Employee experience is the beating heart of any company and must be prioritized to build a winning culture. The result: fully engaged employees taking great care of their clients.
There are many elements that make up a strong company culture, such as inclusion, empathy, and empowerment. But, I believe that trust is the most powerful of all. Alida’s culture strongly relies on listening to our employees and cultivating a relationship of trust with them. We believe that when trust is established, employees are more inclined to provide their most true and honest feedback, which ultimately helps us build a world-class company.
We are committed to always placing employee feedback at the heart of our decision-making, which we continue to do by using our own Alida Total Experience Management platform. This led us to make some bold new changes for our organization.
Throughout the global pandemic, we knew we needed to double-down on listening to our employees and found that many needed more support with their mental health and work-life balance. We chose to trust our employees' voices fully and take a greater step towards improving their experience by introducing the concept of our four-day work week pilot in Summer 2022. This was a bold new strategy for Alida. But, we felt our employees truly deserved the trust, and quite frankly, needed the balance. The criteria for success was more balance, hearing from employees they felt a positive contribution towards mental health, and ensuring we still got the work done.
When we launched the pilot to our employees, we didn’t know where this would take us. Would it help? Would it stay for the long-term? Or would it fail? We were open with our employees and told them we didn’t have the answers and likely wouldn’t until the pilot was over.
The pilot results taught us a few things about ourselves:
- Overall, our employees felt positive about the experience stating they felt happier and more balanced. But while the initiative was bold and welcoming, it did not account for every employee’s work-life needs. Some found the program inadvertently created more stress because getting all their work done in just four days wasn’t always possible.
- Within the feedback we received, flexibility was by far the most recurring sentiment we heard. Employees want a culture that makes them feel empowered to do the work on their own schedule and supports them in doing so. For some companies, the four-day work week might be an ideal solution to address employees' needs for flexibility. For us, the perfect solution was to evolutionize the four-day work week to a program that would allow us to address the needs of all our employees.
- Finally, the pilot reaffirmed just how important building trust with employees can be. I didn’t anticipate how empowered employees felt knowing that the company trusted them through this program. We needed to find a way to create a program that provided all our employees with the trust and flexibility they need to be their best selves in and outside of the workplace.
After getting the perspectives of all employees, we continued to prioritize empowerment but needed to strike the right balance for our employees. We really wanted to get this right.
Enter Alida Empowered. A new and permanent initiative tied to our employee benefits program.
This new program offers the flexibility our employees need to achieve a healthy work-life balance but gives them more options to do it on their terms.
The program includes:
We will continue to offer all Alida employees a four-day work week in the summer months, from the first week in July to Labor Day weekend. Employees have the flexibility to use their Fridays in a way that works for them and allows them to focus on what’s most important to them in their personal lives.
For the remaining months of the year, we will encourage no internal meetings on Fridays. Employees can use this time for any priorities, like focused work, catching up with a customer, taking some time for a personal appointment, or for team building.
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Alida now offers a flexible vacation policy to further strengthen employee empowerment. Employees no longer have a fixed amount of time to take off each year. They can leverage this policy to manage their time as they see most beneficial to meet their own individual and team needs.
We believe that when companies have the courage to listen and trust their employees, and in turn act on their insights, great things happen. Together, we’ve worked to create a culture that is inclusive, empathetic, trusting, and empowering. It is our goal to never give this up and to always keep making it stronger.
I am very proud of this new program and truly believe that by driving empowerment across all our employees, we prioritize the health of Alida’s employees and create a world-class culture.