For those of you who know us well, FusionHR is a dog loving company so we were delighted to hear that Brewdog is offering its staff one week’s paid “paw-ternity” leave so that staff can bond with their new dogs. But is this a step too far for most employers??
Back in 2014, when flexible working legislation was made available to all qualifying employees, employers were worried that the floodgates would open and all staff would want flexible working arrangements in place. In reality, this didn’t happen because employees’ need to pay the bills trumped the idea of a better work life balance. You could instantly hear a sigh of relief from employers. However, work life balance continues to be a key priority for staff, particularly as we all strive for the perfect balance between our work commitments and life outside of the workplace.
A good employer knows that its people are its most valuable asset. Keeping staff happy, engaged and motivated has to be a priority for any organisation. Some may think that Brewdog’s “paw-ternity leave” is ridiculous but is it not just another form of reward scheme to recognise the value and contribution of its hard-working staff? Employers often say that they want to exercise their discretion and reward their hardworking staff but are prevented from doing so as there is always a group of staff who work to rule, do the bare essentials and take advantage of the protection put in place by employment legislation. In our experience, the latter is often a handful of employees and employers which often demotivate the majority, for fear of tackling difficult staff.
A successful organisation has to depend on staff going the extra mile and giving it their all. In return, employers have to become creative in how to acknowledge its valuable staff, whether that’s introducing a sophisticated performance-related pay structure or simply allowing a little give and take when staff request time off. Providing a healthy work life balance is invaluable.
Is Brewdog barking mad in paying its staff time off to care for a new dog? In our opinion, they are simply acknowledging the hard work of its staff, adopting a flexible approach and understanding the importance of staff’s priorities outside of work are just as important as inside work.
If you need help managing leave, drafting wellbeing policies or supporting flexible working please speak to your FusionHR Advisor or get in touch with one of our team on 01924 827869.