I’ve been pondering “belonging” a fair bit since we received the results from our DEI survey. There are many facets to feeling like you belong somewhere. Primary is feeling respected and even supported.
For that reason, I was thrilled to see very high scores around feeling respected by colleagues and managers, as well as feeling supported in personal health and wellbeing. If you belong, you should also feel comfortable voicing a contrary opinion, but we collectively scored that lower, so work is required there.
A sense of belonging in any organization can vary by age, stage of career, race, gender, and more. At Annex some of those correlations run counter to society as a whole. For instance, slightly more racialized employees at Annex feel they have fewer career opportunities overall, but also feel the same level of belonging, feel far more supported in their careers, and are more comfortable voicing contrary opinions. Similarly, those with either visible or invisible disabilities feel far more comfortable voicing a different opinion and are more likely to see equal opportunities, but less likely to feel like they belong. And women feel a stronger sense of support and respect than men. Like life, belonging is complicated.
What’s clear is that age is a big factor in someone’s sense of belonging at Annex. For those under 50, scores on respect, support and belonging are high to off the charts. For those over 50, scores are slightly to significantly lower. Why is that?
It can be that the industry, company, roles and values are markedly different than they were when those of us north of 50 joined the party working for various corporations. Depending on your perspective, you could argue B2B media is now better or it’s just harder. Either way, it’s different and so those of us who felt we belonged in the 90s may feel less so today.
There is also considerable ageism in society, and Annex is not immune. This cuts both ways, potentially affecting younger employees as well. And these are all broad patterns - there will be older workers feeling very much like they belong. Still, this is a pattern we will explore in the coming months.
Surveys are one way to measure belonging. It can also be inferred by tenure. Despite seeming like we are often recruiting, the reality is different. The average tenure among our editors and sales folks approaches nine years. Finance is 10 despite some fresh faces. Digital is 14, the print plant is over 16, audience is 17, and both production and our AC department approach 24 years of average tenure. Even events, which was only founded in 2014 and is constantly growing is close to five years.
But that does not mean we’re everyone’s cup of tea. We will at times hire or acquire staff who don’t truly feel they belong, either in B2B media or at Annex. Over time we and the industry may change enough that someone’s sense of belonging diminishes. No single company is a fit for everyone. That is why I spend so much time in the interview process sharing what Annex values and the vagaries of B2B media. If it resonates with the candidate, great. If not, that’s also great. We will be better apart.
But for now, we will take our survey results and work to enhance that sense of belonging, all within our values and according to our goals. You’ll hear more on this from Pero in a town hall this winter. Or if there is something you want me to hear, let me know. It is a work in progress.
Until then, do good work and be good to work with.
Scott Jamieson, President & COO
; mobile: 519-410-4000
Make sure to visit The Wall
to add your own shout out!
To Barb V and Alex R, for Being Agile
From Nithya – “Agility took on a new meaning for FIC when the boss mandated two paid webinars/brand. We had already planned a free 3-part series and were planning on launching the marketing campaign this week for the first one. Barb understood the urgency, was proactive, kept me on target and helped revise the graphics. Adam quickly revised the registration page. Thanks both for being a team player and flexible.” Editors’ Note: I love “boss mandated”. I think I framed it more as a “grand experiment” but may have to get a coffee mug with that catch phrase on it. I prefer it to “free 3-part series”.
To Anthony, for Working Together
From Danielle – “Anthony has taken the time to work closely with Kaitlin as she takes on the lead of our Women in Construction event. I appreciate both for taking the lead on this project and ensuring we are presenting a strong speaker line up again this year. Thanks for your help and guidance on this Anthony.”
To Mena, for Owning It
From Scott J – “Thanks to Mena for grabbing birthday cake duties at GBR while Pero was on vacation (yeah, I don't know who approved that either). She and some assistants ensured we all had our brick of very good chocolate cake, and most importantly made sure I knew about it.”
Ad Driver Success
For our upcoming Advanced: Women in Manufacturing
virtual event, our manufacturing team executed an Ad Driver campaign to gauge interest and, more importantly, leads to help generate sponsorship revenue. With the help of Barb Adelt in our audience department, the campaign ran over a span of one month, with the result being 75 leads passed on to our sales staff to follow up on. To date, close to $10k of sponsorship revenue has been booked as a direct result of this Ad Driver campaign, with more revenue potentially coming in through ongoing discussions between our sales staff and the companies who we know engaged with our proactive marketing.
Booking your rooms
With the increased traffic on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s wise to book your meetings rooms in advance and as required, and to check on room status prior to setting up for a Zoom or other meeting. That way you will avoid being moved mid meeting by someone who has it booked. Rooms can be booked, or status checked in Outlook (in the meeting invite, click on “Location” and choose the appropriate room to book along with the date, time and attendees). Remember – avoid booking one of the larger board or collaboration rooms for a solo Zoom meeting. Those can be managed in small rooms, the phone booths or with headphones at your workspace or lunchrooms during non-lunch hours.
When asking production to do some design work, it is important to keep in mind the standard production timelines. Designing and printing (if needed) effective marketing material – from ad packages for upcoming projects to business cards – requires a certain amount of time, especially when our team of media designers have other assignments to work on. This allows efficient scheduling of our media designers’ time and assures material can be delivered on time. Refer to this timeline infographic
on – you guessed it – MyAnnex.
Congrats to Maryam
And here I was thinking Maryam becoming editor of two new magazines was the big news. On a recent trip to Egypt to visit their families, Maryam, and fiancé Saeed El Shibiny, decided to start the new year as a married couple, getting wed on December 30th, in a garden by the Nile River in Cairo. The happy couple have known each other since kindergarten and will continue to make their home in Windsor. Congratulations Maryam and Saeed!
Michelle’s Open Dialogue
It’s officially February and if you haven’t noticed recently, the days are finally starting to get a little longer. Unfortunately for us, we haven’t had much sunshine for quite a while now and even though the temperatures for the most part have been above normal, it’s still been cold, wet and dreary. This combination of factors can bring on the “winter blues” (or Seasonal Affective Disorder “SAD”).
If you’ve noticed your mood has changed and not for the better, check out this article from Dialogue to recognize the signs of SAD, tips for dealing with it and how you can try to prevent/minimize the effects. Dialogue also offers various therapy options that can help get you through this period.
Tips for Dealing with SAD
Remember, don’t Google it, Dialogue it.