Guest blog from Silver Birch Care
We are delighted to celebrate our two-year anniversary as a member of the Good Business Charter (GBC). We are proud to be the first social care provider and one of the first 20 organisations to join the GBC, gaining our accreditation on 16 February 2020 – only 6 days after the GBC first launched.
The GBC is an accreditation consisting of 10 components that seek to raise the bar on business practices for employees, tax, the environment, customers, and suppliers. The GBC’s aim is to inspire as many organisations as possible to practice responsible business behaviour, and to publicly acknowledge those organisations who exhibit such behaviour. Our Chief Executive, Karim Lalani met GBC Founder, Julian Richer in the mid-1990s, and has followed his mantra of responsible business ever since. Over the years, Karim has given many copies of Julian’s book, The Richer Way to colleagues, as it is full of ideas on how to practice responsible and ethical business.
Becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer and promoting employee wellbeing are essential components for all GBC members. Silver Birch Care was the first 16+ semi-independent care provider in UK to join The Living Wage Foundation, which we believe has helped us become the provider of choice to so many local authorities as we continue to attract highly qualified staff who are fully committed to supporting young people placed in our care. It is of paramount importance to us that our staff feel valued and well rewarded, which is why we have always paid our employees above the recommended Living Wage rate. We also give everyone an additional day of leave for their birthday as a small way of saying thank you.
The GBC also includes a Diversity & Inclusion component. In line with the GBC and our other accreditations including Committed to Equality and The Mayor of London’s Good Work Standard, we are committed to championing inclusion, diversity, and opportunity in the workplace. Research consistently shows that the most diverse organisations, and those who make a real effort to break down systemic barriers in attracting, developing, and promoting individuals from the widest possible pool of talent, provide vastly improved services over those who do not. At Silver Birch Care we have 130 employees and growing, who all come from a range of backgrounds, which allows us to take a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach to supporting our young people, and providing them with relevant and positive role models. We also have fair and transparent policies in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all staff and young people.
We aim to have a culture in which workplace activities are valued for their learning potential, and encourage all employees to take advantage of training opportunities to enhance their skills development. We support the progression of all our staff, and will always encourage internal promotions where possible – including one of our Senior Care Managers who recently celebrated his 12 year anniversary at Silver Birch Care! All our managers understand their responsibility to motivate and support their team, encouraging open, honest discussion, and taking on constructive feedback. In line with GBC’s employee representation component, we believe that through meaningful consultation and engagement with all our staff, we are able to make better and more informed decisions on how to successfully operate as an organisation.
In the words of Julian Richer, founder of the GBC, in his book The Ethical Capitalist: “it’s all about the people.” Our ethos is to treat everyone how we would wish to be treated, including showing respect, honesty, and fairness at all times. This applies not only to our direct staff members, but also to our suppliers and contractors, which is why have signed up to the Prompt Payment Code as part of our GBC accreditation, and are committed to paying everyone on time, or in many cases, in advance! In today’s economic climate, it has never been more important for businesses to play their part in society and show that they care about more than just profit. We believe that the GBC accreditation demonstrates just that, and hopefully many other organisations will be inspired to follow suit.
The GBC is a simple, low-cost accreditation scheme for organisations of all types and sizes. To find out more about becoming accredited by the GBC to join us and other members such as The City of York Council, The Royal Borough of Kingston on Thames, TSB, Deloitte, and Oxfam; as well as other small businesses and charities, please visit the GBC website or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.