Hello Autumn

About Us
26 September 2023

September feels like the start of a new term, doesn’t it?

When the summer holidays are over, the good weather (if we had any good weather) is on the wane and we feel the first chill of autumn always feels like a reset to me.  Maybe that rhythm goes back to school days.

This year there was a very personal sense of a new term and of both an ending and a new beginning.  My son Sam went off to study Zoology at Bristol University; of course, my wife Heather and I are extremely proud of him, and we know it is our job as parents to deliver what we hope is a capable and confident young man into the world, and we knew him leaving home would be a wrench, but I wasn’t prepared for quite how difficult it would be.

It’s the end of something – his childhood, our constant care of him – and with endings comes grief.  But also the beginning of his new life as an independent adult.  In everything is its opposite!  (Not a new observation I know).

When the pain of loss subsides, I reflect on how different Sam is to me at the same age.  He seems more capable, confident, sure of himself.   There is pride – Heather and I played our part in developing those characteristics.

I believe Sam will embody the values we have done our best to live by as parents; integrity, empathy, kindness, good old human decency.  (I’m from Northern Ireland, where there is no higher compliment than to be thought a “decent fella”.)

It’s no coincidence that those values are front and centre at AVC.   I agree with Shirine Khoury-Haq, CEO of Co-op, who said: “ For me, the very important thing is to remember people are people first and foremost and they come to work second. If you have people who are generally fulfilled at home and don’t feel they have to leave who they are at work, you have people who are happier at work and who can think beyond the day job.”

That’s our goal as a business – to treat our team as fellow humans and individuals first and employees second.  That’s the sort of organisation I would like to work in, and the sort of organisation it’s my job to create.

We’ve implemented development reviews and one to ones that are focused on the personal wellbeing of our team members.  We’ve made some progress on this goal, but there’s more to do.  A truly people centred culture, with humanity at its core, is one that will provide optimal work/life balance and offer a rewarding environment for our team members; in turn our clients will enjoy dealing with a happy, empathetic team that they want to work with.


Written by Ross Penney, CEO at AVC Immedia

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