In a year like no other, organisations are being challenged to ‘walk the talk’ in supporting staff as they experience change and uncertainty, both on and off the job. As a senior leader in a not-for-profit, Adrian Prouse from Australian Red Cross shares his insights on caring for their workforce and the role an employee benefits program plays in delivering tangible value to employees.
The Australian Red Cross are no strangers to dealing with a crisis. As a workforce they understand firsthand how uncertainty and unexpected change can take a toll on people. “There’s never a dull moment at Red Cross. Whether it’s keeping our people safe while responding to a pandemic or a bushfire or a flood,” says Adrian Prouse, Head of People and Culture for Australian Red Cross. And like all not-for-profits, Red Cross are challenged by the question of ‘who’s caring for the carers?’.
It isn’t only frontline not-for-profits like Red Cross who have been impacted by this year’s bushfires and the global pandemic. All organisations have been experiencing the effects of change and uncertainty to some degree. So how can HR teams respond in a way that has a positive impact on their employees’ wellbeing? A renewed focus on looking after employees will show that organisations care about what their people are going through. This should go beyond introducing procedures to keep employees safe. It’s just as important to design other programs and activities that can offer meaningful support.
As a senior HR leader, Adrian knows well the challenges of translating good intentions into meaningful action that can actually improve their employees’ sense of wellbeing. And being successful in achieving this goal can really make a difference when it comes to boosting engagement and attracting talent. “Our challenges really revolve around being able to attract the right people” says Adrian. “We cannot compete on a dollar for dollar reality with large corporates and even the government, and so we have to be able to offer something which is unique. Our employee benefits program is really focused around giving people the opportunity to maximise the benefits that are associated with working for a not-for-profit. Our employee benefits have been really very much focused on those baseline level of needs - I feel safe coming into work, I feel mentally fit. These programs has proved incredibly valuable and the uptake on them has skyrocketed.”
“Knowing that the lunch that they bought on the weekend with their family they can salary package that, or that their mortgage payments are being salary packaged, or that the holiday they go on with their family I think those are the little moments that people really appreciate,” he adds. “The real reason people come to work here is not because of themselves and so anything we can do that recognises and appreciates the work that our people do every single day is only a good thing. I am absolutely proud of the benefits program we have with Maxxia at Australian Red Cross because it’s all about our people”.
The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the individual and the entity that they represent and they do not take into account your employees’ personal or financial circumstances.
Click here to hear how the Australian Red Cross' employee benefits program helps attract and retain great talent while rewarding the vital work their people do each day.