At Viridian, our philosophy is to help our staff and clients live the life they desire, and we believe in building that brand inside out. That means understanding what our staff need and what their aspirations are. We then develop policies, processes and careers that help our people be the best version of themselves.
As HR Director, my challenge is building a culture that encompasses everyone’s motivations and keeps people fully engaged. In our team, we have people who have just come out of uni, people who are cementing their knowledge after a few years in the workforce and older workers who have a depth of experience. Everyone is motivated by different things and different aspirations for the life they want to lead.
To help us create the best workplace for everyone, we try to have a very honest and open culture. One way we do this is by getting people to give us feedback and making sure we action it.
For example, every time we develop a policy we go back to the organisation before we roll it out to see if it will land well. We did this when we recently introduced our 48/52 policy that lets people buy extra leave. Some people need extra leave because they’ve got young children, while others want to take longer holidays or pursue a hobby. This policy allows them the flexibility to have career progression and job satisfaction while fulfilling their personal lives.
I also get involved in all of our performance discussions. This gives me a good sense of what our staff need at each level. By hearing people’s career aspirations and what they need to be supported, I can create policies and guidelines for managers that are flexible enough to meet everyone’s needs.
All staff at Viridian have some level of equity ownership. As everyone is a shareholder, we work collectively towards the greater good. This also helps people save for medium or long-term goals. We’ve seen people purchase houses and achieve other personal objectives as a result of our share scheme. For me, this is just another way we’re helping our people to live the life that they choose.
I went into HR to make a difference and see people grow. To help people achieve their career aspirations we need to understand what they need to be the best version of themselves. By listening and responding to our people, we know that our staff are happier and in a position to deliver more for our clients.
Rita Agati is Head of People at Viridian Financial Group