to support and Buzzworks has done various initiatives to raise money for them. From running marathons and 10ks, to sponsored walks, it has raised over £20,000. It has a social and community focus group who have produced an annual calendar of charity and community events.
An online community allows staff to create groups to support wellbeing. These include the Menopause support group, virtual yoga, a book club and sporting events. These groups are promoted by the wellbeing group and staff association. There are also joint fundraising events between CF10 and Cardiff and Vale College.
CF10 aims to promote from within, with 100% of its managers rising through the ranks. Various internally delivered management modules cover core skills; managers can also take more formal qualifications. All staff also have the opportunity to gain formal teaching qualifications through a dedicated programme.
A successful trial with Fareshare Cymru has seen waste food being used to produce meals. And CF10 has reworked its menus to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste in the first place. Customers can take used coffee grounds for their gardens, and the company only uses products from sustainable sources.
In addition to pay rewards, Christies Care has a quarterly, "extra mile" award for which staff nominate colleagues who they think have gone over and above in their roles. It also has annual awards that are linked to the organisation's values, when staff achievements are celebrated.
Managers are supported by senior managers through monthly one-to-one sessions, yearly appraisals and personal-development plans. Training and upskilling is tailored to the individual, and takes the form of in-house teaching and the use of external coaches.
Braving the Shave, a danceathon and the Mighty Hike for Macmillan Cancer Support are among the fundraising activities staff have taken part in to raise money for charity, as well as shoebox filling for a homeless shelter. During mental health awareness week cash was raised for The Befriending Scheme, which supports vulnerable young people.
The webinars initiated through the pandemic have continued, and staff have regular opportunities to quiz the senior leadership team. Leaders come together monthly in virtual workshops to feedback from their teams and raise any concerns and queries with the People and Culture team.
Employees are supported to take professional qualifications, including those from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Chartered Institute of Loss Adjustors and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. And customer service, project management and UX design are just some of the broader work-related certifications employees have taken recently.
Passionate about the environment, the Group runs sustainability workshops introducing environmental initiatives. Its most recent is working with Carbon Neutral Britain, which calculates the Group’s carbon footprint and offsets this with certified projects in the UK and around the world.
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