13 Mar B Corp – We Go Beyond – WWA People
It is week 3 of B-Corp Month, and time to delve in to how WWA ‘Go Beyond’ across our guiding principles of ‘People, Places, Planet’ over the next few weeks.
First and foremost, comes People, and this week we explore WWA’s commitment to supporting our people. WWA are passionate about caring for the team, making sure they are happy, healthy, and supported to create a positive impact for clients, our communities, and our planet.
WWA Futures is an all-inclusive learning and development programme, launched to foster all team members’ individual professional journeys from the start of their careers until retirement. A mixture of in-person and online resources are offered to enhance life skills and professional development.
David Ashford, WWA’s People & Culture Lead explains: “The ultimate goal of the WWA Futures programme is to deliver an accredited certification, a WWA Diploma. But first, the team are receiving continual development and support in areas that will benefit their roles and experience.”
WWA Futures in practice
WWA Futures is being delivered in phases. Phase 1 is focused on guiding junior staff towards achieving their Chartership Programme and a high level of competence in their professional field. This support is extremely valuable in helping junior staff understand the process of obtaining Chartership and gaining greater confidence in their ability. Financial support is also offered to anyone wanting to pursue other relevant qualifications, providing the team with the ability to engage in bespoke opportunities.
David said: “There is a particular focus on supporting young people in the sector, as it caters for diversity of thought. Young people offer a new perspective, where a range of backgrounds for true diversity is a force to be reckoned with.”
This support is of course extended to everyone. In the construction sector, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) requires all RICS professionals to undertake and record a minimum of 20 hours of continued personal development a year. WWA Futures offers 10 hours of personal development sessions to help manage this. These personal development sessions include a range of topics from ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’ to ‘Designing to Net Zero Carbon’, with our most recent session on ‘Accounting Principles and Procedures’ delivered by Lou Rees from the Finance Team. Our CPD sessions are held monthly and offer universal development opportunities, where support and technical staff can simultaneously benefit.
Dan Lowe, Assistant Project Manager said: “The ‘Designing to Net Zero Carbon’ CPD session presented by Stride Treglown Architects was incredibly informative. It was particularly useful as one of my projects is examining how far we can go with incorporating Net Zero Carbon into all aspects of the design.”
David Ashford said: “This is something very unique to WWA’s internal engagement, and something we are very proud of.”
In-person residentials are also run for personal development. These sessions are targeted and focused on project skills and technical teamwork. This provides a safe space for teams to try, fail and learn from their mistakes. It is a space to challenge one another and receive technically specific feedback.
The Future of WWA Futures
The next phase of WWA Futures will be split between ‘Technical Skills’ and ‘Leadership and Management.’ Technical staff will receive workshops and sessions on specific skills and knowledge needed to work in the 21st century. Being aware of the latest technology, how to communicate kindly, and being creative and resourceful are areas that we will expand on simultaneously as part of our developments to offer better solutions.
The Leadership and Management side will focus on upskilling Associate Partners in preparation for taking on a more senior role. This will encourage a frictionless and more confident transition should the Associate Partners wish to progress this way.
The key ingredient
Above all, investing in our team’s happiness is a key priority, with extended holiday given at Christmas, Birthdays off, Bank Holidays, and at least 3 weeks of annual leave, work life balance is an important part of WWA’s culture. Hybrid working and Flexy time working also offer flexibility to work around home life. Flexy time has been put in place this year as a discretionary benefit where the principal core hours expected to work are from 10 – 3pm, with the additional hours worked to fit around the individual; and is built based on well-being, trust and productivity.
Additionally, we recognise that sometimes there are personal circumstances or occasions where people need time off work that are not reflective of annual leave. The team are offered 6 Flexy days a year and are trusted to make up the contractual hours elsewhere.
Building happiness through trust is a key ingredient of the WWA Culture. Growing the next generation of quantity surveyors and project managers to be equipped with skills, social and environmental awareness is a necessity. Upskilling, engaging, and nurturing every WWA team member on their personal and professional journey is a way we ‘Go Beyond’ in impacting the Built Environment for the future.
Yasmine Knox, WWA B Corp Assistant