Since its launch in 2000, online gift retailer Prezzybox has taken a holistic approach to reward, believing that culture and working environment are as important as traditional benefits.
Zak Edwards, managing director at Prezzybox, says: “Too many employers see fiscal rewards as the be all and end all, which is shortsighted. Earning lots of money is great, but if [an employee is] unhappy in their job, it doesn’t matter how much they earn.
“As well as offering competitive wages, we offer people a working environment that is fun and where they can flourish. It’s imperative that they want to come to work, rather than have to come to work.”
Based in a farmhouse in the Midlands, the organisation’s 25 employees enjoy non-traditional perks that include opportunities to work flexibly, work from home, and take an extra day off for their birthday; in addition, they get regular team nights out and are treated to a curry lunch once a month. Staff are also allowed to bring their dogs to the office.
“During our first few years, money was very tight and we couldn’t really compete on wages with other [businesses] in the area,” explains Edwards. “So, we worked hard to create a workplace that compelled staff to stay with us, even if they could earn more money elsewhere. Now, we do offer competitive wages, but we have also maintained that compelling working environment.”
The impact of this approach on recruitment and retention has been positive, with Edwards reporting that the organisation has lost only two members of staff in the last five years.
When designing a total reward strategy, Edwards highlights the importance of looking at the workforce both collectively and individually, thereby treating employees according to their needs. “This is maybe easier for a smaller [organisation] like ours, but I don’t necessarily think it’s impossible for larger [employers],” he concludes. “Just spending five minutes listening to what is going on in someone’s life can go a long way in making them feel valued.”