British Library balances financial and work-life incentives

The British Library aims to strike a balance between financial and work-life balance incentives.

Mary Canavan, director of HR, explains: “Employees feel that the organisation values them not only through extrinsic reward, such as performance-related pay, but also through intrinsic reward, such as [providing] feedback, recognition and employee wellbeing support.”†

The organisation, which has 2,000 staff based in London and West Yorkshire, offers a raft of non-monetary perks. These include an employee assistance programme, childcare vouchers and on-site acupressure massage, Yoga and Reiki. As part of the company’s flexible working scheme, employees can vary their working patterns to suit their lifestyles. For example, every four weeks, they are allowed to build up two days holiday from extra hours worked, or carry over a working hours deficit of 1.5 days. Job sharing or compressing their hours into fewer days is also an option.

“The challenge is creating a strong bond between the individual and the organisation so that employees are prepared to go the extra mile and therefore increase [their] levels of performance,” explains Canavan.

There are some generous financial perks too. All permanent staff, and those on a contract of at least 11 months in length, are eligible for the Civil Service Pension scheme. Employees contribute 3.5% of salary; while the library pays between 17% and 25%.