Shabnam Ramzan: Snowflake supports the overall wellbeing of staff during a crisis

At Snowflake, our people are our greatest asset and we want to make sure that Snowflake is a great and safe place to work. One way that we can do this is by offering a comprehensive range of employee benefits that are designed to help look after health, wellbeing and provide financial, and emotional support during tough times. We ensure our Snowflakes understand their benefits package and this is why our benefits are built around our Snowflake values.

We have 2,000 employees in over 20 locations around the world. In the UK, the benefits programme includes group life insurance, group income protection, private medical and dental insurance, and a fitness stipend. We launched app-based emotional support benefits, an employee assistance programme (EAP) in November 2019 and remote mental health support with [email protected] in March 2020, which are both accessible 24/7.

This year, we have implemented global benefits for business travel, accident, medical insurance and we are due to launch our new global EAP service in May 2020.

In March, in the midst of Covid-19, we partnered up with a fitness app, DownDog, which offers a selection of yoga, high-intensity interval training (Hiit) and Barre classes and have been offering instructor-led virtual fitness classes to employees via Zoom. Both are funded by Snowflake and are available to all global employees.

Virtual classes are a great way to bring our now-distributed community together. Yoga is very popular; I joined the online class last week and found it very engaging. We also offer mindfulness meditations, Hitt and promote family-friendly sessions to get kids moving. The feedback from Snowflakes has been very positive and we have steady class participation each week.

Our employees will always come first, and we ensure every Snowflake is touched by our communications. We think big about how we do this and before Covid-19, we would host fun and engaging onsite sessions. We’ve found employees are most engaged and enjoy these benefits sessions when we include a theme. In the past, we have hosted sessions such as ‘pizza and pension’, ‘falling in love with financial wellbeing’, and we also host quarterly benefits breakfast clubs, which have proved to be very popular.

At Snowflake, we lead with integrity and we are open and honest with our benefit offerings. We want our benefits to be a cut above the rest and employee feedback helps us achieve this. We are ambitious about the benefits we offer and this creates a positive environment to bring out the best culture for our Snowflakes.

Our response to the pandemic is a great example of how we get things done at Snowflake, even in the midst of a crisis. We’ve been working closely with our local country brokers to ensure our employees have the latest information on their benefits offering and the most up-to-date information on Covid-19.

As an employer, as soon as the pandemic started gaining speed, Snowflake assembled a Covid-19 response team made up of leaders from across the organisation. They meet regularly to discuss updates to our guidelines, employee feedback and new ideas to keep employees well and engaged.

Shabnam Ramzan is international benefits program manager at Snowflake