Skills for Care

How workplace culture supports equality, diversity and inclusion for staff

24 Jun 2024

5 min read

Skills for Care

  • Culture and diversity
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Wellbeing

We hear from Dan Steadman, Group HR and Organisational Development Director, Agincare, about how their workplace culture supports equality, diversity and inclusion for their team members nationwide.

Workplace culture is the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that characterise your organisation. It encompasses the unwritten norms and practices that guide how people interact with each other, approach their work, and perceive their roles within the organisation.

A crucial part of a positive workplace culture is ensuring people feel welcomed within their organisation. People should feel at home amongst their colleagues and comfortable being themselves - equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) form an important part of any truly positive workplace culture.

Agincare has a hugely diverse workforce, for example we have over 65 nationalities represented across our organisation. Our workforce includes many sponsored workers from outside of the UK and we’re proud to say we have a 95% retention rate for these sponsored team members. Without a strong commitment to EDI and a positive workplace culture, our organisation would not be able to retain the skilled teams that it has today.

Paying special attention to those who are most at risk of feeling isolated or anxious when they work is another important part of the Agincare process. For our sponsored team members from overseas, we put in place a variety of measures to make sure they feel supported. This includes welfare support, access to mental health services and support with accommodation and living arrangements. We also celebrate national days of pride and religious holidays with them. This initiative has been a great success for our organisation, with over 400 sponsored team members across Agincare.

We believe leadership is one of the most important factors in shaping workplace culture and EDI outcomes. Where leaders are consistent, transparent and values-led, the culture is more positive, and the organisation is more effective. Within Agincare, we ask all our managers to act according to our primary values – skilled, agile and proud. This means we expect our managers to use their leadership skills to build a more equitable and enjoyable place to work; while being flexible and responsive to the needs of our employees and the people we support, ultimately fostering pride through their work.

With over 37 years of experience, Agincare remains family-owned and delivers a wide range of care services from over 90 locations nationwide. And that makes consistently embracing shared values absolutely core to our continued success and growth.

All our team members receive a thorough induction that outlines the values that we expect them to operate by. This includes clear guidance on our EDI policy, but also our mindset when it comes to the treatment of their colleagues and the people they support.

A crucial part of EDI is continuous improvement – as a care provider, we’re always looking for new approaches to improve our workplace culture. We’ve integrated this mindset into our review processes. We request our teams complete annual anonymous surveys; we provide our team members with regular appraisals. Quality audits are conducted across the organisation and exit interviews are conducted with each leaver. This thorough approach to reviewing our performance gives us ready insight into where we can improve and how people can be made to feel more welcomed, included and equal.

Employee recognition is another important part of the positive culture blueprint. We want our teams to feel acknowledged for the work they do – being proud of your work is an important value to Agincare. To achieve this, we give out regular awards, such as ‘Care Worker of the Month’, but we also hold an annual ‘Agincare Heroes’ event that includes team members’ families and the wider community. This is a big event in our calendar and works to highlight the amazing achievements of Agincare’s dedicated workforce. I believe this is a vital part of how we’re able to make our people feel so valued.

Agincare is proud that 91% of respondents to our most recent team survey said that they are happy working with the organisation and intend to stay – we believe our approach to culture, and EDI are important parts of this. Workplace culture plays a huge role in how your employees feel about their job. Without a concerted effort to improve culture, which we believe relies heavily on leadership, EDI outcomes cannot be improved for staff. Having a celebratory, supportive and well-led organisation will help your workplace culture to support your EDI objectives.

Find out more about how you can retain your staff by visiting the Skills for Care #KeepTheRightPeople webpage.

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