IT recruiter Frank Recruitment Group started out in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2006, and now operates across more than 20 offices in nine countries, employing 1,800 people.
The business has historically provided a wide range of staff benefits, including workplace pensions, life insurance and gym memberships, as well as all-inclusive holidays for top-achievers, but the pandemic made the business think again about what it wanted to offer employees.
Zoë Morris, president, says: “We knew that in these exceptional circumstances we had to go beyond simply seeing which perks we can or can’t offer because of restrictions. These difficult months have uprooted life and work as we know it, and our immediate focus was to find effective ways to support our employees’ mental wellbeing.”
A starting point was to introduce Wellbeing Wednesday, which would provide staff with the opportunity to finish early on that day to focus on themselves. “It gives them more time to do the things they enjoy, whether that’s a walk in the park, watching TV or even having a nap,” says Morris. “The time is theirs to do whatever makes them feel good, with no questions asked. Our only demand is that their laptop is off and they aren’t catching up on work.”
As restrictions have started to ease, the business has also thought about how to ensure staff have working arrangements that suit them. “We’ve given our employees the choice going forward,” says Morris. “They can continue working from home or return to the office, or a mix of both. We also introduced more flexible hours for our staff over the last year, which will remain in place.”
The organisation regularly asks employees for feedback, and has received a positive reaction to the new ways of working. “We know that workplace flexibility is crucial to retaining employees and reducing turnover,” she says. “Recruitment can be a stressful environment to work in, but I think we have created an environment that supports and values employee wellbeing.”