Our new benefits are, without a doubt, one of the most exciting initiatives that we have worked on at Circle In. We are most proud of this because it supports our employees in ways that Kate and I wished for throughout our corporate life.
When we started Circle In, we always talked about the role benefits and culture would play and the importance of leading the way. We wanted to create a culture that we didn’t experience earlier in our careers.
Fundamentally, ‘The Great Resignation’ is being fuelled by how people think about the role of work in their lives. It’s certainly made us think about what we need and expect from our working life. Today, employees want to be seen as more than just workers. They want their employer to see them as human beings with rich and full lives.
As a leadership team, we’ve focused on listening to our employees. We conduct regular surveys and take-on feedback regarding what people enjoy about work and where we need to do better.
Through talking to our team, we know that supporting them outside of work is just as important as the work they do daily.
So, we are sharing this for a couple of reasons:
- To inspire others, regardless of business size, to take action.
- To open the door to our culture and invite prospective employees to see and feel what it’s like to work at Circle In.
Let’s start with the one new benefit that everyone is MOST excited about, Life Leave. This leave aims to help Circle In employees live their best lives. Our life leave policy will provide an additional 5 days of paid leave per year and can be used for anything. Time for special occasions such as a child’s first day at school, looking after a new pet, birthdays, or cultural celebrations. Anything that will help our people live their best life.
Well-being and the health of our employees is a huge priority, and we heard from our team what they wanted. And so we delivered! This is what we now offer to all employees:
- Wellness subscription: A monthly subscription to an online wellness product (you choose) as we appreciate the importance of wellbeing and looking after yourself.
- Birthday leave: An additional day of leave just for your birthday.
- Volunteer leave: One day volunteer leave to ensure you have the opportunity to give back to your community.
- Life leave: 5 days leave for moments that matter.
- Compassionate leave: Access to an additional 2 days paid compassionate leave per year.
- Public holidays: Circle In offers the opportunity to swap a nominated public holiday with an alternate day off in support of the cultural and religious diversity of our members.
- Menopause leave: 7 days per year designed to be flexible depending on the employee’s needs.
- Gender Affirmation Leave: We are committed to providing support to staff members who wish to transition from the sex they were assigned at birth to their affirmed gender identity and expression.
- Training and development: Each division has a budget for targeted learning and development activities specific to your team’s focus areas.
- Flexible remote-first workplace: A flexible working environment, meaning a balance what you need and what works for the business.
- Home office set up: Circle In provides a $500 once-off contribution (per employee) to assist in setting up your home workspace.
- Monthly and quarterly awards: We love celebrating our team’s achievements! We have a monthly and quarterly award to recognize those in the team who have gone above and beyond during the month or quarter.
Parents and Caregivers
Providing parents and caregivers with a supportive workplace that can adapt to their individual family needs is important to creating a truly diverse workplace. We recently refreshed our parental leave policy to be more inclusive of all family constructs.
- Gender-neutral parental leave : 12 weeks’ paid parental leave for permanent staff with at least 12 months of continuous service before the expected date of birth of your child.
- Fertility leave: We recognize the emotional and physical challenges which may arise from undergoing fertility treatments and support employees who wish to undertake fertility treatment. We offer 3 days leave to assist eligible employees in the logistical and emotional aspects of undergoing fertility treatment.
- Stillbirth/ miscarriage/ abortion: In the unfortunate event our employees experience a miscarriage, abortion, or have a stillborn baby, we offer families two weeks paid grieving period (applies to the birth parent, partner, and/ or surrogate).
- Family and Domestic Violence leave: We want to ensure that any of our people who are affected by family or domestic violence are supported to maintain their employment and participation in the workplace, so as to have the best possible chance of improving their personal circumstances. Our priority is to make sure our people are connected with external bodies who have expertise in supporting people in family or domestic violence situations. We also offer 10 days of paid leave to support them through this time.
Other activities we are proud of:
- Zoom free Thursdays: Let’s face it, we all need a break from Zoom!
- ‘Summer Series’ during December where we offered everyone to take Friday afternoon off.
- ‘All about me’ monthly sessions so that employees can learn more about one another.
There is still so much more for us to do, and this is just the start!
We are only a small business with 25 people, and I think the misconception is that significant benefits like ours are only for big corporations. WRONG. Any company can do this, and in fact, if your company is not thinking like this, then you should be asking yourself why not?
We encourage you to start the conversation with your employer and make it standard practice to help people feel less alone or embarrassed for requesting leave when they need it.
If you’re interested to know more about our benefits or working at Circle In, click here to talk to us today. We would be chuffed to hear from you.