STR Group invests in employees to maintain health and wellbeing in the summer

STR Group health wellbeingSTR Group believes that not only is investing in its employees and helping to maintain their health and wellbeing the right thing to do, but that it is the key to its success.

The international science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent recruitment business has more than 120 employees and offices in the UK, the US and Switzerland.

In July 2022, the group introduced a summer trading hours initiative, allowing staff to finish at 2pm every Friday from the beginning of June until the end of August. It decided to implement this following an employee engagement survey and as part of its understanding of the importance of spending time with friends and family, and enjoying the longer days and warmer temperatures. As a result of employee feedback, many of whom commented on the positive effect on their wellbeing, the group has brought it back this year for the third consecutive year.

STR Group also provides employees with access to a cashback platform, provided by Pay Care, which covers expenses and offers a wellbeing package with access to a GP 24/7 and a confidential helpline, providing support with stress, anxiety, bereavement, financial worries and relationships, explains Joanne Smith, group HR director.

“In the summer, Pay Care and our internal communications team send mailers with reminders and tips on how to stay safe and have fun in the sun and heat,” she adds. “Our offices are air-conditioned, providing a welcome respite from our sweltering British homes during the rare but inevitable heat waves. We also invite our local ice cream van round during the summer months, providing all colleagues with some very welcome cool, sweet treats.”

In addition, the group holds an annual summer party, which will be held at Goodwood this year. This provides staff with the opportunity to relax and celebrate together, and build a strong team ethic and a sense of wellbeing in their working lives. For mental health awareness week this year, it trialled a lunchtime yoga session with a local instructor that was so popular it is now aiming to set this up as a weekly activity.

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While the organisation scored highly in employee satisfaction in its most recent engagement survey, it acknowledges that there are always ways in which it can improve. Indeed, one of the most important things highlighted by employees was the ability to have more time with friends, family and pets to enable them to enjoy a better work-life balance, which is what prompted the summer trading hours initiative.

“We want to have a positive impact on the lives of everyone we come into contact with, whether that’s our employees, customers or the communities in which we operate,” Smith says. “As an employer, we have a duty of care for our workers. The business we’re in genuinely has the potential to change lives, and we know we would be nothing without our staff.”