‘Truth is, I thought it mattered, I thought that music mattered, but does it bollocks, not compared to how people matter’
That quote above means a lot to me. It’s taken from the 1996 film Brassed Off and it’s delivered in all its grit, by Danny, the collier brass band leader, played by the late and great Pete Postlethwaite.
In the film, Postlethwaite’s character is completely focussed on the music and on his brass band winning, no matter what. Until, that is, some life moments happen to those he is leading.
We’ve just had our annual staff away day and launched our company value. So right now, I’m feeling a pretty relieved bloke.
You see, when you own and run a business that isn’t yet five years old, has a turnover of over £1.5 million, 28 staff and has experienced rapid growth in the last 12 months, the last thing on your mind is developing a set of company values.
And I have to admit that up until early this year, I was adamant that Social Communications didn’t need to write any values down, because our staff lived and breathed our value proposition of honesty, integrity, hard graft, caring for the environment and so on. We just it seemed, didn’t need to develop these formally.
And then I had a wakeup call. Earlier this year, two members of our staff told me, independently of each other, that one of their grandparents had recently died, and ‘was it okay if I could take a day off for the funeral’.
This stopped me in my tracks. To be honest, it felt wrong to me that two of our team had a lost a loved one and needed to ask if it was okay to take time off. And this is the exact moment that our value Life Happens was born.
Life does indeed happen. In all sorts of ways and when we least expect it. And so Life Happens has become our only core value at Social Communications.
For any of our 28 staff that work for Social Communications, they know that when a Life Happens moment happens to them, be it a day to day thing like a flat tyre, a minor health issue, or a washing machine breaking down, through to the major events like serious illness and bereavement, we pull together, look after them and help them get through it.
And the same goes for our clients too. Life Happens to them, whether they are dealing with a change in legislation or a major crisis, we are there to help when they need us. Even if that is on a Bank Holiday or in the middle of the night.
Our Life Happens value has two components.
It’s about Social Communications really caring about its staff and it’s about us all looking after and caring for our clients.
The Life Happens commitment to our staff is this. That you work for a company that fully appreciates that we are all different and we all have lives and pressures outside of work. Things often happen beyond your control, and if it does, we’ve got your back. And we will do our best to send you home happy, healthy and motivated each day. We won’t get it right all of the time, but that’s our daily aim.
And our Life Happens commitment to our clients is this. That they have chosen to engage and work with an organisation that really cares for its staff, and that has an exceptional, talented, motivated and bright team that is looking after them. And that very team knows that if our clients need us out of hours or in extraordinary circumstances because of their Life Happens moments. We will be there.
Life Happens is the only core value we need because, from the perspective of both our principal stakeholders – our staff and our clients – it encompasses everything we are as an organisation.
And that’s it. People matter. And it goes without saying that by creating an environment where people matter, our other commitments to integrity, teamwork, respect, empathy, passion and care for the environment all happen naturally.
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It’s been a pleasure to work with the team from Social. It’s been a seamless process and the end product was exactly as we briefed.
Jonathan North, Digital Communications Manager, UK Sport