I lead a dual life. Where you may have seen or heard me is out and about as part of the Enterprise Team based in Birmingham at one of our events, or maybe you’ve even spoken on the phone with me. And while my job is incredibly important to me, it’s not my only role in life.
I’m known on my team as the teller of “Dad Jokes,” and while I do love corny gags, there’s a big truth to that nickname.
Alongside my role helping engage with passionate HR individuals who want to make their corner of the world a much better place to work, I’m also father to three amazing little ones.
There’s Kallan, my 12-year-old who can recite every Harry Potter spell out there, my daughter, Izzy, a 9-year-old who regularly beats me at Roblox, and my youngest (for now!), Jacob, who’s 3, and loves story time. He also gives the biggest hugs around, especially for such a small kid!
Oh, and I’ve got one more on the way as my partner is 4 months along with our baby boy.
When I joined Reward Gateway nearly two years ago, I was looking for an organisation that would inspire me and support me on my career path, as well as my personal journey. Working for a company that supports all parts of your life (that’s our “Be Human” value in action, to understand and recognise that — “everyone has a career and a personal life to juggle,” and can “emphasise and understand what each person needs to be happy and successful") was key to me joining.
Here are a few ways that RG has not only helped me be a better employee, but an even better father:
Flexible working to be there for the important moments
Whether that be from home, working from a coffee shop or working in one of our amazing office locations, RG gives me the ability to work in an agile way. My day could start with me dropping the kids to school, or dipping out late afternoon to retrieve them from school, taking an hour out to attend a school play or attend an assembly.
Agile working gives me the ability to spend more time with my younger son Jacob, who is going through speech and language therapy.
We first noticed Jacob had challenges with communications quite early on, he would pull our hands to do things for him rather than learn words, he would get so frustrated not being able to talk, however since attending these sessions, his speech, understanding and development has come on rapidly.
To see him learn, develop and speak new words has been nothing short of amazing. Hearing him say "bubbles" for the first time, or string sentences together like “Daddy, Jacob go car to park” has blown my mind.
Meaningful reward and recognition to make life-changing purchases
Helping my schedule so that I can be the best version of myself is one of the many innovative employee benefits that makes me appreciate my organisation, but it doesn’t stop there. You can imagine with three (plus!) kids, we do our best to make every pound count. I regularly take part in our employee discounts programme to save money on everyday buys like our weekly shop, but when I’m looking at larger purchases it can take more time to save up.
Jacob’s bedroom was looking a little tired. With him soon giving up his throne as the youngest member of the family, I wanted to make him feel special before he welcomes his new baby brother.
At RG, we have the ability to recognise each other and for managers to recognise employees who go above and beyond with monetary reward. Well, I received quite a few of them after a landmark quarter, and I decided to spend my rewards on IKEA vouchers through our platform to purchase Jacob a whole new bedroom set and a crib for our new baby!
Getting these bonuses from my managers, and from my peers when they’ve felt I’ve gone above and beyond helps motivate me to work even harder for them. And knowing that the hard work I put in is helping my family? That’s just a bonus. Here's an example of the peer-to-peer recognition I received:
Creating a community for employees
Speaking of bonus, it’s clear that my life at RG isn’t slowing down, and neither is my family life. As part of our employee benefits package, the baby bonus and parental leave policy allows me to take up to four weeks as the secondary caregiver, and will give us a financial boost when we’ll need it most.
The support doesn’t stop there, though. (But wait, there’s more!) Every day, I can commiserate, laugh and give advice to other parents in our company across the world thanks to a Slack channel we have for parents, and there’s loads of helpful articles and benefits information in our RG Parents Hub, too. It’s a special section of our employee experience platform just for parents, soon-to-be parents, or those that are considering being a parent.
Sometimes it’s not obvious how you’re helping your employees - you might want to concentrate on adding more money to their salary and then think to yourself your business can’t afford that massive pay rise across the company, but if you concentrate on the human side of your employees’ day to day, you can make an enormous difference in ways that truly matter.
I know it’s made a difference to me. If you’re interested in learning about some of the small (and big) ways you can engage your employees, my whole team is here to help. Get in touch with us below: