A Direct Rail Services (DRS) director has been recognised for her outstanding contributions to the rail industry and making a difference to the lives of colleagues.
Natasha Hanson, Business Services Director, was awarded ‘runner up’ in the Outstanding Individual Contribution Award at the Rail Freight Group’s prestigious awards ceremony last week (12 September) in recognition of her efforts in leading the way to make improvements to the culture of the organisation and introducing new policies and initiatives at DRS.
The new approach centred around colleagues’ health and well-being, focussing on their work life balance and the changes the organisation can make to help retain our colleagues and keep DRS at the forefront of the rail industry. In only 12 months Natasha worked with people from across the organisation to provide a solution and keep the valuable skills and experience within DRS.
A flexible approach to working was also introduced allowing colleagues to choose their hours, working at different times of the day, or compressing their hours to work fewer days, further improving their work life balance.
Natasha was also passionate about introducing a volunteering policy across the organisation, allowing colleagues to take five days of additional leave to pursue volunteering opportunities. Leading from the front, Natasha booked herself on a flight to India in March 2019 to volunteer for two weeks with GVI, an international volunteering program. This demonstrated that even a Director could take three weeks out of business to support a project close to their heart.
Equality, diversity and inclusion are also vital to Natasha and DRS, driving forward women in the rail industry and introducing training initiatives, which have been completed by 98% of all colleagues. She is also driving new initiatives around inclusivity and ensuring all colleagues, from all backgrounds, are supported, and this culture is embedded within DRS.
On receiving the award Natasha said: “I was honoured just be nominated and it was a huge surprise to have been named as runner up. I am deeply passionate about ensuring our workforce is happy, supported and feel empowered to drive changes in their working lives.
“We’ve done a lot at DRS but there is still much more to do. I’ll be continuing our work but also rolling out new initiatives around mental health and more work diversifying our workforce.
“I’m immensely proud of our achievements and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.”