An interview with this year’s Best Wellbeing in the Workplace Strategy: SME winner: The British Academy

British Academy wellbeing win

The British Academy launched its People Strategy in February 2020 - set out to enable its employees to deliver and achieve the Academy’s priorities. The People Strategy highlights the importance of employee wellbeing and takes into account previous hard times they have faced in the workplace. One of the key points in their strategy is to encourage inclusivity, wellbeing and resilience - and they do so by having a working environment that promotes support, integration, care, positivity, and respect.

The Academy is also taking forward the results of an independent review of equality, diversity, and inclusion in its functions, to bring about meaningful change in the organisation and to take the lead in addressing under-representation in the wider sector. 

We caught up with Teresa, head of HR at The British Academy, to see what winning the award meant for them, their journey with workplace wellbeing, and what we can expect to see from The British Academy in the future.

Discussing their three main focuses inclusivity, wellbeing and resilience Teresa explained how they are always on a journey with wellbeing, recognising changes, and adapting.  

“Having a structure within which to implement change has been key, and our People Strategy has provided a good framework for the workforce areas. We are also in the process of reviewing the Academy’s business strategy – a revised strategy will be implemented in 2023 and we will be refreshing the People Strategy at the same time. One essential element is our workplace values. These include Respect and Resilience and bring inclusivity, diversity and wellbeing together. The values underpin our workforce policies and processed and are aligned with learning and development activity.” 

Adding to this, Teresa spoke about the future of workplace wellbeing for The British Academy, and what we can expect to see from them to continue to support their staff, and create a positive, motivating working environment.

“In the next quarter, we want to focus more on financial and social wellbeing – financial because of the cost of living strains and social because we’re still getting used to hybrid working, Covid is still around and we are thinking of more creative ideas to collaborate and connect.”

Wellbeing, in and outside of the workplace never stops, and The British Academy, have plans in motion to adapt and expand their wellbeing strategies - which is a huge factor as to why they were awarded this year’s Best Wellbeing in the Workplace Strategy: SME.

Speaking to Teresa, we were also able to get the perspective of an employee, as well as someone who is playing a big part in the wellbeing practices at the British Academy, so we were intrigued to find out as an employee, why she thinks The British Academy is a great place to work.  

“As Head of HR, it’s lovely to work with a supportive senior management team who provides encouragement and space for workforce change. Our staff survey last year showed how staff appreciated our focus on wellbeing, flexibility and recognition. The size of the Academy means we are like a big family in many respects. People are friendly and welcoming. And the work the Academy does – through our policy, research and development teams, and our Fellows – is really interesting.”