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Living up to our values: putting humans at the forefront of everything we do

March 5th, 2024   |   Tom Inniss

We believe in putting people first. It’s one of our core values, and that ethos of cherishing the joy in working with people to build something amazing is right at the heart of everything we do - both with clients and with employees. 

We know that our success comes from the incredible people that comprise Brew Digital. But it’s not enough just to have amazing talent in an organisation, you need to work to make everyone feel like part of the team, and create a strong culture that people can buy into. 

Well, not to blow our own horn, but we think we’re pretty great at that too. We work exceptionally hard to create a collegial atmosphere where everybody feels included – even when they work on the other side of the world

Our investment in the team comes from the core belief in putting people first. It’s people, not processes, that inspire excellence, and create the solutions that surprise and delight our customers. We’re very lucky that our parent company, The Adaptavist Group (TAG.), shares this ethos, and our team is able to jump in on many of the initiatives it runs.

Embracing our differences

Brew Digital is a global company within an even larger global organisation, meaning we are blessed with lots of cultural and geographical diversity. We celebrate those differences, and acknowledge how they make us stronger as a team, and more educated about different societies across the globe. 

In TAG’s larger offices, they host regular potlucks where people get together and share foods from their respective cultures. We also get to hear from people across the world during stand-ups, where they talk more about their cultures, and different holidays and religious celebrations.

But it’s not just celebrating geographical and religious differences. For instance, October was Black History Month, and the company did a great job in highlighting some amazing People of Colour who are rocking the world, including a talk from author and actor Kelechi Okafor. Their book, Saluting our Sisters was also selected for October’s book club – yes, we have a book club! 

There was also an incredibly insightful seminar on the menopause recently, and I was really encouraged to see plenty of males in attendance. There are plans for content relating to men’s health in November (Movember, anyone?) too, so everybody has the chance to learn something new. 

Bringing people together

A bit of a no-brainer, but one of the ways we keep people feeling connected to the wider team is to physically bring them together.

Our main office is in Norwich, and although people are welcome to pop in whenever they want, every month we have a dedicated office day where we encourage people across the country to come in, see each other, and generally catch-up on what’s going on. 

The Adaptavist Group, with over 1,000 employees across the world, is similarly invested in bringing people together. With offices in major cities, the team can make use of any of them when travelling. Even more exciting are the end-of-year conferences TAG organises. This year there are conferences in Greece, Mexico, and Kuala Lumpur for each of the company’s regions of operation, and we’re looking forward to a great mix of company updates, team catch-ups, and forward planning.  

Supporting meaningful causes

We’re supportive of people’s interests outside of work. For example, we have sponsored a musical written by a colleague, and we love to help support people’s side ventures where possible. But we also empower people to make a difference in wider society through a number of philanthropic endeavours.  

Adaptavist is part of the Pledge 1% corporate philanthropy movement, which seeks to make the community a key stakeholder in every business. There are four components to the 1% pledge: time, profit, product, and equity. All Adaptavist employees can apply to volunteer 1% of their working time in any given year for a charitable cause. The company also donates a portion of its revenue to charitable causes, and employees can apply to have their own charitable causes considered. Equally, Adaptavist can allow for products to be provided at little or no cost to non-profit organisations. 

While that’s great in its own right, Adaptavist really put their words into action when it comes to investing in society, and very recently launched Adaptakind, a new employee donation scheme. Building on the foundations of the 1% Pledge, Adaptakind means employees double their impact with an automatic company match on donations, up to £1000 pounds each year. 

Putting people first

It may seem like the obvious thing, putting people first, but we have all heard the stories of companies that claim to care for their employees, or view them as ‘families’ – leaving out that they mean the dysfunctional, holiday-argument type of family. We do things differently here; our emphasis on people means ensuring that they can be happy and secure both in work and outside of it.  

Birthdays can be very divisive – people either love them and make massive plans, or view the inexorable march of time as a bit of a downer. We do our bit to try and make the occasion just that little bit more special – whichever camp you fall in – by sending a personalised gift directly to your door. And it’s not just cake, either. We’ve had people request boxes of crisps, a kilo of skittles, and even a gourmet family pork pie! No judgement here…

It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re having fun, but we like to briefly press pause and celebrate the anniversaries of people joining Brew. These are typically marked with a beautifully designed image from one of the design team. Recent Brewversaries include Rich (Head of Digital Marketing), Steph (Head of Design), and Sarah and Andrej (Co-Creative directors of Brew North). 

Coming back to our core values, it really can’t be overstated how much we believe in people, and want to give them the space to pursue their passion and creativity, but also to look after themselves. People should be able to live their lives without constantly worrying about work. We have an unlimited holiday policy, but we also provide flexible working so people can attend doctor appointments or do the school run. Our MD leads by example and blocks time out so he can go and pick his kids up from school, and that’s exactly how it should be. 

Having said all of that, we know there is always more we can do. In 2024 we’ll be continuing to tweak and refine what we offer so we can better deliver amazing work for our customers, and ensure that everybody feels welcome, included, and able to flourish. That’s the Brew Digital way.

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