International Week of Happiness at Work: Embracing the Joy of Work

21 September 2023

Happiness and work may seem like an unlikely pair, but our work lives occupy a substantial portion of our daily hours. How we feel during those hours at work has a profound impact on our overall well-being.

The International Week of Happiness at Work, which is celebrated annually in late September, serves as a timely reminder of the significance of happiness in the workplace and the role of supportive policies in shaping a positive workplace culture.

Why happiness at work matters

Research has shown that happy employees are more productive, innovative, and loyal. Crucially, they’re also healthier, both mentally and physically, and less likely to experience burnout. Organisations that prioritise employee happiness tend to attract and retain top talent.

How we build a happy workplace

We create a happy and healthy workplace when we meet the expectations and real needs of our workforce. We regularly check in to find out what employees think of Action Tutoring’s work culture and what we can improve. We’re pleased with their feedback:

100% of our team reported feeling proud to work with us in our latest staff survey.

During our most recent team retreat at the end of August, we asked a few of our employees why they love working at Action Tutoring. Here are some of their responses:

I love working for Action Tutoring because it’s not a place where you are afraid of challenging the status quo. We are there to make a difference. We are brave in tackling different things and trying new things out. I think it’s an even greater team to make all those things happen. I love that in my role I get to see everyone make this happen and just being a great team.

Jasmin Bemmelen, Head of People and Culture

It’s just so powerful to work with a group of people who care so much about the same cause. I feel really proud to be representing that cause and helping to make a difference each day.

Beth Carlow, Curriculum and Quality Manager

Every day I wake up and I feel like I’m making a difference. With school closures and the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to support the pupils we work with. It’s great to be doing that in a collaborative environment, where we’re working together as part of the bigger picture. 

Molly Cottrill, Fundraising Coordinator for events, campaigns, and individual giving

There are a billion reasons why I love working at Action Tutoring. My colleagues are amazing and everyone is super welcoming but one of the biggest reasons is that we are a charity that really cares about impact and measuring the change we can make to close the attainment gap between the disadvantaged and the advantaged young people in English and maths.

Nich Bull, Director of Finance and Operations
Staff of ActionTutoring
Action Tutoring team

A quick guide to our supportive policies

Here are some of our supportive workplace policies that we believe help to create a positive and healthy work environment:

  • Flexible work arrangement: We support employees to work on a flexible basis and tailor their work arrangements to their individual needs to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction. Flexible work arrangements include compressed hours (four working days), part-time compressed hours, access to co-working spaces in our hubs across the country, and remote or hybrid working.
  • Mental health support: We understand the importance of self-care, counselling, mindfulness, and meditation therefore we offer free Headspace app memberships for staff to access these services and share it with friends and family. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing working group also promotes mental health awareness through learning sessions and regular check-ins to create a more supportive work environment.
  • Recognition and appreciation: We encourage open appreciation and gratitude among staff to pat the back of any employee who has supported them or collaborated to achieve any goal, no matter the scope or value. Our Hero of the Month award is given to an employee(s) nominated by staff members for exceptional performance and recognition. The Hero of the Month is announced to all staff and receives a gift voucher as a reward of appreciation.
  • Work-life balance: We encourage employees to disconnect from work during non-working hours is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and happiness.
  • Inclusive and diverse culture: Fostering a workplace culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion also contributes to a happier workforce. We ensure all employees feel a sense of belonging and valued for their unique perspectives. The diversity, equity, and inclusion working group leads termly sessions to grow our consciousness of inclusivity and awareness of best practices.

Finding joy in work

We believe happiness in the workplace is achievable and worth pursuing. By creating an environment where employees can thrive and find joy in their roles and organisations can reap the benefits of increased productivity, talent retention, and overall success. 

So, let’s celebrate happiness at work not just for a week but as an ongoing commitment to the well-being and success of everyone.

Deputy CEO shortlisted for prestigious Charity Times Awards

29 June 2023

Action Tutoring’s deputy CEO, Jen Fox, has been shortlisted in the Supporting Leader of the Year category for the Charity Times Awards. In its 24th year, the Charity Times Awards recognises and celebrates outstanding leaders and professionals in the charity sector.

Since joining Action Tutoring in 2015, Jen has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to making high-quality education accessible for all. Susannah Hardyman, founder and CEO of Action Tutoring, said the nomination is a clear testament to Jen’s phenomenal leadership skills, resilient spirit, and drive for transformational positive change.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to have Jen’s skills and contributions recognised publicly in this way. Jen has transformed the delivery of our programmes, in particular developing our curriculum and tutoring resources, driving improvements in tutor training and ensuring impact remains at the heart of all we do.”

Susannah Hardyman

Rose to the challenge

Having worked across a multitude of roles in the last seven years at the education charity, ranging from Programme and Curriculum Director to Director of Transformation, Quality, and Impact, Jen has consistently modelled excellence in all of her work and relationships.

Appointed interim CEO twice before being promoted to Deputy CEO in 2022, Jen navigated the charity through one of its most turbulent academic years to date. During the Covid-19 pandemic with multiple school closures,  Jen rose to the challenge and was at the forefront of launching the online tutoring delivery in record time.

Jen and Susannah Hardyman at No. 10
Jen Fox and Susannah Hardyman at No. 10

Bedrock of support

Jen’s undeterred leadership and love for innovation and quality improvement have enabled us to make online tutoring delivery a permanent feature, build impact evidence, and support more disadvantaged young people in new geographies.

As a bedrock of support to our CEO in a fulfilling but tough sector, Jen has constantly maintained a laser-sharp focus on our mission to unlock the full potential of the young people we support.

“Jen is an inspiration for all of us to work with – always looking to challenge herself and the team to drive improvements and make a profound difference in the lives of disadvantaged young people and communities we serve.”

Susannah Hardyman

The 24th Charity Times Awards is set for 20th September 2023 at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, where the winners selected by an expert independent judging panel will be publicly announced.