When Engage Me started back in 2013, we had a vision for the kind of company we wanted to be. We knew that if we really wanted to be employee engagement experts in the business of creating incredible workplaces, we needed to walk the talk.
As we’ve gotten older, we’ve brought on more staff, some of whom are parents. That’s given us a chance to ensure that our vision fits in with what they want out of a great working environment.
Here’s how we did it.
We figured out what we were already getting right
One of the most gratifying things we found as we grew was that many of the values and practices we’d built as a company lent themselves to Engage Me being a great place for parents to work.
Take our annual leave for instance. Once you factor in national holidays, we provide more than is mandated by UAE law. That means our working parents get to spend more time with their children, especially during the long school holidays.
We’ve also always been confident enough in the people we hire to allow them to work remotely when the situation allows it. To any parent with a sick child, this can be a massive help.
The family atmosphere we work to create at Engage Me plays an additional role in making us a parent-friendly company. Knowing that your teammates have your back at all times, makes it that much easier to focus on what’s really important during personal emergencies.
Finally, we do everything in our power not to contact employees with work matters when they’ve taken time off. Whether they’re parents or not, this is downtime that allows them to recharge so that they can come back to us full energised.
We created a welcoming office environment
One of the mandates we had, when we designed our offices, was that they shouldn’t feel like a typical corporate office.
Instead, we wanted a space that anyone would feel comfortable hanging out in.
This means that on the odd occasion one of our parents has to bring their kids in, for whatever reason, they don’t feel overawed and uncomfortable.
In fact, they can be a spark for creativity, especially if we let them loose on the office chalk wall.
We take an interest in our family’s families
As much as we consider ourselves a family at Engage Me, it’s vital that we remember our employees have families too.
The truth is, we wouldn’t be much of a family if we didn’t take an active interest in those families. It just takes a few words before a meeting or during a tea break.
Because of who we are, it’s something we would do anyway, but it does have the effect of bringing us all closer together and increasing our general sense of unity.
We recognise and value their skills
Many parents (especially those who’ve taken time off to raise their kids before re-entering the workplace), find it difficult to regain their professional identities.
This isn’t helped by companies who start questioning their ability as soon as they’ve had children.
At Engage Me, we recognise the value and skills provided by our employees, regardless of whether they work full-time or part/flexi-time.
Being parents doesn’t take away their skills or qualifications and no one should ever treat them like that.
We challenge ourselves to do better
As much as the culture we’ve created has adapted well to working parents, we’re constantly challenging ourselves to do better.
We’re a company firmly committed to taking the road less travelled, pioneering solutions and setting standards – rather than simply meeting them.
That applies to our attitudes to everything, including the way we treat the parents who work for us.