Fostering a supportive culture for parents
11 May 2022
HFL is enjoying a period of rapid growth and we’ve put our people at the heart of our expansion strategy.
Many of our staff are juggling careers with a busy home life, so we go above and beyond to support them. Here, Christina Guille, People & Culture Manager, explains how.
HFL is many things, but we pride ourselves on being an independent, family-run business - it is embedded into our culture and underpins how we operate.
Many of our leadership team have children, and over 50 percent of our workforce are parents so, collectively, we understand the challenges that working and raising a family can present.
An advantage of being independent means that we can quickly and effectively implement policies that directly and positively impact the team, and that is something we know is appreciated.
Inclusive corporate culture
We work hard to foster an inclusive culture that encourages communication and employee engagement; our open-plan office space means that our directors and MD are very much part of the team and are present and accessible to everyone. Each team member has a monthly one-to-one, where they can discuss any individual issues, either personal or professional, that might be affecting them and how we can support them.
We also conduct regular staff surveys that offer an opportunity to give feedback on the operational side of the business and invite positive change.
Flexible and agile working
We’ve always encouraged flexible working and we’re ahead of the game with our working from home policy; even before the pandemic hit, every staff member had technology provided by the business and the support to work remotely as necessary. Today, staff can work from home twice a week, which is a good example of our agility as a business.
Over a third of our workforce is part time but we also promote flexibility across the whole organisation. We have several staff who condense their hours so they can enjoy a day off per week and others who flex their working pattern to work around their children, and when employees need to leave at 2pm for the school run, we expect that to happen.
We’re fully supportive of nurturing a healthy work-life balance and safeguarding mental wellbeing is a key priority. All staff receive training with Guernsey Mind and we have two trained Mental Health First Aiders in the office. We are also working on a holistic wellbeing programme, which will be rolled out this year.
As with any business, there are pinch points where we may have to pull together and work late, particularly during a fund close. We keep a close eye on resourcing and, again, being independent we can be agile in our approach to these busy times.
Top maternity and paternity packages
Our industry is competitive, so we’re proud to offer a best-in-class maternity and adoption leave policy. We provide 26 weeks full pay for employees who have more than 18 months of service. We also offer up to six weeks of paid support leave for partners to enjoy time with their new child. In addition, we provide medical cover for the whole family, which we know offers peace of mind both at home and in the workplace.
We appreciate that little changes can make a big difference, so we recently changed our business hours to 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, which helps to accommodate school runs and family activities, and we close at Christmas time so families can enjoy the festivities. In addition, everyone gets a half day to enjoy on their birthday and another that can be used for the Battle of Britain Air Display or Christmas shopping.
We know that a business is only as good as its people, so we have worked hard to identify a set of values that we collectively live and work to as an organisation. One of these is ‘Caring for one another’ and highlights the positive behaviour we expect from every team member. Considering everyone’s unique circumstances and doing our best to support them is our duty, and our delivery of this is something we are proud of.