IRIS provides software and services to the UK accountancy, payroll, HR and education sectors. It employs 2,600 people globally, of which more than 2,000 are based in the UK.
Three years ago, the organisation set itself a target of achieving Great Place to Work certification, introducing the real living wage as part of its strategy. Stephanie Kelly, chief people officer at IRIS, says: “We were really pleased to achieve it in 2020, especially as we also received recognition for our employee wellbeing support. Looking after our employees’ wellbeing is important and we run a monthly engagement survey to check how they’re coping. We’ve recently seen an increase in concerns about mental and financial wellness as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.”
In response to these findings, Kelly has promoted all of the organisation’s benefits to ensure employees take full advantage of them during the financial squeeze. “We have a diverse workforce so we have always offered a broad range of benefits, most of which they can take out when they like,” she says. “We’ve seen a massive push on our health cash plans but also on benefits such as our discount schemes and our medical insurance. This is through Vitality and gives employees rewards such as free coffees and cinema tickets if they keep their steps up.”
Kelly has also highlighted the mental health support that is available at IRIS. This includes an employee assistance programme and a team of mental health first aiders.
New financial benefits have also been added to support employees. Alongside its existing budgeting and financial workshops, which are run internally, it has introduced one-to-one financial coaching with an external consultant, and workplace individual savings accounts (Isas), to give employees more flexibility around their savings. “We’ve also launched new support pages dedicated to increasing financial awareness,” adds Kelly. “We’ll keep monitoring how our employees are coping but we have a duty of care to provide them with the best possible support to get through the cost-of-living crisis.”