Moving for good: How the FCA turned moving offices into a responsible business opportunity

Trudi Morgan, Corporate Responsibility Specialist at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). She told us about taking the opportunity to develop their responsible business activities when they relocated offices:

“Moving offices can be a challenging time, but it’s also an opportunity to take a fresh look at responsible business plans, build staff morale and establish new relationships.

That’s what the FCA’s Corporate Responsibility team sought to capitalise on in the summer of 2018 when the FCA’s long-awaited move from Canary Wharf to its new home in Stratford began to take place. The team’s ambition was to not only highlight but also generate further positive outcomes from the office move, including the opportunity to carry on its legacy of supporting the community in a new area that would benefit from its presence.

As for the new area itself, Stratford sits within Newham, an east London borough which experiences significant problems with poverty and inequality. Working in partnership with the East London Business Alliance and Good Business, FCA set out to launch a new flagship volunteering programme that would both inspire its employees and allow them to apply their skills and knowledge to support communities in Newham in its quest to become a more successful and resilient borough.

The new flagship volunteering programme, called ‘FCA Inspiring Futures’, launched in September 2018 with the support of the Chairman, CEO and COO. The programme’s mission is to raise the aspirations of local 11-12-year olds as they transition from primary to secondary school. This is a critical juncture in their education that can impact their aspirations and motivation – a serious issue given the number of children living below the poverty line in Newham. The programme delivers school-based activities and events at FCA’s offices on topics such as resilience and teamwork. It taps into the huge diversity and range of experience found among FCA employees, and leverages its assets to help young people in Newham believe in what they can achieve.

To mark the opening of the new offices, which involved moving 3,500 employees, the FCA invited 120 year 7 students from local schools to the building, at which point they also launched the Inspiring Futures programme. As the programme comes towards the end its pilot year, 72 FCA employees have volunteered their time to support 390 students in Newham, delivering eight student sessions and one parent session. The FCA will be measuring the programme’s outcomes once data from this first year is in. Plans are in place to expand the programme in the future to work with students in year 8 and 60 year 7 students from the Lister school will also join the programme.

If your business is going through big changes, like moving offices or welcoming a new Director, I challenge you to also find a way to use or create responsible business activities that highlight the positive elements of your evolution. “

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