Ashfield Meetings & Events Operations Director, Hayley Greaves, highlights the impact of a positive workplace culture.
I started my role as Operations Director here at Ashfield Meetings & Events late in 2017, so I still consider myself a new addition to the company. I’ve worked in the meetings and events industry for my entire career and had always held Ashfield in high regard. I’m from Leeds so the company’s World Events heritage was local and my degree in events many years ago at Leeds Met (now Leeds Beckett) had a strong relationship with the business. So when I was approached about the opportunity to join the Ashfield team, I was excited!
I was made to feel welcome immediately, one of the first things that quickly became apparent was the intrinsically positive culture of this business and its people. This is a thread that runs through every aspect of Ashfield Meetings & Events and it’s continually reinforced by the activities we get involved in on a daily basis.
No suggestion is a silly one and everyone is given a platform to give their thoughts and ideas. There are initiatives such as monthly business unit coffee mornings, which are quite competitive, as you would expect with a company of event managers, and they give everyone an opportunity to network and learn.
There are ‘SPARK moments’ where staff are recognised and rewarded for creative ideas that benefit their colleagues, and bite-sized sessions on how to develop your creative thinking. There’s even a monthly tombola ‘Ignition’ where the company commits to putting money towards an outside of work personal development. I haven’t been picked yet but here’s hoping for those Saxophone lessons!
Within a month of starting, there was also an internal event called The miniLab which invited employees to bring their children into the office, where a day of organised activities focused around meetings and events kept them busy and engaged. What a fantastic way to help your 7-year-old understand where you go when you’re travelling away from home! He’s now certain he wants to be an event manager if he doesn’t make it as a fireman!
This forward-thinking, flexible approach has really helped me integrate and feel valued from the outset. Many of our employees are remote and some work flexibly around their family which is truly refreshing in an industry which is so fast-paced. It’s good to be part of a business that recognises the importance of work-life balance for its employees.