Investment consultancy Redington has embraced the challenge of creating a great employee experience.
Kavish Patel, people director at Redington, says: “I think the reason benefits have had to step up and become more creative is we have gone from work where you go to the office, come back and have your friends and family and there was a set boundary between the two, to a world where you are always on and connected.
“I believe the concept of work-life balance can’t exist in that world. It’s about work-life cooperation. That means your whole life needs to be flexible, and the benefits you have at work become that much more important.”
Wellbeing is a particular challenge for the organisation, so this is an area that it focuses on. “When we get to certain points in our reporting cycle, everyone works really hard to get through that,” explains Patel. “Other months are quieter. We struggle with that. To combat it, we do things like mindfulness courses and yoga on our balcony. A masseuse comes twice a week. We joined up to a scheme [provided by] Gymflex where it negotiates down gym rates for groups of employees. As well as discounted gym rates, we give employees £25 a month towards their gym membership. About 100 of our workforce of 130 take it up.”
However, Redington is still trying to master communicating its benefits engagingly, he adds. “We are trying some solutions, in terms of creating an app which allows people to explore their benefits package. There is no point in us spending money on those things unless people want to use them. That underpins our benefits experience: what will benefit people the most?”
Hiring the very best people is also key. “We work with a number of social mobility organisations,” says Patel. “We want diversity because it brings challenge to the way we think and do things. One of the phrases I use is constant discomfort. You don’t want people to stop challenging themselves and stop advancing. We recruit up to seven to eight apprentices now which in [an organisation] of about 130 is a huge proportion in a year-and-a-half period.”
Getting the details right is also important. Patel says: “People still feel what the experience is like when you walk into the office. One thing we try hard to do is get our front of house right. The second you get to our floor, that’s the second you get the right employee experience. You want to come into somewhere fresh, open, where people are smiling. Once you’ve done that at the start, you have to filter that through every stage of the employee journey.”