‘Our Stories’ is one of many opportunities for our global team to get together and get to know each other better!
With 8,000 members of staff spread across three continents – some working from home and others in the office depending on what works best for them and their teams – it is important to create moments in our lives at work to connect, get to know each other better, and celebrate our unique stories. Enter Dara McGarry (DNEG Animation Outreach Director in London – you can read her FOCUS interview here) and ‘Our Stories’, a global initiative that she launched internally at DNEG in early 2022.
Dara is a big fan of storytelling events, “I love listening to stories – on the radio or in person at open mic story nights” she says. “There’s something to takeaway from every story; sometimes it’s really funny, sometimes you’re just sobbing. These are personal stories in their true and unique form because individuals are unique. I’ve never heard a story that I thought ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’ – they are human experience stories and, one way or another, you can always relate to them”.
‘Our Stories’ is one of many opportunities for our global team to get together and share their experiences. “I wanted to bring this kind of open mic vibe to DNEG. We are all about storytelling after all. Our crew craft powerful stories to inspire audiences, so why not take a moment and share our own stories? Because in telling our origin stories, we are talking about our background and hobbies: it’s informative for people and gives them an opportunity to shift their thinking and get a different perspective. Changing the way we think is one of our goals, but ultimately ‘Our Stories’ is about connecting with each other through sharing”.
“‘Our Stories’ is also about nurturing friendship”, adds Dara “creating connections and meaningful relationships is important. The idea that your job is ‘just a job’ and you can’t connect with people makes me really sad. In everything I do I always try to get people together. I think that being able to relate to people around you is going to make your experience so much better – and generally makes the world a better place!”
Creating a caring and supportive community at work is very important to DNEG, as Dara explains: “Fostering an environment conducive to connection has always been part of DNEG’s ethos. I remember people telling me that, when they left the company to work somewhere else and then came back, they would do so because in general the people at DNEG are friendlier, more supportive. I always felt that we have a very special and caring community at DNEG. With the pandemic it’s been a lot harder to make connections and I think that we have a shared responsibility to enable these connections, to get people together for events like ‘Our Stories’, a softball tournament, parties, or any other chance to connect”.