PODFather, an Edinburgh-based technology firm that delivers route optimisation and proof-of-delivery software solutions, supports its 43 employees’ mental health and wellbeing because it’s the ‘right thing to do’ and is good for business too.
- Extended lunchbreaks between 12noon and 2pm. Staff are encouraged to take longer breaks away from screens to rest, socialise, exercise, or just get some fresh air while it’s daylight.
- In response to home working during the pandemic, the company created a fun video game-style virtual office, where staff can work at their virtual desks, meet in the kitchen, have lunch together, attend meetings and even hold quizzes in a virtual pub.
- Employees can book appointments with their HR manager, who is also a wellbeing coach. There is a weekly wellbeing clinic for one-to-one advice on anything from mental and physical health, and wellness outside work, to management-style coaching and progression enquiries.
- Social conversations are encouraged through regular ‘donut’ chats where four random employees are invited to talk for 30 minutes to get to know each other better. MD Colin McCreadie said: “It’s been a great leveller. It doesn’t matter what your role is, we’ve all been watching the same series on Netflix, or have other things in common.”
- Employee networks including PODKids, PODPets and PODRunners provide peer support and encouragement to staff.
- Flexible working is available for everyone, as well as a ‘help at hand’ service for GP advice and mental health support. Personal budgets for training are also available to all employees.
PODFather’s managing director Colin McCreadie, says: “If you have a good product and look after your customers, profit will usually take care of itself. But if you don’t look after your people, they’re going to leave and that’s not good for business.
“What’s more, if someone’s having a hard time, it’s the right thing to do to help them if you can. You will get more back from them in loyalty and goodwill too.”
- On-going staff surveys show employee wellbeing has remained high, despite the pandemic.
- Staff turnover is less than half the UK average of 15%. Customers benefit from the retained knowledge and skills of loyal employees.
- As a result of PODFather’s flexible and wellbeing policies, employees can work – and live – the way that suits them best. Flexible working is here to stay, with many employees continuing to work from home with occasional travel into the office.