Leadership - How employees feel about the head of the organisation, senior management and the organisation's values and principles
Leadership has the biggest influence on how employees feel about the organisation.
Leaders need to create inspiring visions and provide clear direction to positively Impact the My Company factor.
When it comes to Wellbeing, no amount of free fruit or stress busting classes are going to address an imbalance. Employee Wellbeing is a by-product of the leadership and management culture.
If there’s pressure at the top of your organisation, it won’t take long to be felt throughout.
Teams get together through sports and local, religious and historical events like the Jubilee. Regular business-related meetings are encouraged, including regular one-to-ones with managers and monthly team meetings to ensure work is on track and development needs are being met. And managers get together for 'People Days' to encourage knowledge sharing and succession planning.
Employees can ask the CEO questions at his monthly live sessions, which he also uses to communicate new business initiatives and achievements. Staff are encouraged to complete a survey after each 'live' so the CEO has direct, anonymous feedback. He responds to key themes at the next session.
Acora has a programme geared to support people early in their careers. This includes attracting and supporting apprentices. It also runs an 'Accelerate Programme' to support entry-level team members in achieving their technical certifications and fast-tracking their progress. Meanwhile, all employees can access a career framework to direct their development.
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.
The company closes its stores on Boxing Day in a rare move for retail. It rewards staff for their hard work and loyalty and means they can spend valuable time with their families. And a gift of a week's wages at Christmas means they can make the most of this time together.
The company uses internal podcasts as a new and innovative way to engage its people. These have included conversations with the Chairman and MD and offerings from diversity and inclusion groups and a 'shining stars' group recognising high achievers in stores. There are also bespoke publications for business updates, celebrating colleagues, charity, and community.
Rewards are not just monetary; the company takes time to recognise and celebrate achievements. This has included a London celebration for Jewellery Education Training (JET) students, a results-focused annual awards conference, a yearly 'Shining Stars' party for top performers and quarterly branch visits from directors to celebrate team accomplishments.
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.
Team working days are booked in at least once a month to encourage everyone to get together to discuss work issues and get quality time with their managers. And there's a small budget to enable teams to socialise in less formal surroundings, such as games of crazy golf.
Communication is key. The CEO hosts an annual all-day staff symposium updating everyone on business progress. He also runs birthday events, bringing together a cross-section of employees to talk informally with him over coffee and cake outside the usual work environment – something mirrored by the leadership team in their areas of the business.
All employees are offered secondments to develop their knowledge and skills across the organisation. These include placements in management positions, often leading to staff permanently doing the role. And there's financial support for training and membership fees and flexible working to assist with study time.
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.
CFC is a 34% employee-owned company which means it benefits from having employee ownership alongside an incredibly engaged senior management and leadership team who act as role models for their teams. The core values are demonstrated through its belief in market-leading insurance products and customer service and a constant drive for innovation.
By attracting high-calibre talent, and retaining, motivating, and engaging employees through fair, competitive, and responsible remuneration structures it continuously builds on not only CFC principles but puts a spotlight on each and every individual in the organisation, these are the key components to its success.
CFC recently opened an Innovation Hub that provides a modern and tech-friendly office space for the tech team to collaborate in. Additionally, it has launched a careers platform to attract candidates to CFC. This platform is much more visually appealing and candidate-engaging, with video job overviews, manager profiles, and transparent recruitment steps and processes.
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.
ClearScore recognises that sometimes people need support. Leave after pregnancy loss is a policy it has recently provided. The organisation understands the impact pregnancy loss can have on both parents, so should an employee experience this, if directly, with their partner, or through surrogacy, ClearScore gives them the time they need.
Its leaders articulate eight behavioural principles, which are described as the 'rules of the game'. They ensure that all employees are judged and measured against these. ClearScore's principles are communicated to new starters as part of an intensive two-day onboarding process and employees who demonstrate these principles are celebrated at the 'end-of-race' awards every quarter.
It encourages employees to create a Personal Development Plan to structure and commit to their learning and growth. Employees are given a learning budget of £500 to support their individual personal development. This is housed on a platform called Learnerbly, where employees can access a wide range of development content.
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