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As a business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in what you’re building, who you’re building for and delivering over and above for customers. All too often, we forget to stop and think: how are we giving back? How do we make the world a better place?

Sometimes, we need to pause and look at the bigger picture. Take a second. And breeeeathe

As a company with no shortage of natural born problem-solvers ourselves, it’s always been important to us that we're part of the solution, not the problem. We realised that we need to work together as a community to make sure that we're all actively working towards a positive future.

I might be biased, but in my mind, Pleo has always been inherently good. 

When people need help, our employees show up. Donating money is one thing, but something Pleo’ers are great at is offering up their time and resources to make the world a little bit better. Whether it’s giving free laptops to Ukraine, raising funds for the Australian wildfires, mentoring women in emerging markets or helping a colleague’s son get a life-saving operation in Kenya, Pleo'ers are good people.

While that might be the case, as a company, we’ve never actively set an impact stance. We’ve never decided what our "thing" is and then committed to it. 

It’s time for that to change.

How we set our impact stance

Last year, we made the decision to set a company-wide impact strategy. 

I’ll admit, this was pretty daunting. There are so many good causes out there to support, which one makes the best sense for Pleo? Is it removing plastic from the ocean? Is it supporting small businesses? We’re very fond of our dog-friendly offices, so is it pledging a monthly sum to Dogs Trust? Or is it... something else altogether?

Here’s some insight into our thinking when it comes to having an impact at Pleo.

Building authentic impact

During the early days of our research, the most iconic impact strategies we stumbled upon integrated well into the company's vision. It was an extension of their offering, rather than an idea awkwardly shoehorned in at the last minute.

At Pleo, our company vision is to make everyone feel valued at work. People have always been at the heart of everything we do. So when we’re solving for Environmental, Social and Governmental causes, it makes sense to hone in on the ‘social’ aspects and make sure that people are pivotal to our work here.

We decided our impact vision should focus on making all the exceptional talent out there feel like they truly belong at work.

Solving a big problem

At Pleo, we’re lucky to have built a successful business for many reasons. One of those is our culture. (This became even more ingrained in our ethos when the world went remote during the pandemic.)

If you visit one of our offices or have a read of our Slack channels, it’s obvious how much people genuinely care for one another. You get a sense that we get on with the people we work with and we enjoy the projects we’re working on. It might sound like a given, but it’s often not.

But through our research on the topic of belonging in general, we learned that not all communities feel equally valued at work all of the time. Not everyone looks forward to coming to work or feels like they’re treated fairly all the time. In fact, a massive 40% of people say they feel isolated at work.

Not many people know this about us, but we chose the name ‘Pleo’ because it means ‘more than expected’. So making an active commitment towards helping people feel like they belong seemed like a logical problem to solve.

Being forward-thinking

We've always been huge fans of pioneering the future of work and building progressive workplaces (just have a read of our many blogs to see what we mean!) 

We strongly believe that one of the most forward-thinking things you can do is to build a workplace and environment where every employee - no matter their background or identity - feels that they can show up as their full self and belong, every day. 

Anchoring our impact work around ‘Belonging’

We use ‘Belonging’ as an umbrella term for all things Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. (We’ll also be doing some work on climate, but more on that later.)

Setting our impact stance around this means that we will build, test and learn internally on how to create a sense of belonging. More importantly, we’ll make that work open source. That means it’ll be free for the wider community to try out 🙌

Our aim is to try to remove the barriers to work around belonging - be it resources (we'll share what we build), expertise (we'll share what we learn), or budget (it's all free!). 

We're also sharing our knowledge and insights before they’re 100% polished. It’s all about learning and growing, and we’re inviting you on our journey.

Be one of the first to read our Belonging Zine 

Our first commitment: delivered ✅ 

We’re so excited to publish the first edition of our Belonging Zine: The Beginning is a Very Good Place to Start

Dive in and have a read to discover:

  • How our belonging journey began
  • The findings from four months of qualitative and quantitative research on different communities at Pleo
  • A workshop on how to build inclusive organisations (includes a free Miro workshop)
  • The best way we’ve found (so far) to gather diversity data (includes free Airtable survey)
  • Four belonging personas to help you identify who to solve for
  • The role of belonging when restructuring your organisation
  • AI's take on belonging in 2023 and beyond

So, what’s next?

We hope you learn something from the pilot of our Belonging Zine! Our next edition will cover our plan going forward and our Unconscious Bias research, as well as our training in the form of a playbook for you to use in your own business. Plus, we’ll cover topics like building inclusive social events that cater to a wide variety of needs and interests (like our beloved Team Camps). 

You might find blog posts, webinars and podcasts as part of our work on belonging. We’re busy exploring which distribution channels work best for us, so nothing’s set in stone just yet. 

Planning to build on your belonging work in 2023 and want to stay up to date with Pleo’s approach? Join our pledge to belonging by subscribing to our mailing list – keep your eyes peeled for updates!

Want to know more about working at Pleo?

Learn more about how we hire, and the magical teams that make Pleo what it is today.

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