Staff wellbeing is an issue all companies should be looking at closely
Staff wellbeing is a big issue in HR, as companies are keen to make sure their employees feel respected and valued.
By cultivating a positive environment built on respect and loyalty, businesses can expect to hold on to their best and brightest workers for longer, which in turn will be good for long-term strategies.
Whether it's London mayor Boris Johnson's office giving staff access to free mindfulness help to manage stress or ESPN sending workers to summer wellbeing events, organisations recognise how important it is to provide support for staff.
So how can companies adopt the right ethos? Let's have a look at three blazing a trail when it comes to staff wellbeing.
Taking holidays at a time that is convenient to you is one of the major bones of contention for workers. Some organisations will have extremely restrictive guidelines on how annual leave can be taken in an effort to minimize business disruption, but what if there is no policy at all? This is how streaming service Netflix works, as holiday leave comes under its freedom and responsibility culture.
Employees are essentially treated as adults and given responsibility to look after issues that relate to them (including holiday and sick leave), while Netflix prefers to focus its attention of wider business strategies. As Daniel Jacobson, VP of edge engineering at Netflix, explained in his personal blog, the organisation trusts its employees.
"As long as we are being responsible (i.e. getting our part of the project done and communicating our situation to others), then we don't have much interest or concern around how others budget the rest of their time," he stated. "We are free to do as we please because we can be trusted to do what we are supposed to do. As a result, tracking people's time for vacation, sick and holidays just does not make sense."
Aside from offering free smoothies and fruit, Innocent likes to keep things casual and fun where possible. Its headquarters is called Fruit Towers, the main contact number is referred to as 'the bananaphone' and people are encouraged to attend job interviews wearing something that is a "step up from your dressing gown".
Single offices are shunned in favour of large open spaces and the company's founders sit at desks with the rest of the staff as it seeks to develop a collegiate atmosphere. Picnic benches, booths and table football are also provided to make breaks and lunches even more enjoyable. Towards the end of last year, some 250 employees were also given a share of a £19 million bonus, which demonstrates that it takes the issue of staff wellbeing very seriously.
Fortune has named Google as the best place to work in 2014, the fifth time it has been given the accolade. During its investigations, Fortune discovered that 97 per cent of staff think management is honest and ethical and they appreciate the philanthropic efforts of the company. Through its Donations for Doers program, $50 is donated for every five hours a Googler volunteers with an approved non-profit organisation. This is part of a drive to establish a community feeling.
At its Mountain View complex in Santa Clara County, US, employees also get access to a series of perks including free gourmet food, on-site laundry services and Wi-Fi-enabled commuting shuttles. Indeed, 99 per cent of workers told Fortune they enjoy special benefits or perks, which are designed to "maximize working hours whilst balancing personal commitments". Moreover, 95 per cent of Google employees think they are paid fairly for their work, as the company has a number of schemes in place so it remains competitive within the tech industry.