5 Examples of a Healthy Work Culture
15th October 2021
Every organisation has its own unique culture, shaped by shared values, a common vision for the company and its employees. All of these factors contribute to an organisation’s day-to-day working environment.
Although culture isn’t physical, you can sense it as soon as you walk into an office. It’s in an employee’s laughter, their family photos on their desks, conflicts and their resolution, and the way managers connect with their team.
A healthy work culture is made up of happy employees. The best companies to work for strive for a work culture where employees feel valued, safe, listened to, and awash with opportunities for growth and progression.
Continue reading to find out how five businesses in the UK are creating a healthy work culture for their staff.
The family-run jewellery retailer Beaverbrooks topped the Best Companies to Work For List 2021 due to its people-centric approach to business. Not only that, but they are also the only organisation in Best Companies’ history to be awarded a three-star accreditation for workplace engagement for 16 years running.
Anna Blackburn, managing director of Beaverbrooks, revealed that their healthy work culture has everything to do with the prize: ‘We believe that a collaborative culture is key to business success so communication has been essential, ensuring colleagues feel involved and engaged with the business, as well as increasing our focus on wellbeing.’
The organisation also places a huge emphasis on giving back to the community through charitable activities, donating £1.5 million to charities throughout the pandemic.
Beaverbrooks’ core purpose is to ‘enrich lives’, and it has achieved this by maintaining a healthy work culture throughout even the most challenging periods. Despite being a hugely successful nationwide company with almost 950 employees, the organisation manages to keep its people happy and engaged — just as it did when the company first launched in 1919.
Diageo is a leading beer and spirits manufacturer headquartered in London. While it has an impressive reputation in the world of business, it’s also hugely successful in creating a culture that prioritises its employees’ wellbeing.
In 2019, it featured in Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work Employees’ Choice’. Employee reviews of the company mention a collaborative working environment, healthcare and benefits, which all contribute to its positive work culture.
Diageo is also a leader in diversity and inclusion. Its website states: ‘For our business to thrive and for Diageo to realise its ambition, we depend on recruiting, retaining and developing diverse talent with a range of backgrounds, skills and capabilities in each of the 180 countries in which we operate.’
And it’s not just all talk. Diageo was number one in the world for gender equality in the Equileap 2019 Global Gender Equality Report and Ranking. In 2020, Diageo was ranked as the number one business in the UK for female representation, with 60% women on its Board and 37.4% women in leadership.
A healthy work culture transcends monetary compensation. If a company doesn’t strive for equal opportunities, there’s no way it can achieve a healthy working culture.
Monzo, the popular online bank, aims to disrupt corporate culture by prioritising its employees’ mental and physical health.
The challenger bank offers yoga classes, well-paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave, and a cycle-to-work scheme. Not only this, but Monzo looks after the mental wellbeing of its employees. According to its website, it offers: paid sick leave for both physical and mental health reasons, a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme, discounted subscription to the meditation app Headspace and flexible working hours for a healthy work-life balance.
Monzo aims to make the stressful world of fintech a more zen place by creating a work culture that’s in line with the needs of the millennial workforce. And their approach is working because, in 2019, Monzo was named the Top Start-up to Work At by LinkedIn.
Skyscanner is a household name now, growing from a start-up to a successful business with over 1000 employees.
What’s unique about Skyscanner’s culture is that it strives to maintain the start-up culture that so many employees value. A start-up culture is one that values creative problem-solving, open communication and a flat hierarchy — which can be difficult to achieve when a company scales to the levels Skyscanner has.
However, the CTO George Goodyer said in an interview that it aims to maintain this culture with the implementation of a system called the ‘Squads and Tribes’ model, which aims to facilitate flexibility, ownership and collaboration.
Not only this, but Skyscanner contributes to a healthy work culture by championing wellbeing benefits. It has an EAP, offers a discount to Headspace and generous time off.
It also gives employees access to the Skyscanner University programme, which offers courses for their personal development. This insatiable hunger for knowledge and growth helps keep its employees engaged and motivated for a healthy culture.
5. Ernst & Young (EY)
The professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) has managed to create a healthy work culture that nurtures passion among its employees. By inspiring their employees to innovate, EY unlocks their full potential and drives up engagement.
EY knows that their employees’ work can be demanding and the environment fast-paced. This awareness empowered them to create a wellness scheme called ‘Better You’, which is designed to support employees both at work and at home.
Programmes include mindfulness, sleep therapy, medical benefits and fitness subsidies to ensure employees are taking care of themselves outside of office hours.
EY also recently announced that all its employees will be able to work from home at least 2 days a week from now on. This flexibility is a perk that empowers employees to better manage their work-life balance.
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