I really hate being bored. I don’t like to stop learning, and I don’t shy away from a challenge. That’s why for me, a purpose-led business is the only kind of business I want to work for – because, simply put – the work will never be done.
But what does it mean to be purpose-led? What does it mean to be a responsible business? And what does it mean to value people, society and the environment as much as profit?
For me, it’s about the big decisions you need to make as a company. To be truly purpose-led, you will have to make some harder choices than companies who (perhaps) focus solely on profit, and in the short-term, some of those choices may seem counterintuitive. But I, like many people I work with in Capita, believe that this approach is not only the right thing to do, we believe it delivers long-term, sustainable benefit to our (and your) business. In short, the hard choices you make now will pay dividends in the future.
So let me give you a few examples of what you might need to do if you want to commit to being the kind of purpose-led business I’m proud to work for:
You need to publicly commit to genuine stretch targets and hold yourself to account.
In Capita, we know that what gets measured gets done, and we’re not afraid of giving ourselves a challenge. So we have, for example, committed to being Net Zero by 2035 with the confidence and rigour of science-based targets. We’ve also set ourselves ambitious goals for both women in leadership roles, and ethnic diversity in leadership. I’m proud to say we’re on track, or exceeding, all our targets so far this year, and we also have one of the most diverse PLC boards and executive leadership teams in the UK FTSE.
You need to give more than lip service to employee wellbeing.
In Capita, we’ve introduced Team Health, our Group-level wellbeing, health and safety team, led by Dr Charles Young (who spends every Thursday in the Emergency Department of a local hospital). This team provides meaningful and clinically robust support to our colleagues, our line managers and our end-users, working with a team of over 1000 customer-facing clinicians, to deliver real impact.
You must give your employees a voice.
We have eight brilliant Employee Network Groups (ENGs), who represent the voices of over 15,000 colleagues. Every month, our ENG Chairs get together in Choir, our Capita ENG forum, to share best practices, challenges and insights, and input directly into Group-level policy. As a result we have launched or revised a huge number of key people policies, including our zero tolerance approach to racism, bullying, discrimination and harassment, our life leave policy, our menopause policy, our reasonable adjustments policy, our transitioning at work policy, our carers policy and many more.
This year we’ve also launched our Employee Leadership Council (read more about this here) ensuring diverse thinking comes straight from our employees to executive level decision making and strategy.
You might need to rethink your “everyone get back to the office” policy.
Increasingly I see companies telling their employees to ‘get back to work’ since the core of the Covid pandemic appears to have passed. This somehow implies that people weren’t working at their hardest throughout one of the most challenging times we’ve seen in a generation. But for us? We’ve seen brilliance throughout Covid. We’ve seen employees go above and beyond. We’ve seen continuously delighted clients. We’ve seen talent emerge, grow and flourish because flexible work has broken down previous barriers that might have stopped them from doing their best. So while we continue to monitor, measure and evolve in this space (more on that in the coming months) we remain proudly pro-flexibility – giving every employee as much freedom as their job role will allow, and for most of our employees, this means they can choose exactly when and how often they come into an office.
I definitely won’t sit here today and say we have all the answers – after all, that’s the point. Our purpose at Capita is to create better outcomes, and that means we will never be done making things better. But for me, it’s the best part, because with every upward step we take, we unlock a goal that’s even bigger, bolder and, well… better.
We stay focused on our front line people so that, when we’re delivering customer services for you, they’re supported with the right training and tools to better manage difficult enquiries:
Group Director of Employee Engagement, D&I and Responsible Business
Caitlin is a people-centric leader with over 15 years experience in engagement, inclusion, project delivery and change. She’s worked across both the public and private sector in Australia and the UK, and describes herself as a problem-solver who delivers high-quality business outcomes without compromising on equality, respect or values. She’s currently working on creating a more engaged, inclusive and productive workplace for over 55,000 Capita employees around the globe.