Supporting your development and wellbeing

Line managers #

Line management at dxw is not about hierarchy, it’s about providing professional guidance and support.

Line managers ensure that team members are clear about their roles and responsibilities at dxw, and how well they are doing at achieving them.

Individuals should be proactive in taking responsibility for their own development, but line managers will provide advice and support to help team members meet their agreed short and long term goals.

The People team support line managers with advice and guidance on recruitment, onboarding, probation, performance, sickness and any other specialist knowledge.

You can find out who your line manager is in BreatheHR on the summary section of your profile page.

Line management principles #

Communicate clearly #

Communication is a two-way process and it is important to check understanding and confidence, and value the other person in decision-making. Explaining the task and its objectives clearly means people know what’s expected of them and the part they play. It empowers them to take responsibility and own how they approach the work.

Recognise achievement and celebrate success #

A simple ‘thank you’ shows someone that what they have done is appreciated, and is hugely motivating. Celebrating major, and minor, achievements is an important part of our culture at dxw. It builds team spirit and morale.

Guard our values #

Lead by example. The actions and behaviours of line managers must always demonstrate our dxw values. We should always hold ourselves accountable to our values, and encourage the same in all of our colleagues, including those we line manage.

Continuous constructive feedback #

Find out how each of your team members prefers to receive feedback, and develop an approach which reflects that. Ongoing positive and constructive feedback is essential if someone is to feel valued, learn from their experiences and become better at what they do.

Be honest #

Being honest means telling the truth and being consistent in what you say and who you say it to. Telling things as they are, while being sensitive to the situation and individual, ensures that people know where they stand and will help to build mutual trust and respect.

Wellbeing #

Line managers look out for the health and wellbeing of the team. They are responsible for carrying out dxw’s duty of care to its people.

One-to-ones with your line manager #

Purpose #

For your manager to help you with your personal and professional development, your wellbeing, and to build a trusting relationship between the two of you.

Overview #

These meetings are about you; ideally you will feel happy driving the meeting. If you’re not confident doing this, or are unsure how best to approach it, your manager will help you to get there.

Agenda and topics #

Coming to your 1:1s with a list of things you’d like to discuss will help you make the most of the time. Some things you might find productive to talk about include:

  • Your career and growth goals: Don’t assume your manager knows all your aspirations. Bring them up in your 1:1s. Your manager understands you won’t work for them forever and they want you to have a happy, fulfilling career — whatever that means to you. Tip: if you want to talk about your long-term goals but feel uneasy about it, ask your manager to do the same.
  • Team improvement: Have an idea that will help your team to work better? Use your manager as a sounding board to help you refine and implement your suggestion.
  • Self improvement: Got a specific thing you’d like some help, coaching or feedback on? A technical skill or a soft skill? Your 1:1 is the place to bring it up. Remember that you can use the 1:1s that fall between career progression reviews to discuss any of the proficiencies you’re currently trying to level up on.
  • Personal issues: Anything going on outside of work that’s affecting your wellbeing? Physical or mental illness, bereavement, family issues, stress? The more you can tell your manager, the more they can try to help, and make accommodations for you at work.
  • Interpersonal issues: Having problems with a coworker? Your manager can help mediate or coach you through how to deal with the issue.
  • Retrospection: If at any time you feel like your 1:1s aren’t particularly productive or helpful, or you’d like to change something about them, don’t hesitate to bring this up with your manager.

Frequency #

1:1s should happen at least once per fortnight. Where possible they’ll be face-to-face, either in the office or out for a walk, or a coffee. Where that’s not possible, remote is perfectly fine. There’ll always be a Google Meet link in the calendar invite.

If you need to reschedule your 1:1, let your manager know at the earliest opportunity.

Meeting length #

An hour or so, at least once every two weeks, is a good standard to aim for. If you meet weekly, a little shorter is fine.

Additional resources #

Here’s a template for helping to prepare for a 1:1, and making notes during it. Feel free to make a copy and alter it according to your own needs.

Here’s a great article on 7 ways to prepare for an effective one-on-one meeting with your manager.

People team #

The People team is here to support you during your time at dxw. We provide administrative, wellbeing, learning and development, line manager and professional support and guidance.

We have a Head of People, a HR Manager and administrators to support the HR and Recruitment function - some of whom are Mental Health First Aid trained. We also have an independent HR advisor to provide additional support when needed.

We have a public slack channel for general non-sensitive questions, #help-hr-non-confidential, which is monitored by the team.

We also have a weekly Ask HR slot at 11am on Wednesdays, to provide a regular opportunity to get advice and support. The door is always open though, so you can also always book an ad-hoc slot with the People team to discuss matters you might not feel able to raise with others in your support path, or that are specialist to the HR function in dxw.

The list is not exhaustive but some topics might include:

  • Accessibility
  • Bereavement
  • Contractual matters
  • Diversity
  • Expenses
  • Facilitation/scheduling of conversations with Directors/heads-of
  • Grievance & disciplinary matters
  • Holiday
  • Inclusivity
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Mental health first aid
  • Occupational health issues
  • Pay (second line of support after line managers)
  • Parental leave
  • Probation
  • Pensions
  • Sickness
  • Stress management
  • Training and career progression
  • Working patterns/locations

Other support paths #

Helpers #

When you join dxw you will be assigned a helper. This person will work closely with you for at least your first 4 months. They will do a similar job to you, help you meet members of the wider team, catch up with you on at least a 3/6/12 week basis to ensure you are receiving everything you need, and will NEVER get bored of your questions!

If you feel that you’re not getting as much time with your helper as you’d like, please speak to the People team.

As a helper, you will be vital in ensuring you have the regular catch ups - if you are finding it hard to schedule them, please do talk to the Commercial Operations team.

For more information on being a helper, please see the checklist or speak to the People team.

Buddies #

Once you have passed your 4 month probation, we would like you to choose a buddy within the company to support you.

We recommend this person doesn’t work directly with you, someone in a different role and that you don’t work closely with on projects, as this will give you a second point of view and a whole new set of experiences to draw on.

This is not mandatory, just recommended and similarly not everyone may wish to be a buddy - don’t be afraid to ask or say no. It can be reciprocal but doesn’t have to be. Also, if you feel that a change of buddy would benefit you for whatever reason or that you’re no longer able to be a buddy, this should also not be an awkward situation. If you have any concerns, have a chat with the People Manager.

The buddy system is there to help us all improve, to make sure we’re doing the right kind of work and to check that we’re dealing with practical problems we’re facing. It’s not line management, so it’s not the right place to talk about holiday, salary, sickness, absence or anything disciplinary. If you need to talk about those things, talk to the People Manager.

If you want to know more about how the buddy system works, how often to meet and suggested discussion topics, see the buddy crib sheet. This shouldn’t be a huge time commitment, ideally just a pleasant Friday meet up.

Your delivery lead (for those on client work) #

There will be opportunities within the delivery team to raise any issues or concerns you might have e.g. retrospectives or planning sessions. As well as this, or if you’d prefer to talk one on one, the delivery lead working on the project will be available to provide support and guidance.

Directors and heads-of #

All members of the Directors and heads-of team are here to help answer any questions you might have. Your own Director and/or Head-of profession or location is there to provide support on matters relating to dxw and your career with us, as well as profession specific questions. Similarly, they are here if you need to escalate any job-related concerns.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Dave #

At dxw, all doors are open if you need to raise a concern or just have a chat - this includes our CEO. Dave is always available to discuss any questions you have about the company and its future. Equally, if you feel you need to escalate anything to him, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Dave’s diary is open and you can see it on Google Calendar. If you would like to schedule some time with him, please feel free to book something.

Learning and Development #

Everybody at dxw gets a yearly learning and development allowance of £1,000 and up to 4 days.

Read the Learning and Development guide to find out more.

Read the line managers guide to learn about how to support Learning and Development for your team members.

Private Slack channels #

We encourage everyone at dxw to be open about their identities and the challenges they experience at work, but sometimes we want to only talk to people whose experiences more closely resemble our own. To enable that, we have created a number of private channels:

  • #identity-lgbtqia-plus (contact a member of @identity-lgbtqia-plus-admins to join)
  • #identity-neurodivergent-everyone and #identity-neurodivergent-non-management (contact a member of @identity-neurodivergent-admins to join)
  • #identity-spoonies (contact a member of @identity-spoonies-admins to join)

Anyone can create a new one by creating the private channel, creating a user group with at least one volunteer (or asking a Slack admin to do it for you), and adding it to this list. It’s probably a good idea to share that you’ve created it in #general.

The membership of those channels is also private to protect those people, and members of a channel are expected to keep everything in those channels private.

We don’t police membership of these channels, and trust everyone to be honest about their identities. Don’t invite anyone without first asking them if they want to be invited.

Book purchase #

If there is a book relevant to your work that you would like to read, make a request through the #help-purchasing slack channel and the Commercial Operations team will buy it for the library.

Cycle to work scheme #

dxw operates a cycle-to-work scheme, which may allow you to purchase a bicycle at reduced cost. If you would like to take this up, please register on the cycle scheme website

Eyecare vouchers #

dxw provides eyecare for the team via a voucher system run by ASE Corporate Eyecare Ltd and Boots.

Details of what the wellbeing voucher offers can be found here: Eyecare for Wellbeing.

Apply for a wellbeing eyecare voucher

Home office equipment #

Here’s a guide how we can support your home working environment. We can also provide a DSE assessment if you need specialist advice.