Skip to main content
Commsy creative stuff straight to your inbox


Let’s talk about building family-friendly organisations…

< Blog home

Let’s talk about building family-friendly organisations…

National Work Life Week took place earlier this month and it was all about getting employers and employees talking about wellbeing in the workplace to create a healthy work-life balance for families. So, where do we start when it comes to creating inclusive cultures that go beyond the basics and enable people to thrive…?

At Alive with Ideas, understanding what our people need has always been a top priority and we’re always working on ways to help one another flourish. So we fully support organisations like Working Families, who created National Work Life Week to help cultivate more supportive, family-friendly workplaces across the UK. The resulting win-win situation sees organisations benefit from improved engagement, retention and productivity.

Working Families surveyed parents to find out what matters most to them. The top answer was having a culture that supports working families.

Joined by a panel of progressive employers* Working Families hosted a webinar to share practical advice we can apply in our own organisations about welcoming and supporting all kinds of families and creating cultures where everybody feels understood and valued. There were some top tips shared that communicators and those with a keen interest in employee engagement could be considering.

91% felt support from their employer makes a difference to their wellbeing** Building, maintaining and communicating frameworks and working practices that support work-life balance is clearly a priority.


One of the most powerful learning points shared about supporting working families and the broader topics of wellbeing, diversity and inclusion was LISTENING. From gathering diverse opinions and making them count, to responding quicky with support and guidance when individuals share challenges they’re facing, it’s evident that communication is key! 

Seven out of ten parents agreed having a culture that enables people to successfully balance their work with family life is incredibly important** 


Building, maintaining and communicating frameworks and working practices that support work-life balance is clearly a priority. But how can we make sure that the policies and support available to families are accessible and inclusive? Along with remaining curious and maintaining a broad and open mindset it’s crucial that we keep people informed – continually communicating what’s being done and what changes are taking place. Along with remaining curious and maintaining a broad and open mindset it’s crucial that we keep people informed

  • First and foremost, get involved in reviewing your existing policies and making sure they are fit for purpose
  • Ensure that a broad range of policies are considered and implemented beyond the obvious – fertility, menopause, bereavement, adoption, surrogacy, etc.
  • Understand personal priorities – from childcare requirements to mental health interventions, know what matters to people
  • Compare and contrast by learning from others within and beyond your industry and picking up on best practice
  • Appreciate this is a continually evolving process, it’s never done so periodically gather insight from geographically dispersed groups and those in diverse roles
  • Encourage those people to be vocal through regular workplace surveys, focus groups or employee representative opportunities across the organisation
  • Cover all the bases – emotional, financial, physical and mental wellbeing must ALL be considered


As communicators, building relationships and creating strong links with different functions and employee network groups is business as usual. But how can we help amplify their agenda and support those groups when it comes to driving inclusivity and family friendly working?

  • Don’t miss the important topics – help to plan a calendar of online and in-person events that address the needs of all groups, making sure they’re held at different times of the day and week
  • Run collaborative events that cross over your different networks and think about introducing buddying systems that connect diverse people together
  • Listen carefully so you can cover every aspect and stage of familial responsibilities and help to build these into your policies and practices
  • Communicate, amplify, broadcast – tell your employees what’s available to them and share clearly how and where they can access that support
  • Share case studies to demonstrate how your policies are being used and the positive experiences people are having
  • Help employees understand inclusive language and approach it from a place of curiosity and interest rather than being scared of saying the wrong thing Communicate, amplify, broadcast - tell your employees what’s available to them and share clearly how and where they can access that support

With the ‘traditional family construct’ continually evolving and the topics of wellbeing, work-life balance and inclusivity all remaining firmly at the top of the agenda, communicators need to remain ahead of the curve. Learning from those who are successfully tackling those challenges and nurturing the diversity of their people is a great place to start!


*The panel:

Denise Priest: Executive Director, Customer Experience at Bright Horizons, our official partner for National Work Life Week

Orianna Caruso: Co-chair of the Citi Families Matter Network London

Christiana Rose: Founding Co-Chair for Parents and Carers Network, Middlesex University London

**The Working Families and Bright Horizons survey 2023


By Caroline Roodhouse for Alive

“The guys at Alive understand the complexities of our business which means we don’t need to explain the detail of every project or design piece – they’re already on it, which keeps things moving and delivers the results we need.”

Emily Stoten — Head of Marketing, Selecta

“I feel like they own and care for the project as much as we do! I would not use anyone else for my creative work and think Alive is ahead of the game.”

Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

“Thanks for all your help. We are delighted with the campaign, both in terms of the creativity and messaging but also the thought taken over the rollout of the materials. All looks absolutely fabulous!”

Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“We had the privilege to work with the Alive team. It was our first time to be involved in creating an animation for our patients within paediatrics. The team were approachable, friendly, creative and very accommodating. Your vision for what you want to create, is at all times acknowledged, appreciated and accommodated by the team. They worked effectively and with great passion towards our project and worked not only alongside health professionals but also our patients who really enjoyed the experience of working with the Alive team. It has given our team the confidence and inspiration to do further projects in the future. We highly recommend Alive and their exceptional team.”

DR ELENI ATHANASAKOS, Lead Paediatric Clinical Scientist — NHS Barts Health

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health

“Our mission was to update our brand visuals to better reflect our innovative and forward-thinking organisation. After receiving numerous pitches from different branding agencies, Alive stood out with their clear passion and understanding of our identity and goals. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Alive Team to create an engaging new brand that we are immensely proud of.”

Lianne Springer — Communications and Engagement Lead

“Alive wowed us during the pitch process and they didn’t stop wowing us throughout the whole project. Every person we worked with at Alive were so friendly, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what they do. They have worked with us to really understand what we do and have created a new brand and website that really stands out from our competitors. Thank you!”

Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

“We have worked with Alan, Caroline and the wider Alive With Ideas team for many years. In that time, they have provided a dedicated service that is second to none. We appreciate their attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our brand, communications and stories to life. And would recommend them to anyone looking for creative communications support.”

Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Alive were professional, friendly and great to work with. Most importantly they were creative, helping us to bring an extremely important safety campaign to life.”

Jack Grasby — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“This looks amazing - brought a smile to my face scrolling through it :-)”

Jack Ford, Head of Marketing — streamGO

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q
Alive logo