Creating culture change through storytelling  

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There is much written about ‘levelling up’ in recent times.

Whether it's the government’s desire to spread the power of political decision-making further afield than Westminster, London and the South East; the effects of Covid on frontline and key workers; or the inequality of risk faced by those who have had started life with less privilege.


Creating an inclusive company culture:

Creating a sense of belonging at work

What do employees want organisational culture to look like in 2022?

What are the D&I trends in 2022?


Many organisations are striving to improve diversity and inclusion. The data, the correlation and the evidence between inclusion and sustainable business results is becoming unquestionable. 

Employees are now holding companies to account – a diversity and inclusion strategy is not a tick-box exercise to be rolled out when required, it has to be a fundamental part of a workplace culture.  

It’s important that businesses ensure every employee feels comfortable and supported in their professional environment, as well as overseeing a recruitment process that puts prospective hires on a level playing field.

This will develop a place of work where everyone can thrive and be their best selves, which will only benefit an organisation in the long run.  

After all, it’s people who shape a company and can dictate the future.

Weetabix has, like many companies, put time, effort and leadership into this and the fruits of our labour are coming through thick and fast. While the financial investment may be modest, the leadership effort has been considerable and significant.

A select group of senior leaders have demonstrated the agency to lead, inspire and collaborate with the organisation across a spectrum of diversity and inclusion actions under our ‘Inclusion Without Exception’ strategy. 

None of these activities are driving a more profound impact than our ‘Breakfast With…’ sessions.

Starting several years ago, they began as a physical meeting in the on-site restaurant hosted by a member of the executive team, which has rapidly transformed to a much-improved online Microsoft Teams event. It’s still held over breakfast, but several senior team members now facilitate a wide range of speakers, sharing very personal reflections and stories of their own experiences of inclusion and diversity. 

We’ve found that offering a safe space for individuals to discuss issues, raise concerns, celebrate successes and educate team members has been invaluable.

Traditionally there has been a tendency at workplaces to leave any personal matters at the door – but this invariably leads to more problems down the line. By providing the opportunity for colleagues to share stories and experiences, whether that’s around, for example, mental health or adapting to the menopause, it creates a more empathetic, understanding and ultimately positive place of work.  

The importance of having a strategy in place cannot be underestimated, and ours always begins with insight. We survey employees every year to find out the impact of our work and if there are any gaps, and then we ensure those needs are addressed.

We’re incredibly proud of the work we have done so far, but we of course recognise that we are still very much on a journey. We will continue to prioritise our ‘Inclusion Without Exception’ strategy for all our staff – from those that have been with us for decades, to those just starting out. 

When it comes to recruitment, we are seeing more and more applicants asking about how we manage inclusion. Being honest and transparent about our journey undoubtedly supports our employer brand.

If you want to attract and nurture top talent then creating a fair, empowering and inclusive workplace culture supports this goal.  

We’re incredibly proud of the work we have done so far, but we of course recognise that we are still very much on a journey. We will continue to prioritise our ‘Inclusion Without Exception’ strategy for all our staff – from those that have been with us for decades, to those just starting out. 

 Stuart Branch is chief people and digital officer at Weetabix