Louise Sharman, 29 August, 2019
According to research conducted by Dr Amanda Allisey of Deakin Business School, the average person will spend 80,000 hours at work over a lifetime. As so much of our lives are spent at work, it is safe to say your work and work environment can make a huge impact on your quality of life.
Wellbeing at work starts with creating a time to be mindful or be present. This is particularly relevant to our growing organisation, RedEye, where our way of working is incredibly fast-paced across every department. Couple that with our commitment to our families and friends as well as our interests outside of work, we all become susceptible to suffering burnout.
This begs the question: since we spend so much of our lives at work, to the point that our workplaces often become our second homes, how might we create and foster an environment of care so as to drive wellbeing at work?
I believe the answer is by creating a culture and environment with a sense of belonging where all employees are able to bring their authentic selves to work. Countless studies have determined how essential it is to create a sense of belonging and psychological safety which positively results in better collaboration, problem-solving, organisational engagement and improvement.
According to LinkedIn’s previous Chief Human Resource Officer, Pat Wadors, “Only when we feel psychologically safe can we unleash our best selves.” At RedEye, care is at the core of our culture and how we operate across our relationships with our team members, our clients and our community.
As we have an incredibly diverse workforce of parents, emerging professionals, career changers and many awesome individuals with multicultural backgrounds, we strive to create an environment where a sense of belonging is accessible to all.
Here are a few initiatives that we’ve rolled out at RedEye that have received positive responses to:
Discounted gym membership:
This was a result of our fitness fanatic community aptly named “The Gain Train” which was designed by staff for staff to create a sense of accountability, comradery and connection as going to the gym by yourself can be quite daunting. We’ve had a great response across the board as it has enabled team members from different departments to engage with each other, and also empowered the parents at RedEye to make time for themselves during lunch or after work.
At RedEye, we aim to provide a variety of opportunities where team members can connect with each other. For example, our internal events feature “lunch and learn” where our topics are crowd-sourced from our team members. Other events include:
- lunch to celebrate and recognize our team members;
- cake afternoon teas to celebrate birthdays;
- remote team catch-ups with the wider business;
- ladies lunches to promote diversity and inclusion; and
- FRAVOs (Friday-Arvos) where we showcase product updates and team members or stakeholders from within our communities deliver panel or lightning talks.
Whilst working in a fast-growing organisation can extend countless opportunities for learning and be extremely rewarding, it can also be extremely challenging due to changing priorities, urgent deadlines and wearing multiple hats. Recharge days are an initiative driven from our CEO Wayne Gerard who understands the importance of mental health at work. Each team member receives two recharge days every six months, where they are encouraged to simply plan a day off to recharge with no work-related calls, messages or emails.
Flexible work plays a huge role in providing our team members with greater autonomy and improved work-life balance. Whether it is starting or finishing earlier or later, working from home, taking breaks, working in different areas of the office, going offsite or even for a walking meeting, RedEye aims to create a personalised experience that empowers team members to choose how they can work in a way that is most productive to them.
Whilst we are still a work in progress and our business is constantly growing, it has always been essential to drive a sense of care and belonging for our team members. As we scale, we are looking forward to creating more initiatives that will continue to drive wellbeing at work.
Richard Branson famously said, “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the business.” Therefore, when our people are healthy and happy, it is a direct contributor to the growth and success of our organisation.
When we create an environment where employees feel safe and supported and they feel like they are able to be their authentic self, they are able to better connect with each other. In turn, they are more likely to be aware when their team members, peers or leaders are experiencing stress or are at risk of burn out, and take initiative to promote wellbeing at work through their own experiences.