BFTW 2019 Workers: Sharesies
Sharesies is a New Zealand B Corp that's making investing, easy, simple and accessible for everyone! We spoke to People and Experience Advisor Tamara Buckland on what makes them Best for the World.
1. What makes your company Best For The World?
Sharesies is creating the most financially empowered generation by giving someone with $5 the same investment opportunities as someone with $500,000. To continue to build on this mission, it’s important that we grow Sharesies in a sustainable way, supporting and caring for our staff in the same way that we support and care for our investors.
We believe that people are the most important part of our company and our work. We want to enable our people to be the most powerful and authentic versions of themselves both at Sharesies and outside of work. To do that, we’re creating a workplace that acknowledges that people need to be able to bring their whole selves to work in order to do their important mahi. That not only includes celebrating the strengths that everyone brings to the table but also leaning into the support that we need when we’re having hard times as well.
We’ve created an environment that encourages flexible and remote working to remind our whole team that we’re all individual and that we all have different ways of working—including the hours we want to work and where it’s best for us to work from. We want our people to take responsibility and feel empowered to choose the work environment that works best for their productivity and wellbeing.
We have developed and will continue to develop robust mental health practices at Sharesies. 1 in 5 people in NZ experience mental illness in any one year. Mental health challenges are the single biggest risk to organisations at the moment. We want our workplace culture around mental health to positively contribute to a nationwide shift in the way we talk about and tackle mental health issues across the country.
To do this, we need to embody radical permission for our people to talk about their mental health more freely at work, to feel able to ask for what they need to keep themselves well, and provide the support services to enable them to prioritise their wellbeing.
We continue to grow these initiatives and work with our team to find new and exciting ways to empower them in their work. We're really excited about the impact this will have both internally to Sharesies and in the way in which we can best serve our investors and New Zealand as a whole.
2. What makes you stand out from other companies?
There are a few things that we believe Sharesies does super well which sets us up to support our team in really exciting and effective ways. Our co-founders started out by getting really clear on the type of workplace they wanted to establish and since then, have prioritised keeping those intentions active. They've established a flexible working practice, a wellbeing focus for all staff and have created many different ways to connect socially amongst the team.
With these priorities established early on, it was important that we delivered on those ideals. We walk the talk when it comes to how we support our team. We show up and listen to what our people need and then invest appropriately.
Having our efforts in this area acknowledged by B Corp is something we're really humbled by and are super grateful that our hard mahi is recognised. 3. How do you plan to celebrate?
Celebration is a strong part of our Sharesies culture so we're going to send out some internal comms thanking and recognising all the hard work our team put in every day. On Monday following the announcement, we're going to have a big shared lunch together, with a few surprises thrown in to make it feel extra special. We can't wait!
4. Part of being “Best for the World” is striving to always use your business as a force for good. What initiatives do you have planned for the coming year to continue to be Best for the World?
We know that our people will grow and change in different ways while they're with us so it's important that we're flexible in our approach to make sure we are meeting those needs and mixing things up if we need to. As we scale and bring more people into the team, we'll need to make sure our initiatives to support everyone scales appropriately too. With this in mind, we know one of the biggest areas we can focus on is around our diversity and inclusion efforts. We'll be putting together some new initiatives in this space in the next little while so keep a look out!
5. What advice do you have for other B Corps and purpose-led businesses that want to improve their impact?
We believe that improving impact can look as simple as listening more. Listening to what the team has to offer or suggest has been a huge factor in how Sharesies has been able to improve the impact of all of our people-focused initiatives. Connecting with your team in ways that are meaningful, supportive and kind will help to build trusting relationships and increase your ability to understand what they need and how to empower them.