Benefiting from flexibilit­y and diversity

- By Shona Maclennan, CEO, Bòrd na Gàidhlig

At Bòrd na Gàidhlig, we have responded to the challenges of the pandemic and used these to drive our programme of continuous developmen­t. The ability of the organisati­on to continue to deliver for Gaelic whilst all sta work from home has created new routes to recruitmen­t and retention of sta. Recruiting skilled sta in a specialist sector brings challenges to many organisati­ons. This is equally true for us despite the very rewarding and mission-driven nature of our work in developing and promoting the Gaelic language.

When I was appointed chief executive – or Ceannard – I was the first women in the role and also the first CEO who had learnt Gaelic as an adult. The importance of this diversity in reflecting and responding to the changing nature of Gaelic communitie­s is central to how we deliver our work successful­ly. So too are the range of flexible working policies which we have introduced and the strengthen­ed internal and external communicat­ions to make these work more eectively. They all contribute to making our organisati­on an attractive and people-friendly workplace.

In our continuous improvemen­t drive, we had transition­ed to cloud-based systems prior to lockdown. An immensely successful result of that has been to open up recruitmen­t to a far wider range of people as we are no longer restricted to our office bases in Inverness and Glasgow. In fact, currently 20% of our sta are now based in the Western Isles whereas none had been there previously.

Our flexibilit­y of approach will continue, oering opportunit­ies to those who – perhaps due to family circumstan­ces – would not be able to re-locate or would prefer not to. Not only is this hugely beneficial to us with regards to recruitmen­t, it also allows us to have sta living and working within communitie­s across the country and enhancing relationsh­ips between these communitie­s and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

We have embedded other practices which we believe support wellbeing in our team, and these have contribute­d to our achieving continuing improvemen­t in sta satisfacti­on surveys. The most recent annual survey recorded a high of 91% for organisati­onal mission and 87% for personal wellbeing. Currently a substantia­l number of our sta make use of our flexible working policies so that their working pattern suits their needs as well as ensuring that the organisati­on continues to deliver for Gaelic. As a result, sta wellbeing and morale has improved and this too has an impact on productivi­ty.

We regularly take soundings on wellbeing and internal communicat­ion and with the opportunit­y to return to o’ces, sta preference­s for their work location and patterns. We are approachin­g this on a whole-organisati­on basis to ensure that the best balance is achieved between all requests and the organisati­on’s needs.

Our board is also involved in ensuring that women have a high profile in the organisati­on, with the gender split regularly being more females than males. Mary Macinnes, our Chair, is the first woman in the role and is well-known for her work with community organisati­ons, particular­ly those supporting women into employment as well as Gaelic language and culture, and provides a role model for others.

Our recent recruitmen­t round for new board members raised the profile of our female board members through social media posts as part of the drive to continue to recruit more women. The move to online board and committee meetings, as well as increasing openness and transparen­cy, also makes it easier for those people with caring responsbil­ities to participat­e fully in our work and enables us to attract people from a more diverse range of situations. This can only be good for the organisati­on and for Gaelic.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom