I have worked for a range of companies from start-ups, venture capital firms, public bodies, manufacturing firms, educational institutions, financial service organisations and more, all of which claim to have the needs of their employees at their heart.
However what is said and what a small stamp proudly paraded on a website is in comparison to the reality is unfortunately a very different thing. I recently attended a 3 day induction in Somerset with my new employer EDF Energy and it blew any other companies previous attempt at inductions. EDF Energy is a big company, there is no doubt about that and this induction brought together all the various elements that make up EDF’s compelling story. From their sustainability ambitions through to the support they provide for all their employees throughout their career with EDF.
That statement – ‘their career with EDF’ is purposeful, EDF isn’t a one-stop-shop, the potential for real career growth is at your finger-tips. It is a reciprocal relationship – you put the time in (which isn’t difficult when you love what you do and are proud of the company you work for) and in turn you are looked after. Not just pension schemes and healthcare but in terms of a culture where their employees are at the heart of all they do.
I have come from work environments where constant criticism, under-mining and a ‘fear’ culture prevails. I cannot re-iterate enough how this is not conducive to a productive, creative and progressive workforce or company. This is not just me saying this, the University of Warwick’s Economic Research Institute proves that happy employees = productive employees. I marvel that this approach is still adopted – when a little time, a little investment into employees and their mission as employers can and does directly benefit the bottom line.
So here is to less talk, more thinking and most importantly more action – let’s get happy.