Forget traditional office perks – knitting and book groups are top of the agenda for today’s workforce, according to research by employee benefits platform Perkbox. SME customer success manager Wayne Adams tells unLTD’s Jill Theobald why enhancing company culture is ‘crucial’.
Tell me a bit about Perkbox – what do you guys do to help firms improve company culture?
Perkbox is a platform that provides a unique employee experience, enriching the personal and working life of staff. Our aim is to help businesses improve the relationship between management and staff through innovative solutions such as a reward and recognition tool, a medical product and a perks and benefits platform, which caters for the full spectrum of employee wellbeing – financial, physical and emotional. Ultimately, we want to help employees live better.
More businesses are taking note and beginning to understand the benefits of having a positive company culture. Having a ‘culture that sticks’ that everyone believes in and is motivated by is crucial to any successful business. Employers are realising you shouldn’t wait for culture to emerge, you should define it and cultivate it from within, starting by your most senior members of staff. Perks and benefits like discounted gym membership, phone insurance and savings on childcare are only one of many ways to complement this. It really all comes down to treating employees like customers – internal customers.
What methods of enhancing company culture have been particularly popular?
An important aspect to enhancing company culture is living and breathing your values. For example, here at Perkbox – ‘it’s not a job, it’s a family.’ It’s not uncommon for Perkboxers to be working alongside their best friend. We encourage that. We also run quarterly value-based awards to reward the hard work of team members that go above and beyond in demonstrating Perkbox’s mission and values.
A key method of achieving this for us has been trying to always involve the team in wider projects and decision-making processes. We do this by having regular Q&A sessions with the senior leadership team and having a squad model where members of different departments work together collaboratively on large company wide projects.
We also have some simple perks that, alongside the ones available on our platform, which are available to all our members of staff, are very popular. Breakfast goes a long way, in setting everyone up for the day and giving everyone a chance to catch-up before starting their day’s work. The Friday Beer-Trolley, where free drinks are wheeled out at 5pm, is also a favourite! The trolley is often pushed by the latest recruit in order to help them meet other team members more easily, or by someone who might have blundered in some way that week, as we want to learn how to laugh at our mistakes as much as possible as well as learn from them!
Which industries or sectors are exploring and investing most in company culture?
We see companies of all sizes from SMEs to large businesses using our services to reward their employees and keep them motivated at work. These include businesses in a variety of different sectors such as care, hospitality, IT and tech, construction, financial services, retail and education and big names such as Nando’s, Rentalcars and Levi Strauss & Co.
Traditional industries are definitely investing in company culture as they realise it can be a huge retention driver for their staff. Another interesting observation is that companies in more traditional industries, such as utilities, seem to be ranking higher than larger tech companies. For example, Anglian Water recently dethroned Google in in the Glassdoor: Best places to work rankings, an industry which we perhaps wouldn’t have thought of as so ‘workplace-centric’ a couple of years back.
What sort of feedback do you get from staff atthe companies you work with?
Our brand is very customer centric, and we believe this is what our customers, and their employees in turn, deserve and want. We often get feedback from employees at companies we work with saying that the addition of the Perkbox platform to their workplace has made them feel more looked-after and rewarded. Employees love what we stand for as a brand. We operate in a sector which has traditionally lacked this human touch and that’s what helps make us be perceived as so new and refreshing.
For a lot of companies offering our services, such as the employee support hub for mental wellbeing, that translates to reducing attrition, attracting the best talent and measurably improving staff happiness and wellbeing.