How I made a difference: Jill Jackson, director of HR and training, Avanta

We have 170 employees now, being quite a young company, in UK and India. The UK posed a real problem for us. Having expanded so quickly between 2004 and today, while our people have a great career development path, and know what they need to do to get to where they need to be, they haven’t had a great benefits structure.

We did have a bonus structure, based on performance, customer reviews and financial information, but because of the economic climate, for the first time in three years, the team didn’t achieve their bonus.

So what we tried to look at was how to improve both their bank balance and their motivation. We looked at the pension scheme first. We’ve now introduced a salary exchange scheme, so now there’s a little bit of money saved, which employees can spend how they like.

We wanted to encourage staff to take ownership, and to help the business grow. We’re skilling people up, so need to move them into different roles. Once they’ve got the confidence they need to move up to the next level, staff get an automatic 6% pay rise.

From an employee wellbeing point of view, we want to make sure that people are fit and healthy enough to come to work, so we’ve joined an organisation that gives them access to 2,000 gyms. We want to let them play hard as well as work hard, and with the current economic climate, we understand the pressure they are under.

We enrolled everyone in our employee assistance programme, which offers counselling on a range of issues, including financial concerns. We also offer staff discounts on dental and healthcare, and have upgraded our eyecare cover.

We’ve increased holiday entitlement, year-on-year, capped at 30 days. When staff reach management level, we give them shares in the company. And we’ve revisited maternity and paternity allowances. We even give staff vouchers on their birthday – this came out of a working party on pay and reward. So we listen to staff and what they want.

Why it worked

  • We looked at the big picture
  • We asked people what they wanted
  • We thought about non-financial benefits.

Comments are closed.