Research by IBM and the WorkHuman Research Institute reveals that a positive employee experience results in a positive financial impact for companies. Happy employees are more productive and creative. Happy employees also stay with companies longer. At HYPR we know this and continually work to achieve this. Our turnover rates have been well below the industry average — even during the pandemic — but part of the HYPR culture is to always improve. To that end, we recently implemented a series of team wellness initiatives.
Many factors contribute to employee happiness — feeling appreciated, feeling valued, being part of a team, having work-life balance, learning and growing. The past 18 months have been more challenging than ever to increase or even maintain employee happiness. The world as we know it changed overnight. HYPR went from an in-office environment to 100% remote in March 2020. Based on a wellness survey (100% anonymous and completely voluntary) conducted in March 2021, significant numbers of our team felt burned out from work, worked beyond normal work hours, worked on the weekend and were overdue for a vacation.
What did we do wrong? We had an unlimited PTO policy. We provided flexible work schedules and arrangements. We hosted virtual game shows and company happy hours. We arranged yoga classes and provided lunch vouchers.
However, the wellness survey results showed that these initiatives were not enough and not effective. With so many people working remote, it’s harder than ever to create a sense of team and community. While enjoying the flexibility, many team members felt isolated and found it difficult to separate work from their personal lives. Working remotely often means no clear ends to your days. Many people haven’t been taking vacations out of concern or because most countries, states and places remained closed until recently.
I joined HYPR as Head of People in June 2021. The leadership team understood that more aggressive changes were needed to make HYPR an even better place to work. The company launched a series of initiatives over the last five months to increase employee happiness and improve well-being. These include:
- Introduced HYPR Wellness Days. Scheduled four (4) wellness days between September through December 2021 where we close our offices so team members can unplug and focus on their well-being.
- Updated our flexible PTO policy. Established clear guidelines on how individuals can request time-off. We encourage every team member to take at least three (3) weeks of PTO annually.
- Implemented paid parental leave. HYPR now provides twelve (12) weeks of full pay leave for new moms and dads. New parents can use two (2) weeks of PTO in addition to the twelve weeks.
- Established no-meeting Thursdays. No meetings on Thursdays for the engineering team. In addition, no meeting after 3PM on Fridays for the entire company.
- Increased employer benefit contributions. HYPR covers 90% of benefit plan cost for employees and 80% for employees with dependents.
We recently conducted another wellness survey in November 2021 and saw a 100% increase in participation. Our team’s feedback is important and valuable to us — our team members should feel happy, valued and inspired. We don’t conduct surveys to simply check off a box. We truly listen to our team members and believe that the significant increase in participation was due to making real changes that show how committed we are to making HYPR a great place to work.
- 78% of our team members are happy and optimistic, increased by 22%
- The number of team members that feel burned out decreased by 17%
- The number of team members working on weekends decreased by 24%
- The number of team members working after hours decreased by 28%
- The number of team members that feel overdue for a vacation decreased by 26%
Most noticeably, 92% of our team members would recommend HYPR as a great place to work to a friend.
When companies prioritize their employees’ happiness and well-being, everybody wins. You should not feel that you cannot take time-off to unplug and recharge. You should not feel obligated to respond to emails/calls or attend meetings after work hours or on the weekends. You should not have to choose between having a life and having a career.
As HYPR continues to grow (and we’ve more than doubled this year alone), we commit to purposeful actions rather than empty promises. As a company, one of our key values is fostering a culture of transparency and openness. We will always welcome our team’s feedback and be open to ideas on what we can do to improve our organization.
So don’t listen to me. Listen to our team members. If you want to join a great company, check out our open opportunities.