Walk the talk: 3 employers raising workplace standards in 2023

February 22, 2023
walk the talk

We all know the cliche of the new year’s resolution that starts strong in January and fizzles out by February. 

However, the companies we’re highlighting today are anything but a cliche – they’re demonstrating an unwavering commitment to their employees that extends far beyond the first few weeks of the year. Rather than simply paying lip service to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), these organizations have, and continue to take, tangible steps to create supportive and empowering environments for all. 

By actively seeking out feedback from employees and implementing meaningful policies and benefits, these employers are setting a high bar for others to follow. 

So, if a change in your career was on your resolution list for 2023, read on to learn more about the innovative benefits that these companies offer.

sandvik logoSandvik

Manufacturing & operations | 1,001-5,000 employees

In 2022

Sandvik were pleased to introduce further flexible benefits which included the option for employees to purchase additional annual leave. The benefit is optional for eligible (full-time) employees allowing for an additional one or two weeks of annual leave for a selected 12-month period. For part-time employees, an additional leave amount can be applied based on the full-time equivalent (FTE) fraction.

Additional leave is paid for by employees by a reduced salary or wage achieved by salary sacrifice or pre-tax deduction. However, the normal base salary or wage remains as the basis for other employee benefits (i.e. superannuation, merit, and annual review determinations, leave payments, bonus payments, and termination payments) ensuring that employees are not at a financial disadvantage.

In 2023

Sandvik will be broadening the benefits of their parental leave policy. 

Sandvik team

Parental leave will be increased from 12 to 15 weeks and employees will also have superannuation paid for the full period up to 12 months (previously this was capped at six months). 

If an employee chooses to take any unpaid parental leave this time will still count as service towards long service leave accrual (first 12 months only). Eligibility to access the policy has also been broadened to include all primary carers of newborn babies rather than being restricted to birth mothers, adoptive parents, and biological parents of a same sex couple.

For employees who are secondary carers, two weeks of paid leave will be provided.

Additional leave policies have also been included to cover employees who experience stillbirth or miscarriage. Eight weeks of paid leave will now be available in the event of a stillbirth and two weeks in the event of a miscarriage.

EE benefits

WoolworthsWoolworths logo

Retail & fashion | 5,001-10,000 employees

Woolworths Group was the first major food retailer to be recognized by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality. For people with a disability, working for an organization that values and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion can make all the difference.

Kashveera “Kash” Chanderjith, Senior Manager Risk Controls & Frameworks for Woolworths Group, chose to work at Woolworths Group because its people value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Today, Kash is raising her voice to challenge perceptions of disability. 

Kash Woolworths

“By doing so, I hope it inspires a way forward. I hope it helps us live our purpose at Woolworths Group: creating better experiences together for a better tomorrow!”

EE benefits

Alstomalstom logo

Transport, shipping & logistics | 10,001+ employees

In 2022

Alstom’s HOPE program has progressed since its inception in 2018, and last year they recognized the need to expand their program to be fully inclusive across a geographically diverse workforce, and accessible to all employees whenever needed, using technology to bring health and well-being topics to everyone in a personalized approach.

They decided to implement Virgin Pulse as their health and well-being platform, which launched towards the end of 2022. This platform is accessible via both web and mobile app and is free to Alstom employees. It covers a wide range of topics from physical and mental health to financial, and relational well-being, among many others! 

alstom launch

Users can create challenges, give shoutouts, and connect socially with other employees, with the added benefit of collecting points to redeem for goods in the global store.

The goal for the platform is to boost morale, increase employee interactions across the country, and create an even stronger well-being culture within Alstom. With its holistic approach and ability to focus on topics important to each individual, they are hoping these benefits materialize in both personal and professional aspects of employees’ lives.

Additionally, they held their annual Alstom Mighty Kids competition where they asked the children of their employees to participate in targeted campaigns as a way of bringing awareness to the next generation. This year the goal was to build a train using recyclable materials from around the home. They received great responses, with innovative entries including both electric and solar creations!

In 2023

Venessa Alstom

– Venessa Rokotoro | Health and Well-being Coordinator

“At Alstom, our priority is to ensure the positive health and well-being of our team both at work and at home. 

“In the coming months, we will be expanding our network of dedicated ‘Mental Health First Responders’ across the country, who will be undertaking the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). This will help keep our people safe by bridging the gap between employees and professional care. This is in addition to our People Managers having completed an online suicide prevention training course in 2022.

“Our Health & Well-being program is called HOPE (Help Our People Engage), which is underpinned by our PEER objectives (Promote, Engage, Early Intervention and Recovery), and drives our strategy and initiatives. 

“We will be returning to running our yearly onsite campaigns such as health checks, skin checks, and 10,000 steps challenges just to name a few. These initiatives all help raise awareness and reduce stigma for such important health topics. Many of the initiatives also use resources we have drafted within Alstom to be tailored to our employee’s needs and the rail industry.

“Our Alstom Women of Excellence committee is also currently working with the Health and Well-being team, HR, and the EHS team on future policy development to further support employees, boost morale and help to bridge the diversity and inclusion gap.”

EE benefits

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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