Inspired Villages runs six retirement villages around the UK, with a further 29 planned over the next 10 years. Since starting with 25 colleagues in 2017, it has grown its workforce to 300, with 200 working in the villages providing services such as catering, maintenance and exercise classes. The remainder are in support roles, running the company and overseeing upcoming village projects.
To reward and motivate colleagues, it offers life insurance of four times salary, a health cash plan and a pension. Communications relating to these benefits start as soon as employees join the organisation. Lawrence Cramer, people and culture director at Inspired Villages, explains: “We make sure they’re aware of the benefits as part of onboarding and we also have lots of information about them on our engagement communications platform, Inspired World.”
But raising awareness of these benefits doesn’t stop there and the employer has implemented a variety of initiatives to draw attention to what’s available. “We’ve done a lot around mental health awareness to highlight the employee assistance programme that’s included on the life insurance,” says Cramer. “We’ve provided mental health first aid training for all our managers and we also have 42 wellbeing champions to ensure everyone knows it’s there. Colleagues can also access health information, including healthy menus, exercise programmes and financial wellbeing support on our platform. It’s already had more than 3,500 views.”
The organisation also runs regular ‘safe space’ sessions on Thursday afternoons where colleagues are encouraged to talk about any issues they might be having and a monthly ‘time for tea’ hour, where they’re paired randomly with another colleague and can take time out to chat about anything other than work. “We’re always looking for new ways to make colleagues aware of the benefits they have,” adds Cramer. “By promoting all the benefits that come with life insurance and creating a culture where they feel supported, they’re much more likely to value this cover.”