Wendy Pring, CEng MICE, Co-founder and CEO of KCP Material Transfer Business
I have found that being inclusive doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to the same people and probably won’t feel like the same thing from organisation to organisation. To me what it is, is simply feeling included and creating a happy space where your actions express your values, your teams’ values and your brand – your deliverables.
I set about to be the employer of choice (for clarity…I am on a journey to be this…not there yet!). We have a very small recruitment pool and a had high turnover of people (predominantly working away and in smelly conditions – so doesn’t stand out as a preferred job for life). I wanted to make Monday a day where staff breathe – they arrive weary from family weekends and recuperate in a happy space! The work readiness of the person and the team – the realisation that ‘life’ impacts all of us and external factors are a huge part of our teambuilding and productivity…and this is a constant dynamic. We wanted to create an environment where on a Monday we could all sigh a breath of relief that our domestic challenges could be briefly forgotten… and focus on work being an area of respite.
As the CEO of KCP operating in a traditionally male led STEM sector and being based in a beautiful part of rural Scotland – I found myself challenged by a number of areas that all impact on how inclusive I can be. Offering flexible working and home working and managing lack of childcare locally challenges the delivery of inclusive growth. Our internal culture is delivered by the acronym CHESS: – Communication, Honesty, Efficiency, Service, and Safety. We recruit employees on the basis of the first two and then train on the others. We also improve on the first two with continued development on the importance of coaching/ peer to peer mentoring and inclusion in our values and objectives. There is full transparency on the vison and direction of the company to all employees and a needs, wants, and desires process that takes part now as part of our performance reviews.
We have developed a clear set of short, medium, and long term goals – for the individual and the company. We started this particular process over a year ago to gather information on our teams’ needs, wants, and desires to better understand why they come to work. The performance review is not just to assess and monitor performance, it is about establishing relationships with the team who deliver our culture and values to our customers.
So, when you co-create values, actively implement them and embed them as part of your way of dealing with everyday ‘stuff’ – from recruitment to employee days out, who you sponsor etc. – then magic happens!