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5 minutes with Co-Founding Partner, Sharp & Carter, Christian Keogh

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Circle In is so proud to welcome Sharp & Carter to our Circle. By partnering with Circle In, Sharp & Carter hopes to strengthen their culture of openness, and acceptance. 

Here are some highlights from a recent chat between Product Marketing Manager, Circle In, Sarah Gildea, and Co-Founding Partner, Sharp & Carter, Christian Keogh. 

Why was it important for Sharp & Carter to invest in a program such as Circle In?

It was a no-brainer for us to be honest with you. When I first heard of the concept, I thought it was very clever. I often talk to our staff about the fact that you’ve really got to look after yourself in order to look after other people, and this is, correct me if I’m wrong, the basis of what the platform is, which I just thought was really smart. 

I often say to people the greatest gift that you can give to people, whether you’re a father, wife, husband, daughter, or son, is to be happy. This platform gives some great support to people in order to deal with the issues that they have, and ultimately be happy.

We’ve got about 150 staff and I think most people, if not all, can be categorized as caregivers in one way or another. We love any sort of new tools, any new knowledge, or any sort of education that we can give to our people.

What problem is Circle In solving for Sharp & Carter?

COVID-19 has definitely shone a light on some of the issues that people face. I’ve got four daughters, and along with my wife, clearly, she did the bulk of it in fairness, but trying to educate four kids while you’re working, and trying to balance up your work life is really, really difficult. In terms of whether it’s a problem or not, I think it’s more a case of just, as I said, any sort of education you can provide for people. 

What I love about Circle In is it’s a platform to be proactive. So, what I mean by that is quite often I say to people ‘look, if you need help, give me a call’, and I reckon nine times out of ten, they don’t. But when I call them and say ‘how’re you going?’ They’ll go ‘yeah, good.’ How’re you really going? They say ‘I’m not that good’. That’s the proactive nature of it and I think the Circle In platform is similar to that, in that, if we can say to people ‘you’re a new mum jump on the platform, have a look at it, see what you think, and we can chat about it tomorrow’ and it really brings to the surface issues that wouldn’t otherwise.

What are you most excited about the platform and the partnership with Circle In?

Our business has always talked about how the foundation is relationships. We see our customers, our suppliers, which I suppose technically you are as an extension of who we are. So, the most exciting piece is to meet people like you and hopefully, the people in your business can come and meet our people and vice versa. It really helps with strengthening relationships. So, whether or not those relationships are between our management group and the employees or vice versa, or if they can strengthen relationships with their families, or so on and so forth I think that’s really important. 

We touched on it before, but it’s really about education. Anytime you can get an education, especially around self-care, I think people are pretty poor at self-care. So, if I was, to be honest, generally speaking, this is not just Sharp & Carter, this is a community thing. Anywhere that you can help with that, I think is just better for everyone involved. 

What does success look like for Sharp & Carter in supporting your families and caregivers?

Honestly, if we can help one person in our business to be able to cope just that little bit more, I think that’s a success. I think we’ll have a lot more success than that. I mean we’ve got about 150 odd people, so, if we can help every one of those persons in a small way that would be a success. 

It’s all about moving the needle a bit, isn’t it? I haven’t got too much expectation, it’s really the content that’s in there that will start a conversation. So, that’s got to be a good thing. 

Success for me is very much based on our culture of openness, and acceptance. I often say to people if you’re going to join Sharp & Carter just be yourself, don’t be anybody else. It allows you to put your hand up and say ‘I’m a father, I’m struggling a bit, I’m not coping’, and you say that’s fantastic. That’s a success for me just to have people be open. What I like about the platform too is that it’s very real. There are a lot of fake conversations that go on in life and I’m not interested in those fake conversations if I was to be completely honest. So, even if it was just one real conversation that helped somebody that would be a success for me. 

Why Circle In?

What I noticed right from the start values wise we’re very similar. So, in terms of the way that we manage our business, we manage our business based on trust, generosity, humility, and care. So, there was definite alignment there in terms of our values, and we do try to partner with suppliers that are very similar in that regard, from a value point of view. 

It’s often said that everyone needs help, even though sometimes they don’t think that they do, everybody does. We’re big on that we’re always just trying to use new tools, new knowledge, to just help people really simply. I think sometimes people overcomplicate things, and I like to simplify them to say ‘you do need help, and it’s okay if you need help’. 

I think it’s a great concept to be thinking about the caregiver, as they prioritize obviously the person that is struggling, whether it’s illness or whatever it is, and not very often do people actually go ‘how are you going dealing with this?’ If you can get that person right, then they should be able to give more care and be able to cope with it. When we first talked about the concept, it was just a complete no-brainer. We spoke about it for about two minutes and said, ‘yeah, let’s do this because it just seems like a really good idea.’ So it just felt right.

We are thrilled to welcome Sharp & Carter to our Circle and look forward to supporting their people in all of the moments that matter.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can support your employees, click here to talk to us today.

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