It’s a very important question and one that has been at the heart of Thrive for 21 years. Our teams’ wellness is, and always has been, at the heart of our agency DNA. It is so great to see, during these strange and challenging times, so many agencies shining the light on the care of our most important asset - our people.
As an industry, we haven’t done a great job in the past. As any recruiter or agency HR manager will know only too well, from the countless conversations with talent that tell the same story - being burnt out, scarred from ever going back to agency. If there was an upside to Covid it’s that we are seeing a much-needed shift.
Every week there is a new agency initiative being announced centered around looking after people. It is absolutely commendable, brilliant and let’s make this our new industry mantra and commitment.
And let’s face it, it doesn't need to be big initiatives and announcements. Often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
I know when I first came to Thrive I was shocked that the office is empty usually by 5.30pm and at a stretch 6pm. When I tell candidates you can feel the disbelief. Just last week I spoke to an SAE who was so scarred from a previous agency life, where working till 11pm regularly was not questioned by managers, and sadly this lack of duty of care has turned an incredible agency talent away from the industry.
At Thrive new business pitches don’t mean doing an all-nighter. Organisation and discipline are far better approaches. It means we are getting people’s best energy and outcomes vs expecting people to deliver when they are drained and exhausted.
Our Thrivers have always had the flexibility to work remotely from anywhere. With five office locations, and having worked with Cisco on WebEx and with remote tools since 2015, we’ve always allowed remote working, transfers to other locations, and tailored flexible opportunities for our team. We recently had one of our team head to NZ to work so that his son could spend time with grandparents. And another who spent a month experiencing living in another city.
Our parental policy made headlines in 2016 with our family-friendly focus including free parking near premises in the third trimester and access to paid childcare funding to cover childcare costs of up to $150 per day. We currently have eight staff either on parental leave or about to take advantage of our parental leave support. We’ve promoted team members about to head off onto maternity and those on maternity leave transitioning back to work.
We provide our team with financial wellness training. Thrivers who have undertaken this have called it life-transforming - they’ve gone on to buy their first home, experienced financial freedom for the first time.
This month marked a very special month for us with Thrive WellFest - a month dedicated to amping up our wellness focus because, with 90% of our workforce in lockdown, we knew they needed it. Some of the new initiatives launched included Thrive Day - an extra day of paid leave, taken at any time during the year, to focus on personal wellness, and we provided everyone with access to free 98Training including workouts, mindset, and nutrition.
It’s the everyday duty of care and treating people as individuals that matter most, backed by the investment in supporting their wellness.
Thrive is not just our name, it is the purple thread that runs through everything we do. We are not starting on this journey. We’ve been on it for 21 years and continuing to evolve. At our heart is a culture of wellness - professional, personal, financial, physical, and mental wellness. We call it Thriving.
Snezna Kerekovic, Thrive PR + Communications People & Culture Director