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Graft&Grow: We got the key, we got the secret


  • More than a third (38%) say staff wellbeing may be falling down leaders’ to do lists
  • A quarter (23%) plan to recruit in 2021

The secret? It’s people – they are our success.

Not the biggest surprise given the mood music of the last year. But, the lesson that people are the heart of our businesses seems to be slipping, as focus turned squarely to commercial concerns at the turn of the year.

Only a third (38%) of leaders we quizzed placed staff and wellbeing top in their 2021 list of priorities.. That’s at a time when two thirds of adults were reported to have experienced mental health issues during the pandemic (Office for National Statistics).

Meanwhile, many of us are still working from the four walls we call home – it’s clear COVID-19 has fast-tracked a flexible way of working for Midlands businesses. But, employers and staff appear to agree – total home working isn’t a great long-term solution. Instead, a middle ground is what everyone seems to be after.

Mark Sheldon, Group chief technology officer, Sidetrade

“In terms of remote and flexible working, our end solution will sit somewhere in the middle. We are being more flexible, the new world is going to be more flexible, but we must maintain a focus on people coming together. Whether that means one-two days a week in the office – as it’s essential you don’t lose that innovation, creativity, buzz, and culture from a leadership perspective. Everyone needs to feel part of a journey.”

Charlie Joseph, sales and marketing director, St Joseph, Berkeley Group PLC

“Building confidence in our employees and showing a future goal is hugely important to us. Keeping up engagement is key to wellbeing. You need the energy and interaction to keep the message positive! It is a bit scary, but we will get through this. There is no point in standing still.”

Tara Tomes, Founder and managing director, East Village

“We have got to make people more open at work. There can be a real taboo about getting help, about crying, about feeling great or not feeling great. You have to change how you approach it as a business and it not be a HR issue. It will become a HR issue if you let it fester. But if you encourage a more open workforce where people are talking to each other about how they feel, and are getting the help they need, you are going to have a much happier team.”

Want to know more about the power of stories in engaging your team and customers? Need help in getting internal comms bang on? Get in touch amanda@wearestorycomms.com

Read the full #MidlandsGraftandGrow report, covering everything from Brexit to Black Lives Matter, innovation to cashflow here.

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