EveryMan Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that supports a wide range of men with high and complex needs, including those at risk of homelessness, living with mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, and/or living with a disability. It also includes perpetrators or survivors of violence, ex-prisoners, the socially isolated, or those with relationship or parenting difficulties. The organisation has been a leader in developing new and effective services for men, their partners, and families for the last twenty years.
Speaking about creating positive outcomes for the members of our society in need is one thing. Delivering on those outcomes is another. In response to this challenge, Greg Aldridge, CEO of EveryMan Australia, initiated the adoption of the Being Framework, not only in the organisation but also within the context of their partnership with women's not-for-profit organisation, Toora Women Inc. Toora supports women with homelessness and domestic violence as well as providing health treatment services for issues related to alcohol and other drugs. Over the last two years, members of the leadership teams at EveryMan Australia and Toora have undertaken training in the Being Framework and are practising it within their organisations with exceptional results. Director of alcohol and other drug services at Toora Inc., Rebecca Wood, who is also a Being Profile Accredited Practitioner, graduate of the Thrive Coach Training Program, and is currently completing the Being Mastery Program, said,“The Being Profile has completely changed the way our organisation works. We have shifted greatly in our communication with each other. We’ve become a thriving team that performs together”.
Suzanne Shultz is on the Board of Directors at EveryMan Australia and was among the first members of the leadership team to complete the Being Profile and participate in the Being Profile Accreditation Program. She describes the critical questions the Board of Directors faced after completing the training as follows: "Are we, as a board, being too polite with each other? Are we communicating in a way that enables us to make decisions for the organisation effectively and to be authentic with each other and aligned?" In terms of how the leadership team viewed the impact of the Being Profile and the Being Framework in the organisation, starting with themselves, Suzanne said, "The way that a board influences the culture of the organisation is in the things we pay attention to, the questions that we ask, the kind of reports that we ask for. And many boards focus quite a bit on very straightforward business benchmark data or 'the finances'. Are we solvent, or are we not? How much did we earn? What did we spend our money on? Those kinds of things. If we wanted to be part of an organisation that was genuinely working with complex people with complex problems and wanted to impact society as well as the individual people with whom we're working, we had to be asking broader questions than that. So, by taking part in the Being Profile, it created a language, or a way of being or a connection with the organisation, that enabled us to see our role in supporting the organisation, particularly with the things we paid attention to”.
Later, training around the Being Framework was rolled out at EveryMan Australia to various team members representing a broad cross-section of the organisation, from team leaders to caseworkers. After interviewing participating staff, several benefits were made clear, the first relating to team culture and staff morale at EveryMan. In the early stage, there was a range of issues that team members experienced that resulted in low retention rates. There was a sense that people frequently came and went from the organisation, which made it extremely difficult to build a strong culture. The Being Framework supports individuals to transform their levels of awareness beyond their personal perspective. As participants became more present to the way that who and how they are BEING directly impacts others, a gradual but clear shift took place. Over time, many team members reported being "engaged" and "connected" with the other team members. They reported experiences of being on the receiving end of initiatives that demonstrated the care of other workers for their colleagues.
The Being Framework also empowers leadership within individuals, regardless of their title or position within the organisation. One team member reported a scenario where a colleague was dealing with a complex workplace issue. They spoke about how these types of issues would typically escalate quickly, getting out of hand and then taking up the time of either the HR team or even senior management. After taking part in the Being Framework training, this team member experienced a newfound level of confidence in having critical and often challenging conversations. Within a short period, the team members were able to directly resolve the issue with each other, decreasing the load on both HR and upper management and contributing to a culture of trust and effective communication throughout EveryMan Australia.
In the Being Framework, the core focus is not to change team members' behaviours one at a time. Instead, multiple behaviours are impacted by transforming a person's Aspects of Being. Greg observed this as his team undertook the training and practised the Being Framework. He said, "I made a promise that I will make an organisation in which people will love to come to work every day, and there have been so many times over the last eight years that have been heartbreaking to me not to be able to fulfil on that. But what I've seen in the Being Framework is that it is a methodology to speak to every single person who works for us to create leadership."