The last 3 years of business have been sufficiently rocked by unprecedented times: COVID, supply chain issues, and rapidly emerging workplace trends have all contributed to companies needing to change the way they operate or risk losing everything they’ve built.
As I read article after article providing tips on how companies can combat these tough times, I kept thinking about Rinck. Why? Well because while Rinck has been impacted over the last 3 years, they haven’t seen disastrous impacts of the “Great Resignation” or “Quiet Quitting” like other companies have. In fact, they’ve retained nearly all of their employees and have a handful of “boomerangs” (employees who left the organization and came back).
Here’s where Rinck separated themselves in their response to the changes. They recognized that employees are people: they’re dynamic, they have lives, interests, and stressors outside of work. The leaders of the agency felt a level of responsibility for their employees’ wellbeing.
Instead of turning their noses up at the notion that companies are not responsible for their employee’s wellbeing, Rinck has embraced it. In fact, they embraced it as far back as the establishment of the company. Well before COVID emerged and changed our world, the leaders of Rinck developed a solid and trusting relationship with their employees. Once COVID came into the picture, the leaders responded to the changes in ways that were authentic to their pre-built character as leaders of the company. Like many other companies, they ceased in-person operations and required all employees to work from home. They understood and welcomed employees’ children on zoom calls and employees working odd hours. They encouraged employees to take PTO and rest and recharge.
Here’s where Rinck separated themselves in their response to the changes. They recognized that employees are people: they’re dynamic, they have lives, interests, and stressors outside of work. The leaders of the agency felt a level of responsibility for their employees’ wellbeing and had 1:1 conversations with every employee to check in on them. They solicited honest feedback and input from their employees on how things could improve. These weren’t forced conversations where employees had to divulge all their personal information. Rather, employees dictated what they were comfortable sharing during these conversations and had the opportunity to share what they wanted to…or not. In response to these conversations and the input the leaders received, they acted.
They invested in a work/life balance workshop delivered by Anush Hansen, a licensed professional counselor. The workshop focused on employee’s overall wellbeing inside and outside of work. Additionally, when it came time to evaluate benefit offerings, the leaders intentionally chose a health insurance plan that offered enhanced benefits that employees identified as being important to them. They increased their annual contribution towards the monthly premium and continued their “wellness reimbursement”, an annual reimbursement where employees are reimbursed a certain amount each year for a purchase towards something wellness-related (ex. new running shoes, a massage, yoga classes, gym membership, etc).
Another thing Rinck did was give all employees more stress-free time off during the summer. In addition to the PTO and holidays they already offer, leadership increased their “Free Fridays” over the summer. “Free Fridays” are designated Fridays throughout the summer that all employees are not required or expected to work AND are paid. It equates to an additional week off throughout the year and, since everyone is off on the same day, employees don’t come back with an inbox full of emails from teammates requesting items.
They invested in an employee engagement platform that provides the organization with additional tools to help navigate a distributed workforce and continue to cultivate strong working relationships. They invested in the cost of the platform of course, but MORE importantly they’re investing their time. Leadership spent time sharing the WHY behind choosing the platform and spend time checking in with employees every single week. They have a platform adoption rate of 100%, which is enviable.
The leaders recently, again asked for their employee’s feedback on returning to in-office operations. They found that most enjoyed and preferred remote work with the option to come into the office. In response, Rinck announced that they were not going to require employees to return to the office and employees had the option of coming into the office or not.
Rinck’s response to COVID & workforce changes shows the type of company they are and the kind of culture you can find once inside their “walls”. The leaders of Rinck saw the world shifting and they embraced those shifts while continuing to prioritize their most valuable assess: their people.