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Taking a step back to listen

As a creative communications agency, we plough the majority of our time into helping businesses communicate better, coming up with ways to make their employees feel valued and considered through creative and exciting content. But how can we ensure that we're doing the same for our own business? 

The IoIC's #WeMatterAtWork campaign has encouraged us to reflect on this – we decided to ask our employees what makes them feel valued in the workplace and what motivates them to do their job every day; giving ourselves the time to review the cultural practices we already have in place and discover where we need to be doing more. Our Client Relationship Director, Emma Collins, reflects on our findings…

We all know that we get the best from our employees when they feel happy, confident and valued in the workplace – and staggeringly statistics show that people are 20% more productive when they feel these very things.

Our Bananas definitely agreed with this, as 60% of our employees shared that recognition and reward for the job they are doing, makes them feel valued in the workplace. Peer to peer recognition, recognition from the Leadership Team and thank yous from our Top Banana Culture Club were all mentioned.

But just 'feeling happy' isn't enough. We wanted to know what makes our bananas want to come into work every day and what gets them through the hard times. We put this to our staff and an interesting point made by over half of our employees was that their environment plays a huge part in how they feel at work. Creative spaces, being surrounded by nature and having a place to go that is quiet to reflect, were environmental factors that mattered to our team. They stated that this impacted their day to day life, productivity and helped not only make them happy but also picked them back up through stressful times at work.

Not surprisingly, internal communication was a huge factor to our staff, who asked to always be kept in the loop on business updates, have a good understanding of personal and team progression plans and to be included on decisions that are going to affect the entire company. Linking back to environment; employees also stated that they wanted to know and feel like we as a company understood that 'time out' was necessary to productivity and that it's promoted internally – time away from your desk to reflect during the day is vital to maintain a healthy work balance.

These ideologies are linked to more than just happiness; they're about feeling empowered, heard and recognised as people who want their work lives to be as fulfilling as their homelives. What's great is that these ideas are things that we as a company already have in place – and our projects such as Banana Buddies, Culture Club, and Monthly Staff Meetings were all brought up in our survey as positive things that make our staff feel secure and valued in the workplace. People also praised our internal mental health resource 'End the Stigma' which shares personal stories from employees and their mental health battles, as well as offering help and support for those who are struggling. This has not only encouraged more openness with one another but has also given our employees a place to go that's confidential and private, if they ever feel like they need support.

What the #WeMatterAtWork campaign has reminded us, is that we need to incorporate our employees' values into our company culture – and ensure that we're aligned with each and every person in the business, so they get the most fulfilment out of their work life.

We know that there are always ways to improve and as we grow and develop as a business, our culture needs to adapt with us. After listening to our staff, we have planned to create a designated creative space for thinking time where employees can let their mind wander – but in a controlled environment that promotes innovative thinking. In addition to this, we've decided to give some time back to our employees for them to do something meaningful. This year, we will be gifting all staff with four days to partake in a CSR project of their choice. We know a lot of our bananas already dedicate their own time to charitable activities – so we want to make sure that we are aligned with their personal values and give them time out of work to do something that matters to them.
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Wednesday, 18 September 2019
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