PwC is making a big contribution to Mental Health Awareness Month with a massive $2.4 billion investment dedicated to improving the well-being of its workforce. The program, My+, offers generous employee-empowerment policies and programs to everyone.
Yolanda Seals-Coffield, deputy people leader at PwC, the accounting, audit, tax and consulting giant, shared the firm’s new vision for My+ with Forbes. The goal is for employees to have the trust and support of management to curate their own preferred type of work style. The new policies will allow professionals to work how, where, when and the way they want. The firm will offer choices and flexibility. This runs the gamut. An employee can work remotely, hybrid, as a digital nomad, relocate or go full time in the office.
Each person will be treated uniquely, based on their needs and aspirations. For example, if a parent has childcare issues, the person may—without fear of prejudice or judgment—ask for a tailored work schedule. Professionals may tailor their work experience at all stages of their careers. When a person is thrust into the role of caregiver, they will be allowed to pull back on the hours without any pushback. PwC applauds and encourages the decision. Employees are free to shift the way they operate and continually customize their work lives to changing needs and desires.
Here’s PwC’s ‘Why’
“There has been a fundamental shift in the relationship between employees and employers,” said Seals-Coffield. The deputy people leader understands that while money is important, it’s not everything.
She added, “We can’t sustainably compete on compensation and benefits alone. We must take bold action—to provide a personalized career experience, based on choice, that engages our people to stay longer and inspires top talent to join us—along with developing business professionals to lead our teams and serve our clients.”
Well-Being And Flexibility
People choose where, when and how much they work. As part of PwC’s commitment to flexibility and well-being, the accounting and audit company is providing people with two week-long, firmwide shutdowns each year. One will be in July and the other occurs in December. The ability to disconnect and recharge is beneficial to the mental health of workers. By shutting down operations for everyone (of course, there will be a need for some folks in the office), employees won’t need to feel stressed over incessantly checking Slack, emails, texts and video meeting requests. The much-needed time off goes a long way to help stem the rise in burnout that so many people are currently contending with.
Previously, PwC was one of the first professional services firms to offer virtual work options to its 40,000 client service professionals. This offering will continue, along with the ability for people to select how they want to work—in-person, virtually, hybrid or in other fashions. There will also be bespoke options, such as reduced schedules, paid leaves of absence and the potential to work from anywhere in the United States and across the world.
Total Rewards, Compensation And Benefits
Financial and related rewards are customized to the individual. Employees will have a wide array of choices, as it relates to benefits and perks. They can change in concert with the employee’s needs. There will be a personalized platform to make finding the right benefits and providers easier.
With a war for talent being waged, PwC is taking action to attract and retain people. To ensure salaries are competitive, leaders will review compensation regularly. When applicable, the firm may make the appropriate right-sizing adjustments to ensure fairness. PwC also announced a 5% mid-fiscal-year increase to everyone a few months ago. Team members will see annual base salary increases, effective July 1.
Parental Leave And Mental Health
The company recognizes that it’s not just about working in the office. The accounting and audit professionals have families with different needs. PwC is expanding parental leave for all parents. As mental health is a big issue in the U.S., the professional services firm is doubling the number of free visits with a mental health professional and increasing the reimbursement amount for out-of-network mental health support.
New Learning Platform And Development
Leadership and coaching skills will be offered. PwCers will be able to work on different teams and take on new and interesting assignments. This will help retain workers, as they feel there is room to grow and develop professionally. To assist with training and upskilling, new technologies will offer personalized learning platforms. In-demand, skilled, credentialed learning experiences will help people advance within the organization.
It’s important to listen to the workers and respond accordingly. Leaders will hear what their people need to succeed in their jobs. They’ll solicit team input using feedback tools to understand what’s working and where there are opportunities to enhance their experience.
In what may at first seem counterintuitive, the company has an “Always a PwCer” program. If a person feels the need to try out different experiences elsewhere, there is no ill will. In fact, the company will gladly help with the transition. Empathetic leaders know that people need room to experiment and try new things. They are also welcomed back with open arms, if the departed personnel decides to rejoin the company years later. The same holds true if someone desires an internal transfer.
It’s a smart business move too. A person may leave to become the chief financial officer of a major firm and appoint PwC as an auditor, since they respect its work and culture. It’s an intelligent way to keep the alumni network helping one another throughout their careers.
Happy And Thriving
In addition to offering a program that will help improve mental health, morale, emotional well-being and avoiding burnout, there are other positive ripple effects. If a worker is happy, they’ll treat their co-workers and clients well. This will make for happy customers. Also, if an employee feels the love and admiration, they’ll come home and spread this joy with their family. It becomes a self-fulfilling movement to make things better for everyone.