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Why being recognised as one of the UK’s ‘Best Workplaces’ is so important to us

May 5, 2022

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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We’re so excited to be recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces 2022, in the large companies category. This is part of the prestigious Great Place to Work rankings in the UK, a really exciting milestone! This was based on a comprehensive review of things like our culture, benefits, approach to leadership and development, alongside responses from our employees.

But being recognised as one of the top UK workplaces isn’t just about the award, it’s about all of the work that has gone into building a culture that we can all be proud of. All of the responses that led to this recognition came directly from our employees, so it was great to hear what our 560+ strong team love about coming to work, but also the areas we need to work on.

That’s what creating an inclusive and supportive workplace is all about – listening, learning and adapting – especially following such a challenging two years.

It made me reflect on some of the ways that we are supporting our teams. Here are a few things our teams recognised as making us a Great Place to Work:

Cultivating an open and inclusive environment

One of the most important areas is making sure people have a real sense of purpose at work and feel they can contribute in a meaningful way.

We’re proud of our inclusive and diverse culture, where people feel psychologically safe to bring their whole self to work. Diversity of thought is incredibly important because it helps us see problems and possibilities through many different lenses.

One example is a monthly forum we hold in the UK where employees can share their experiences in a safe space and others can ask questions to help them learn more about certain topics. These have been focussed around areas such as: Black history month, fertility, grief and loss, menopause and men’s health.

Building on our shared values

People increasingly want to work for companies that have a strong sense of purpose that aligns with their own personal values. Whilst the day job is important, it’s also about the impact we have on our communities. We want employees to feel connected to the small businesses we work so hard to support, but also charities and organisations that are special to them.

That’s why we give every employee time away from work to support a charity of their choice – either in their local community or one we’re already working with as a business. Our employees have spent more than 7,500 hours volunteering since the scheme began.

Putting employee wellbeing first

Protecting the wellbeing and mental health of our employees is our number one priority. We have a wellbeing hub and a mental health toolkit for our people leaders to support their teams.

We want our staff to feel comfortable to take leave when they need it. We extended our compassion and bereavement paid leave policies – enabling employees to take time away from work around a miscarriage or stillbirth, should they choose to.

And we repositioned our sick leave as ‘wellbeing leave’ to encourage our staff to feel comfortable to not only take leave for physical illness, but also to take time off for their own mental and emotional wellbeing too.

Supporting parents

Giving working parents the time and support they need to care for their children is so important. It can be a scary time, so we’re committed to supporting parents on their journey, before, during and after parental leave.

All primary carers, regardless of how they become a parent, are entitled to 26 weeks parental leave payment. Over that time Xero will ‘top-up’ to 100 percent of their base salary any government allowance or other regional support. We also have up to six weeks of paid partner’s leave and ten paid ‘keeping in touch’ days to help parents stay connected.

I recently returned from parental leave myself, and having the opportunity to be able to spend the extra time with my daughter after the first six months of my parental leave during lockdown really meant the world to me. Something else that has been really important to me is the support I’ve had from my Xero colleagues – both during parental leave and since returning. We do some awesome things at Xero to make it a great place to work, but frankly the best thing we do is hire amazing humans!

If you’re thinking about your next job move or are just starting out in your career, we’d love to talk to you. Visit our careers page for open roles and information on contacting the team.

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