In recent weeks I’ve seen or heard of several Annex employees talking about how they feel they belong to something, in many cases a feeling they had not felt in previous jobs. Creating an environment where people feel they belong is a priority at Annex, and a key filter I use when making decisions. I will often ask, thankfully rarely out loud - “Which option makes Annex more of a place I would want to be a part of?”
That is fine as filters go, and a question more leaders should ask. Yet it takes us only so far. What about people who are not like me? How do I know what does and doesn’t make them feel included? Even with employees who’ve said they feel like they belong to something at Annex, why is that? What are we doing that builds that inclusion? What are we doing that erodes it? And how do we know all that? Well, I suppose we could just ask.
Enter our first ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) survey. Part of the ever-important “why” is above, but the need for a survey goes beyond that. One of our six core values is CARE, which we define as “fostering empathy, respect, trust and balance.” As a company, we want to better understand how we are upholding this value, and the behaviours associated with it. Do you feel supported and know that your rights, needs and differences are respected? Do you feel you have a safe space at Annex to be creative, to grow, to laugh, to be yourself within professional boundaries?
To ensure we have fair and equitable practices ranging from hiring, training, benefits, career development/advancement, employee engagement etc., we need to know each of us better, and how we feel about our work environment. The DEI survey will provide us with an anonymous overview of your employee experience at Annex and help us identify areas we can improve.
This initiative is being led by Pero, in cooperation with the experts at Inclusive Kind
. In fact, she helped me better communicate the “why” today. To ensure the data is completely anonymous and aggregated, and properly analyzed, we have hired the professionals at Bramm Research
, an arms-length third-party survey firm. They will provide us with an overview only. The rest of the data will be destroyed.
The independent survey will be sent out Monday, so keep an eye out for the Addendum. It closes on June 30th. Bramm Research will provide the report by the end of July 2023. The executive team, with Pero’s input, will identify and prioritize any gaps and create a plan. That can include training if required, all with the goal of raising the bar on how we interact, how we treat each other and value our individual differences.
For all these reasons, I strongly encourage you to participate candidly and with reflection. As Pero says, we want to make sure that each of our lived experience at Annex is positive and inclusive.
In fact, it’s kind of like doing good work and being good to work with. Only with more information.
Scott Jamieson, President & COO
; mobile: 519-410-4000
For more Shout Outs for things other than Going Beyond, and to folks like Cindy, Kristin, Alex R, Alex B, and people not named Alex, visit The Wall
To Mujeeb, for Going Beyond
From Alex B – “This is well overdue, but a while back my email account was hacked. It was a complete mess, and I had to go to an event the same day I noticed it. Mujeeb was such a superhero about it – he kept me in the loop about what was happening, was so quick to help, and was tenacious about getting my account unlocked. Thank you so much, Mujeeb!” Editor’s note: Things I’d like to see: Mujeeb in a cape.
To Emily, for Going Beyond
From Angela – “With 2024 Media Kits arriving in production, we have received multiple changes that need to be applied to the master template. Emily took it upon herself to create a document that highlights all the changes that she shared with the team. Thank you Emily for going above and beyond!”
To Morgen, for Going Beyond
From Anne – “Morgen did an amazing job covering for Jeremy when he needed to travel to Scotland for three weeks. Without hesitation, Morgen jumped in to assist in booking Jeremy's clients, so that nothing fell through the cracks; all while ensuring AquaTech Week, with help from Alex R, went off without a hitch. Thank you, Morgen for being such a great team player!”
After meeting with Michelle B and Stefanie C, Rebecca had a great idea to include Amplify in this year’s WPAC show offer and Canadian Biomass
Summer issue. Along with the advertising pitch for the issue and WPAC Show Guide, Rebecca also included this information for clients:
“We are also offering a thought leadership article option. This would include a double page spread article in both the Summer Issue and the WPAC Show Guide as well as posted on Canadian Biomass, written by our in house content creation team Amplify. The article would be based on an interview with either yourself or an expert on your team and can be education or advertorial in nature. The article would be approved by you before going to print. You would also receive an inline article (looks similar to a regular article) on one of our weekly newsletters going out to our 7900 digital subscribers.
The total audience this package would cover is 14,000
Total cost for this package is $9995 (value of over $12,000)
Booking deadline for this product would be June 30th.”
A client wrote back and said “Hi, Rebecca. We'll do it all—the ads and the two-page article. Can you send me the insertion order and deadlines?”
The total deal is worth approximate $15k USD, including a $9995 USD Amplify portion!
A very creative way to include Amplify in the conversation and now we know the client has a need for the writing services in future.
…and rave reviews you can’t buy. The Canadian Food Innovation Network ranked and promoted our Food in Canada
newsletter in their discussion forum as a favourite, complete with a link to sign up. Bravo Nithya for all the work you’ve done to turn this once floundering brand around.
Diversity in media
Well, maybe not at all outlets, but a professor at Laurier U is researching the lived experiences of LGBTQ2+ journalists in Canada. Bruce Gillespie, who presented at an Editorial Day some years back on interview tactics, is reaching out to LGBTQ2+ journalists currently working or who have worked in the field in the past five years. Participation will consist of filling out a short online questionnaire, and all respondents will be invited to take part in a Zoom or telephone interview to discuss their experiences. This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Wilfrid Laurier University Research Ethics Board (#8518). If you would like to participate in this study, or know someone who might, Bruce has sent us the link to connect directly with him here
Putting some wallpaper up
The sales team is in a blitz to increase the sell-through rate on our high-impact wallpaper ad units. Often called the double-page spread of the web world (OK, that’s just me), these website drapes bring a lot of value to clients, from higher CTRs (with the right material/call-to-action), run-of-site availability and larger canvas, to the option of fulfilling two different objectives with the two sides. The goal is to make the wallpaper a more common alternative for digital marketers and help close the revenue gap this fiscal in the process. Good luck to all.
AC appreciation day
I know what you’re thinking – Isn’t everyday AC appreciation day? Sorry Trish, couldn’t resist. In fact, Wednesday was the actual AC appreciation day, and the team hit Splittsville in Burlington for some bowling, eats, drinks and lots of laughs. While they shouldn’t quit their day jobs, the ACs acquitted themselves quite well. Also, if Cheryl says she’s never done something before, but then suggests you put a little money on it to make things interesting, keep your wallet shut. She’s playing you. Thanks to this wonderful team for all they do to keep things running.
Back row from left: Kathryn, Catherine, Debbie, Cheryl, Barb V and Shannon. Middle: Kristine, Kim R, Danielle, Mary and yours truly. Front: Trish, Barb C and Alice.
The holiday will be taken this year on Monday, July 3rd. Enjoy!
Michelle’s Open Dialogue
We all hold biases and each of us have experienced bias in one form or another. To identify bias, it is important to be self-aware. Bias can be defined as a preference for one thing, person or group over another. Biases can be conscious (direct) or unconscious (indirect) and can produce negative or positive consequences.
While bias thinking limits us, identifying bias allows us to live up to our potential. When we are biased, we can make errors or miss valuable information or perspectives of others. We progress when we notice, own, learn from and address our bias.
Take a few moments to consider your personal experience with bias – where do you experience it in your life (some examples could be – age, education level, expertise, personality, socioeconomic status, etc.) and think about how your work and life have been affected by bias, either positively or negatively (some examples could be – confidence, creativity, decision-making, engagement, performance, etc.). This is a first step to becoming self-aware.
- Referenced from FranklinCovey’s Unconscious Bias: Understanding Bias to Unleash Potential