Employee welfare has always been paramount to us, and our new measures reflect this more than ever
The new financial year is underway, spring is in the air – and it’s as good a time as any for change. This is particularly true for Venari Partners right now: we have a lot of updates to share with our network!
First, we have moved office. I know – again! Given that our team has doubled in size in the past two years, and with further growth on the horizon, we outgrew our previous premises on Paul Street and have now switched to a new location around the corner on Curtain Road. We couldn’t be happier with the space: it allows us to stay true to our spiritual home of Shoreditch while boasting top facilities such as a podcast recording studio. We can’t wait to see what the future brings for us in our new office.
As this change of scenery coincided with the start of the new financial year, we decided the time was right to review some of our longstanding company policies – especially given that April is Stress Awareness Month. Employee wellbeing is paramount to us. We recognise that our industry is fast-paced and high-pressure, and so we’ve always had in-house measures to give our talent the chance to relieve stress, from discounted gym membership and health insurance to a dedicated employee assistance programme (EAP). However, we don’t want to rest on our laurels, and given the prevalence of stress, anxiety, and depression in today’s society, we want to be sure we’re doing as much as we can for our staff to be happy at work.
As such, we’ve introduced new policies that chime with our company’s four core values. These are:
Increased paid maternity and paternity leave, salary sacrifice and CSR, in line with our progressive profile. We didn’t think the statutory limit was generous enough, or fitted in with our business’ inclusive nature, so we are pleased to announce that we are increasing parental leave for prospective parents. Separately, employees can now opt into a salary sacrifice scheme in lieu of pension, and we are also reemphasising our CSR pledge for staff to dedicate working days to good causes – more on the latter soon.
Unlimited holiday time for our employees – yes, you read that right! Four or five weeks’ annual leave just doesn’t feel like enough sometimes – even with our annual retreat. As such, we are loosening the restrictions on time off for staff in keeping with our desire to be a positive place to work. Feel like you need a break? Go for it!
A change to flexible working arrangements. Like many companies, we’ve had hybrid work in place since the pandemic, with core days for in-person presence. At Venari Partners, we get that everyone’s schedule is different – and we also understand that a one-size-fits-all approach to being in the office won’t let everyone work to the best of their ability. In line with the importance we place on understanding people, therefore, we’re allowing employees to work up to four days remotely, with managers afforded greater responsibility for managing this as necessary. Now, for most of the week, as long as you’re working well, we don’t mind where you are. Friday will be our only core in-person day going forward: it gives us a chance to catch up and socialise all together at the end of a long week!
Finally: a new emphasis on being accountable and professional. As Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben said: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’ We’re not planning on slinging webs and fighting crime just yet – but the point is that we pride ourselves on our professionalism, whether you work with or for the company. Yes, we’re relaxing the existing rules around annual leave and flexible working overall, but on the understanding that employees need to be accountable for their own workloads and schedules accordingly.
We recognise that these are big changes, but we’re delighted to be introducing policies that will have a truly positive impact – and our staff certainly seem excited about the revised measures:
‘The new flexibility will give me a better work-life balance. I’ll be able to work remotely more – for me, as a foreign national, it’ll allow me to go home more often, which I’m really happy about.’ Solenn Ferrato, Marketing Manager
‘With a child on the way, flexible working is going to make managing work/life balance much easier for me.’ Steve Browne, Principal Manager Consultant, Hospitality & Leisure
‘The new company policy is a welcome change as it gives me the ability to book time off when I need a break, allowing me to be more present at home without eating into the normal holiday allocation. I’m old and bald enough to know that success comes through hard work. To be more in control of work-life balance is a key component to achieving this success – well played VP.’ Tim Hartnell, Senior Consultant, Sustainable Packaging
‘I love that flexible working allows people to choose the most productive environment for them.’ Jennifer Walsh, Head of Client Relations
‘We often challenge ourselves to innovate our products and our services, but of equal importance to us is the need to innovate and improve our culture. We want our staff to be the best they can be, which means ensuring our culture is the best it can be. These improvements to our company policies are unlikely to be the last – watch this space...’ James Parker, Director