Banking organisation Virgin Money tailors its reward strategy to suit all of its 8,000 employees by proactively listening to them, which is how it discovered that benefits such as gender-neutral parental leave and flexible working are important.
Following discussion with staff to find out what they most valued, they now have access to 30 days of annual leave, five additional wellbeing days each year and equal parental leave for all from the first day of employment, says Syreeta Brown, group chief people and communications officer at Virgin Money.
“The wellbeing days underpin our view that wellbeing is critical to performance and delivery, and we separate out this time from other forms of leave,” she says. “There is also flexibility for expectant parents and those looking to adopt when it comes to how to structure their pay over an extended period, and how they would like to take their leave, to ensure everyone is supported in the best way possible.”
In addition, the business has a ‘work when you want, where you want’ approach for all staff who do not need to be in store or a particular location to fulfil their role, with about two-thirds of the workforce taking advantage of this. Employees have responded positively to this and, through the organisation’s quarterly engagement pulse tracking, highlighted that the approach provides them with what they want and enables them to live their best working lives.
Brown believes the key to providing more of a tailored approach to a reward strategy is to engage staff in a transparent and honest conversation about how their personal wellbeing could be improved through work and identify how they can achieve a better work-life balance and feel more supported.
“In the inclusive workplace of the future, one-size-fits-all is old thinking; it is essential that employers remember to reward those who already work for the business while trying to attract new talent,” she says.
“The past few years have not only highlighted the importance of flexibility, but also demonstrated how well it can work, benefitting employees and business performance when done well. Flexibility and choice will remain a key focus for employees in the coming years, therefore, I expect we will see more and more reward strategies being built around that approach.”