The DD approach to employee happiness
Employee happiness. It’s something that all good employers strive for. Digital Detox is no exception to that. In fact, it’s one of our driving motivations. Our focus on employee happiness is baked into the way we conduct our business, so much so that it is incorporated into one of the three pillars of our business - People, Planet, Technology.
The International Day of Happiness should remind employers of the value of a happy workplace. As a conscientious employer, we recognise that we have a duty of care to our team to support their health and wellbeing and in so doing, contribute to their happiness and engagement with their work.
We’re a small team with very much a ‘people first’ ethos which is proudly led from the top, and our three company directors are actively involved in promoting and contributing to the health and wellness activities of the company. It is this leading by example approach that gives credibility and authenticity to our wellness and happiness activities. As one of our team says, when asked in our regular team engagement survey to explain why they respect their peers, “there’s a culture of support and professionalism that generates respect for each other”.
Authenticity and the ability to be your true self in the workplace is a valuable thing that we know contributes greatly to employee happiness - this is why we encourage it.
What does supporting health and wellbeing look like for us at Digital Detox?
Firstly, we recognise that our team is made up of individuals each of whom has their own motivations, drivers and aspirations. This means that different interventions will be of different value for each person.
We’d like to think we’ve put together a range of options that offer something of use to everyone in the company, and they fall into a few different categories - learning & development; wellness and work/life balance; mental health and welfare; team camaraderie and social activities; and sustainability and social impact.
Each and every benefit we’ve settled upon was done so with purpose - to benefit the minds, lives and growth of our team, both in and outside of work. Annual learning budget and dedicated training days; a personal ‘wellness’ allowance; a monthly ‘culture club’ activity; a weekly healthy veggie breakfast; and an annual company summer trip are just some of the ways we strive to achieve balance as a team.
Open and honest communication is key to supporting employee wellness and happiness
One area that we consider to be of paramount importance for our employee wellbeing is that of good mental health and wellness. Leading by example, Liam, our Managing Director has become a mental health first aider. Feedback from our employee survey indicates that implementing this initiative was extremely well received by the team. When asked the question “How does your organization demonstrate that it cares about the mental health of its employees?”, one employee’s response was “You can talk about everything and there’s a high level of understanding”. We never underestimate the importance of providing psychological safety to our team, and we encourage regular opportunities for dialogue within and between teams to share their thoughts openly and honestly.
We strongly believe that regular, open and honest communication is key to supporting employee wellness and happiness and we provide a number of ways to support this. We use our weekly all-hands team meeting to share key business information but also as an opportunity to celebrate our successes, both big and small, which we do through ‘shout outs’ that are led by the team.
Supporting the team in their career development is another area that we know provides a positive impact on team morale so we make the effort to provide the team with regular opportunities to have career conversations with the leadership team. We do this through 121 sessions, which we hold roughly every six weeks. We believe this approach works for us and this is evidenced in the feedback from the team. In response to the survey question “what elements allow you to develop a trusting relationship with your direct manager?”, one of our team responded “ honesty, transparency, and regular catch-ups”.
DD’s culture puts people first
All of this hard work and effort has resulted in us recently being shortlisted as finalists in the 2020 Employee Experience Awards in both the ‘Health and Wellbeing of its People’ and ‘Team of the Year’ categories. Whilst this is welcome recognition of the positive impact our initiatives and interventions have on the team, the primary driver for conducting these activities is not external recognition. We do it because it’s part of DD’s culture to put people first.
We believe that this is part of what makes us a successful company and this is borne out in the feedback we receive from the team. When asked “what makes you want to recommend Digital Detox as a good place to work?” some of the comment’s we’ve received include “the people and the culture”, “management that focuses on people rather than process or profit” and “culture is awesome! I’ve learnt a lot every day and self-development activities are supported”.
The employment relationship is a two-way street. DD’s employees devote a lot of time and energy towards the company’s success. We value that and we want to give something back to our team. We believe our approach to employee health, wellness and happiness does just that.