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“Open communication is important”: creating a workplace culture that attracts, encourages and inspires

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Batyr General Manager, Nicolas Brown, talked to Third Sector about creating a workplace culture that attracts, encourages and inspires employees to work towards the organisation’s shared mission and values.

The culture of an organisation is the sum of the people within it. Therefore, bringing individuals into the organisation that are passionate about the mission, vision and values of the organisation is crucial. This may be obvious and takes time, energy and resources but is a pivotal part of building a positive work culture.

General Manager of Batyr, Nicolas Brown, talked to Third Sector on how allowing people to authentically be themselves with an openness to be vulnerable and make mistakes ensures there are opportunities to improve and grow together.

“We spend a significant proportion of our lives at work and so I believe we should enjoy it!”, he said.

Nicolas adds that organisational values need to come from within, harnessing what kind of organisation the people within it want and don’t want to work for. Putting values on a wall and expecting people to live them out daily, he said, will not work compared to having everyone involved in the process.

“At batyr the people want to ensure we ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to encouraging others to reach out for support when they need it. Our wellbeing program focuses on the full individual including their mental health by providing a wellbeing allowance, wellbeing leave, covering the gap for psych appointments, monthly wellbeing sessions with our Chief Happiness Officer, Dr Happy amongst other things,” Nicolas shared.

There is a culture of gratitude and all Batyr’s values are regularly discussed in team meetings with ongoing progress reviews and rewards twice a year for those best showing these values. They have clear objectives as an organisation and ensure each team member understands how their individual goals feed back into the big picture objectives and mission of the organisation.

Batyr supporters vary in age, backgrounds, and levels of wealth. They see the importance in understanding why individuals, groups, and companies want to support projects and programs to ensure it is a true partnership. Nicolas said that younger givers aren’t always interested in just providing funding or adding to a pool of funding and watching the impact from a far. They want to share time, talent and treasure and get their hands dirty and be a part of the positive change. He said that providing these opportunities and clearly being able to show where funding has been allocated and used has always been important but is particularly true of young givers.

“We engage these givers by ensuring they can relate to our brand and work hard in working alongside them to have fun, creating exciting and innovative ways to make the most of funds raised or given. This includes breaking world records, fundraising gala dinners, sporting days and VIP dinners. All of these are largely conceptualised, organised and driven by communities and individuals keen to support the organisation with internal staff only working alongside in support,” Nicolas said.

Ongoing and open communication is also important. Nicolas shares that ensuring the organisational values are driving decision making at all levels means there is a feeling of one team all working toward the same goal. On a person to person level the management need to know the board are real life people and not just a faceless group making decisions. Similarly, the board need to trust the management team are delivering on agreed outcomes.

“Depending on the culture of the organisation, things that can help with building these relationships can be not waiting until problems arise to get in touch with the Board”, Nicolas said. “Sharing wins and challenges throughout the year with updates, rotating presentations at board meetings from different staff members, informal catch ups between management and board members or linking up both with management staff as mentors or supporters who can also provide insight in both directions.”

To hear more from Nicolas Brown about creating a workplace culture that attracts, encourages and inspires employees to work towards the organisation’s shared mission and values, register for Third Sector Live.


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