Skills for Care

Placing happiness at the heart of PossAbilities

30 Jun 2023

5 min read

Skills for Care

  • Good news story
  • Culture and diversity

For care provider PossAbilities, ‘be happy’ is one of their core values. They share how they create a positive workplace culture for their staff.

Freya Bleakley, HR Director at PossAbilities tells us:

We recognise that social care can be a challenging sector to work in at the moment and as we emerge from COVID-19 we want to ensure that we continue to focus on creating the best employee experience for the amazing people that work for us and we believe creating a happy workplace is central to this.

For PossAbilities ‘be happy’ is one of their core values, and they place fun at the top of their agenda to develop a positive workplace culture for their team.

The organisation arranges regular social activities to bring their communities together. This has included a Happiness Event for teams and families, having a bring your dog to work day, and arranging a Queen's Jubilee garden party. They’ve also taken part in Manchester Pride, the Stockport Carnival and The Big Night In, as well as having regular team building activities. At Christmas they took Christmas jumper day one step further with a reindeer day and a Santa's grotto for colleagues’ families and local schools to attend.

This year they’re planning a PossAbilities Carnival.

The organisation also places a keen focus on recognition for staff. They’ve implemented a new values-based POSSitive peer-to-peer recognition scheme called 'It's in our DNA', as well as continuing to hand out WOW cards from the CEO, which acknowledges when someone has gone above and beyond, with a handwritten thank you card and some fizz or chocolates delivered to them by the CEO or a director. They also have an in-person glitzy annual staff awards ceremony.

To ensure staff are heard, they’ve launched a ‘We're Listening’ survey and from this have created Great Place to Work plans to drive forward any improvements highlighted.
Plus, their Big Idea Scheme allows colleagues to put forward any ideas they have; while their Staff Advisory Group and EDI Group ensure they’re engaging staff in key decisions.

To support any staff who are struggling, they also have things in place to support colleagues when they aren’t feeling their best. This includes several trained mental health first aiders within the organisation, as well as providing an employee assistance program, and information and signposting to support and guidance.

Plus, they offer discounted rates at a holiday lodge to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to rest, recuperate and have a break away. Their Happiness Manifesto also outlines 12 ways in which staff can support their own happiness.

In response to the cost of living crisis they supported staff with a voucher up to £1000 at Christmas to ensure everyone could enjoy the festive period and didn't have to worry. Practical support was provided by the creation of a Cost of Living Group, sharing information and support during Talk Money Week and setting up a clothes 'swap shop'.

Freya tells us: 

At PossAbilities we truly believe that creating a working environment which supports people’s happiness is an essential ingredient to a successful organisation.

The positive workplace culture they’ve created has also brought many benefits for the organisation including a low vacancy rate at 8%, and all services being rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In their most recent staff survey 77% of respondents said they ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that they felt proud to work for PossAbilities, while 70% ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that they saw themselves working for PossAbilities in a year’s time.

Responses in the survey included:

The people here are amazing! Caring people who want to do what's best for the people we support. I feel supported by my manager and the relationship we have has really grown. I feel now that this is the right place for me, and I'm valued! This is something I haven't felt in a long time!

Management go above and beyond to help you achieve your goals. Working for PossAbilities makes going to work each day fun. I work in a healthy environment. Managers trust their employees to work hard and make good decisions.

Well done to PossAbilities for creating a #PositiveWorkplaceCulture where staff feel supported and valued.


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