A business is guided by its decisions and convictions. As it grows the values become a shining light.

 

Having values means an empowered workforce.

 

When it comes to instilling a belief in empowerment, this is echoed by packaging and design company Avec UK. A Dorset based business that has seen substantial growth since its origins in 2012 and led by owner Becks Beere and a team of nearly 40 people.

 

Rise MD, Angela Piromalli and Becks both discussed the importance of building and promoting a culture that is real and has the ability to attract new team members where everyone has a unified voice.

 

How Do You Build A Company Culture?

 

It is a well-used term when a company promotes the virtues of ‘building a culture,’ but how does a business leader instill this? Becks explained, “When it comes to recruitment, I want people to buy into the business. I genuinely research people and see if they are the right fit from the outset. I will never outsource the recruitment to someone else on the team. This is a company I have built with my own hands. It is my responsibility to nurture and grow this close-knit family.

 

“I have to sell the business to others, just as much as a candidate wants to work with Avec. I want people to buy into me and my company.

 

“Avec is about getting people on board this rocket ship that we are all building. I want people to be a part of it, not a cog in a faceless business.”

 

Angela highlighted the importance of both candidate and employer having a mutual understanding. “Companies find strong talent by not sitting on their laurels. Both sides have to sell themselves. When candidates and clients are both on the same side of the road, not heading in opposite directions, it comes down to one simple trait, open communication.”

 

The Charter That Everyone Dances To

 

The importance of communication is something that is part of Avec. They have a charter that each member of the company refers to and comes back to. Becks says, “Whilst we all know what the business feels like, can we put it into words?

 

“It is important to communicate what we will succeed in and what challenges lie ahead. The team all have an active role to play. As well as the grander vision, the smaller things matter too, such as no one is allowed to huff in the workplace and everyone puts their empty plates, bowls and cups in the dishwasher. It is something we expect from each other.

“Any company that is attracting new employees need to stand up and say, ‘this is us, is this you?’”

 

The Avec charter is used as a tool for performance measurement. It is there to inform decisions and for the entirety of the team to recognise what they signed up to.

 

Trust In The Employer

 

According to the Association of Accounting Technician’s (AAT), the average UK employee will spend 3,515 full days at work over the course of their lifetime. Angela stated, “People spend a huge proportion of their lives at work. Businesses having transparency means that everyone needs to know what they are signing up to. Having something such as the Avec charter means there is alignment between the business, its responsibility and its values.”

 

Building a base for development, support and growth is a key part of a business that has longevity. People are now looking more than ever at businesses to lead and create a sense of place.

 

According to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, this report looks at how much the public trust government, media and business. The latest 2019 report points to the vital role that companies play.

Within the study, people place more trust in their companies than in political leaders. There is a notable shift in trust to the relationships people have within their control, most notably UK employers.

When it comes to mutual trust, this is something that Avec has in abundance. Becks highlights, “Business owners need to put the emphasis on their team to discover and find their own answers. Perfection is not the only solution. I want people to succeed they need to be supported.

 

“We found out that people are not necessarily motivated by money. Every two years we profile the business and the team. From our own studies, we can see that people are motivated by security, a sense of validation and encouragement to be creative. It is the responsibility for a business owner to have a responsibility for others, this is how trust is earned. We also could see what demotivates the team. The majority do not like public recognition.”

 

What about the future of an expanding company? Becks concludes, “I will give everything away for others to provide direction. However, I will not give away the customer relationship and the most precious resource, finding the right people. The company culture is one that has to be protected and championed.

 

Conclusion

 

If a company has values, they truly have to live them. This is something that Avec UK truly believe in.

 

It all comes down to the behaviour of how a company presents itself to the outside world and the obligation it has to those who work within the business.

 

Having values is more than a buzzword and something that you shout loudly on LinkedIn. It is the groundwork for a robust company culture that stands the test of time and to remain continually relevant to those that have a continual touch point with a company.

The companies who drive change and adapt are the ones who will have a competitive edge.

There will always be companies that hang on to old working structures. Today is more than putting people in jobs.

The mindset is more than simply having someone fill an empty desk. The time has now come to equip businesses to make the change to flexibility in their employment practices.

Let’s look at re-evaluating our working mindsets.

Where Can Employers Go Wrong?

When looking for a driven and dedicated mindset, it is easy for employers to slip up and make some common mistakes. You can’t expect your workforce to know how to behave if they have been given little or no guidance. Angela Piromalli, MD for Rise, strongly believes in empowering employees as a way of improving attitudes.

Angela states, “You need to identify the right mentality in an employee but also find out what an employee needs from you. It is the employer’s job to enable someone to be their best.

“Businesses have a more collaborative approach now, so taking everyone’s needs into consideration is essential.”

Appreciating everyone’s value in a company doesn’t necessarily have to come across in pay. From simply heading a side project or having more flexible time by job sharing (something that doesn’t impact cost for the company), employees stay happy and hand in hand continue to work to their fullest capability.

Flexibility Within Your Work

With work taking up a significant amount of your week, being flexible within that is fundamental to having a positive view of your job. For instance, Fleur Cook, Marketing Marketing within Rise has taken on responsibility for the 2019 Rock Star Awards. This provides others with a sense of leadership and more importantly ownership, within their contracted hours. Just because you have a job title does not mean you should be doing the same routine every day of the week.

Not only does wider responsibility keep you intrigued, but it can also bring credibility, confidence and pride in that you are working to create something entirely yours. Being given responsibility within the company keeps employees happy, and that passion alongside responsibility draws the team closer together:

Angela says, “All our employees should have flexibility too. You should trust the people you work with and decide your priorities.”

“If someone is late to work, it does not matter. We know the same people would voluntarily stay late at the weekend if they needed to. Having the right people with the right values is essential.”

Having The Right Values And Bringing Them Into The Workplace

If everyone in the workplace has a common collective goal, things fall into place.

Toni Taylor, Rise Office Manager stated, “If a business instills no trust in the people they are working with and people do not work together, things will not run smoothly.”

“Taking on that new and fresh way of seeing a business as a community means it is more likely to succeed. Businesses who see people are commodities will be the ones who will fail.”

“This isn’t just a job. It’s a career. It is give and take on both ends — the more you put in the more we give you back and vice versa.”

Within Rise, we believe that the nature of a person comes first, as skillset can always be learnt. Recruiting wise, attitude comes before experience.

On an organisational side, we are seeing this in abundance with the quality of the applicants for the 2019 Rock Star Awards, not just those who have made it to the final stages, but the majority of people who applied this year.

Behind The Curtain Of The Workplace

Learning more about the people behind a company can tell a thousand stories. With our up and coming ThinkTank initiative, we want to look more into the people and find out how different work methods impact stress and wellbeing. This will provide us with data to improve ourselves and companies around us.

Seeing what makes our employees the best versions of themselves, we can build towards a happier and more productive workforce. We are always looking for new companies to get involved too.

Knowing how to not only attract but keep staff is fundamental to a good working attitude too, and with that mindset comes longevity in that career path.

Communication is of the utmost importance, and in maintaining a good relationship with colleagues does not always have to be work related — you are allowed to talk about non-work matters, and build a strong relationship. Virtues and values interchange in all aspects of life.

Let’s Conclude

When the employer and employee mindset is right, things fall into place.

Being surrounded by others who care about you past the working day makes a significant difference in working life.

Gone are the days of traditional office small-talk and solely searching for skillsets, we are welcoming with open arms a more fluid and friendly work environment where people feel valued. Let’s tread this new path together.

If you would like to come onboard our ThinkTank programme, where we will test new working models intended on having an impact on you and your business, then step forward with us in our pilot programme. Let’s rise together. To find out a bit more email fleur@letsrise.co.uk

 

Performance has to be measured from goals set, not how much time someone spends in an office.

Flexibility and openness have to be taken on board when it comes to getting back into work.

A recent report From Career Woman to Working Mum for Mums Enterprise, asked 1,000 mothers on happiness in their working lives. The survey highlighted that 24% were denied flexible working, 15% were passed over for promotion, 8% were made redundant whilst on maternity leave, 18% returned to a different role.

There is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed.

The challenge is very real when it comes to getting back into work. This can expand into areas such as mental health and also caring for elderly family members.

What are the options when it comes to finding balance again? Is it making that step into what could feel like unfamiliar territory or making that step to go it alone?

 

Making The Step Back In The Ring

Angela Piromalli, Managing Director of Rise highlighted,

“When you take a career break, you still have an armoury of skillsets embedded within you.”

“Having children and then getting back into the working world, is where the challenge lies. It doesn’t matter whether someone has an MBA or reached a heady place within their respective profession, when it comes to a working parent they simply cannot sit at a desk for 45 hours per week.”

 

Whilst we can all acknowledge that society is changing when it comes to getting back into work, there is a trust issue when it comes to a flexible approach to working.

Angela stated,

“We have an abundance of commercial businesses in Dorset. However, we cannot ignore the fact that some businesses would not entertain a world that is away from 9 to 5. Those who win will be those businesses who actively want to empower their staff. There needs to be a 360 degree circle of trust. For instance, if one of the Rise team is writing a report away from the office, it’s not a case of an excuse to go shopping or spend the afternoon down the beach.”

“Attitudes around trust and the ability to work remotely have to be addressed. In the next five years, the businesses who will suffer are those who cannot recruit the best talent because of a rigid attitude. There has to be a transition. Looking for a work life balance, should not be seen as a negative approach.”

 

Practising what you preach is important. At Rise Recruitment we believe that a flexible working model is a successful model to adopt. To put this into context, none of our clients want to know that we are continually sitting behind a desk in our offices in Westbourne. Clients want to know they are cared for and supported and someone to talk and discuss.

Whilst the world of flexibility presents a commercial nirvana, let’s put the brakes on slightly. When it comes back to getting into the rhythm of work again, people may be frightened that they may lose their jobs. Being open and discussing with HR straight away may seem easy on paper, but the last thing a parent wants is a heavy burden of anxiety. Angela explained,

“I went back into work (before I set up Rise Recruitment) three months after my daughter was born. Nursery did not start until 8.30am, so I had to pay for another level of childcare, so I could be in for work at 9am. I carried guilt heavily around with me.”

 

There Is An Alternative

Alongside the decision to come back into the workplace, the decision does not have to be stepping straight back into familiar territory.

Erin Thomas Wong leads the Making Mumpreneurs community where the company mantra is,

‘Having children doesn’t mean the end of your career – it might just mean you have to redesign it.’

 

Erin highlighted the challenges.

“According to the Sunday Times a mother with two children at nursery needs to earn at least £40k a year to make any profit from going to work. The stress this places on families is a very real problem.”

The Centre For Economics And Business Research highlighted that the cost of raising a child to the age of 21 (and attending state school) is over £230,000. However, having children doesn’t mean the hopes and dreams are thrown out the window, it all comes down to redesigning the world you are part of.”

“People are making a conscious decision to prioritise flexibility over income.  Making Mumpreneurs supports these women as they make the transition to self-employment.”

It’s a huge learning curve to start your own business, but many women are finding it to be a positive and empowering step. Erin explains,

“My business is mine and I am in control of it. I can go to my children’s sports day, make it a priority and nothing gets in the way.”

 

A Positive Look

Angela highlighted the shift that have been happening over the past few years.

“Technology and the digital revolution is playing its role. For instance, Skype video calls connects people, work files become accessible via the cloud and all team members are easily contactable. We can’t live in a world where every action on email has to be, ‘by end of play.’”

A career break and time off can mean confidence is knocked and the stress of asking for some flexibility. Where can things become easier. Angela explained,

“If people are coming back to work, they need to feel part of a family. Inclusivity is vital. It is the duty of an employer to get systems in place. It is all about creating the right attitude and bringing in an emotive side.”

There are options available. Whilst the step to build your own one man army provides independence, it also provides the challenge of starting everything from scratch to build a customer base. When heading back to work, whilst there are the issues of self-doubt and building confidence again, if this is supported by flexibility and openness, the world becomes more accessible.

Empowerment and transparency is a very real and powerful driver for change within businesses and also individuals.