Capturing hearts and minds by putting real people and real stories at the centre of their business has been the key to the success of the partnership between ReAssure and Age UK.
In this special guest blog, Shana Roberts, a manager in the CEO’s office at ReAssure, tells us about the inspirational work they’ve been doing to support the elderly and explains why the employee voice is just as important as the corporate one.
“ReAssure chose Age UK to be our corporate charity partner in 2017. This partnership is perfect for us as it really allows us to put our customers at the heart of our business and gain a better understanding of their needs as they age with us. This relationship has been very successful, and so far we have raised over £150,000 to help Age UK fund important local services for elderly people around the country.
Soon after we began partnering with Age UK, we started to explore other ways that our staff could support vulnerable customers. As a business we recognised that dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide and the number of new cases increase every year. With this in mind, we made a pledge that all of our employees would undergo Dementia Awareness training and would be given the opportunity to become ‘Dementia Friends’.
This initiative has been well received by staff and 2000 employees, across all of our sites, have attended Dementia Awareness sessions run by our own in-house, accredited facilitators known as ‘Dementia Champions’. These sessions have had an overwhelming impact on our employees, changing their perceptions of those who live with dementia and giving them a safe space to share their own experiences of this disease. At the end of each session, attendees are awarded a certificate and a group photograph is posted on our internal Facebook page for their colleagues to ‘like’ or comment upon. We have created a real sense of community and a group that all our employees aspire to be part of.
The humility, kindness and compassion shown by our employees has become something we celebrate and encourage openly.
We held our own ‘Memory Walk’ on World Alzheimer’s Day, to help raise awareness of the disease in our own communities. We’ve been using internal messaging in the week leading up to this event and have many great activities planned such as sharing testimonials from employees who have attended the training sessions, a podcast featuring our Dementia Champions, facts about Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia on our internal TV screens and a Facebook takeover the Friday before the walk where we ask employees to share their best musical memories in recognition of the fact that music can be a powerful tool in helping sufferers remember important events in their lives.
Capturing the hearts and minds of our employees has been key to the success of this programme. At ReAssure, the ‘employee voice’ is just as important as the corporate one, and putting real people and real stories at the centre of business genuinely motivates and inspires our staff.”