Rowan Consultancy was established in Perth in 1997 to help people lead more satisfying lives through counselling, coaching, mediation, training and critical incident debriefing. Their network of consultants now stretches from London to Inverness.
In 2018 they won the Association for Scottish Businesswomen’s Community Commitment Award for Rachel Weiss’ work with the charity Menopause Café. The Café raises awareness of the impact of the menopause by holding pop-up events worldwide where people drink tea, eat cake and talk menopause.
The key to success for Rowan Consultancy is their belief in treating staff fairly and supporting them. As well as providing an employee counselling service, they actively encourage breaks and walks which promote mental wellbeing. Regular team days and outings allow staff to get to know each other, build stronger relationships and work together better as a team.
Since their inception in 1997, Rowan Consultancy have paid a fair wage and welcomed the introduction of the real Living Wage as an independently calculated rate that gives employers a clear standard.
“We value our employees and believe a fair wage enables them to focus better on the job instead of having financial worries or working two jobs to make ends meet.” Rachel Weiss, Senior Partner
While it has been an aspiration of Rowan Consultancy to become Living Wage accredited since they first heard about the scheme, finding the time to start the process was difficult for such a successful and busy company. Lockdown gave Rachel the opportunity to complete the paperwork and she told us that the process was much easier and quicker than she had anticipated.
The team at Rowan welcomed the news that their employer had become accredited, demonstrating their commitment to paying their staff a decent wage.
“I am delighted we’ve been awarded this accreditation. The fact that my employer voluntarily entered into this scheme makes me feel valued. I have confidence in the rate of pay as the realistic costs of my daily life were used to calculate it.” Sandra Fryer, Office Manager
In order to become an accredited employer, the real Living Wage is applied to all directly employed staff and regular contracted staff. While all directly employed staff in the Rowan Consultancy were already paid a real Living Wage, they had used a cleaning agency who were not committed to the real Living Wage. Following their accreditation, Rowan Consultancy decided to employ a cleaner directly in order to ensure they were paid the Living Wage rate. Rachel explained that they see cleaning staff as valued and trusted members of their team who hold responsible positions as key holders.
“Cleaners are generally not paid well so when an organisation pays me more than they need to, I feel worthy.” Julia Struth, Cleaner
Paying at least a real Living Wage to staff is part of the Rowan Consultancy package that promotes goodwill and loyalty within their team. Research has shown that workers who feel more valued and included are more motivated and dedicated to their employer. This in turn increases productivity and creativity and allows workers to feel respected and take pride in their work.
There are also savings to be made in relation to retention and training, while the ability to attract the best staff is enhanced. Rachel believes that feeling valued is important in retaining their hardworking staff and earning a decent wage is one way that Rowan Consultancy can demonstrate their appreciation.
“Being paid the real Living Wage makes me feel valued and that my work is appreciated. Cleaning is one of those jobs that you’re almost ashamed to say you do but if there were no cleaners, there would be no businesses.” Julia
Since becoming an accredited Living Wage employer, the feedback from staff members has been extremely positive. By publicly showing their commitment to a real Living Wage, Rowan have demonstrated to their team how much they value them and that they are mindful of their well-being.
“The real Living Wage gives me peace of mind, knowing that I have got that extra income coming in each week.” Julia
Rachel tells us that she hopes to encourage other private sector businesses to become accredited and that Rowan Consultancy is an example of how a business can be ethical and place equal value on their customers, workers and the communities they work in.