Quiet Storm – Our EO Story: Putting wellbeing top of the agenda
Quiet Storm is a purpose-led, employee-owned creative agency and production company founded by Trevor Robinson OBE in 1995, based in Soho, London. We believe creativity has the power to positively transform businesses, lives and society as a whole; we call this creativity with purpose.
We produce all our film-based projects, and the people who come up with the ideas direct them too. We are 25-employee owners strong.
A key part of our ethos is to work towards societal changes in our industry and beyond, and we have a strong focus on inclusion; we have above industry average diversity statistics and a workforce who feel a sense of purpose to drive towards our joint goal.
All employees are encouraged to get involved in our community interest company createnothate.org, initially set up by Trevor in 2007 and reignited in 2022. Create Not Hate is an organisation that works to improve diversity and give underrepresented young people a route into creative industries.
Retaining and improving our culture
At Quiet Storm staff satisfaction and company culture have always been important metrics of success, and one of the key decision drivers for us to become an EOT in November 2020 was to retain and improve this culture that our founders so lovingly built over the past 25 years.
Staff wellbeing was therefore top of the agenda; the first phase was to review our current wellbeing programmes and assess how well they were working. Everyone completed an anonymous survey to gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current offerings.
One key takeout was that the existing monthly budget for wellbeing activities felt too exercise-focussed, and was not an attractive benefit as it had to be reimbursed through expenses. We therefore adopted the use of a wellbeing platform with a monthly budget that was automatically topped up and offered a wide range of wellbeing products and services – from Lego, video games, home gym kit and house plants, to childcare, recipe boxes and app subscriptions.
Our other immediate implementations after our review were to create a wellbeing pack with a range of resources for mental, physical, and emotional, and a monthly newsletter with tips to tune up wellbeing.
We also turned our attention to organising more group activities; together we brainstormed low-cost inclusive activities to get people together each month and also showcase the unknown talents within the agency. Lunchtime energy-boosting walks, knitting, litter picking, TED Talks, and Pictionary to name a few popular ones!
These group activities and general face time with team members have been crucial in our journey to improve our wellbeing practices.
We also held a discussion, followed by an anonymous survey and vote, on our return to the office post-Covid and reached a happy medium of two compulsory days when everyone is in together. All employees also have access to the office five days a week if they so require it. This decision was informed by the necessity from many to have more social contact for mental health reasons.
We have also revisited all staff policies and notably improved our maternity and paternity policies. Our aim was to reduce the financial stress for new parents, whilst also reminding everyone that you are cared for as an employee whether in the office or not. Together we agreed to increase our maternity/birthing parent package with a re-structuring of payments and approximately seven weeks of additional full pay over the course of the leave. Our paternity/non-birthing policy was improved with an additional two weeks of full pay and the option of bolting collected holiday onto the end of your leave.
The unanimous decision to ameliorate these policies are evidence of Quiet Storm employees taking everybody’s situation into consideration; though not policies that will affect everyone within the agency, it was clear to all these changes would make for a happier and healthier workforce overall.
Getting our voices heard
In our monthly employee voice sessions we constantly review all changes and give everyone the chance to feedback on the successes and failures of our wellbeing programmes and company culture. As well as group voice sessions, we also ensure every member of staff has a weekly team meeting as well as a one-on-one.
This exposure for each and every employee, and the chance to get your voice heard, whether in a group or on your own, has been the key to giving us qualitative evidence that our wellbeing programmes have been well-received.
Our statistics collected from our most recent staff satisfaction survey, as well as an industry external survey, also back this up:
- 100% of employees said that they’d recommend Quiet Storm as a great place to work
- 94% of employees were in agreement that we have positive communication and workplace culture
- 100% of employees said we have a co-operative culture in this organisation
- 95% of employees said they have fun at work
- 100% of employees said they enjoy their co-workers
We have a five-and-a-half-year average tenure, and our yearly staff turnover is 9.5% compared to industry average of 26.8%. This proof of our staff satisfaction and retention is something we’re all incredibly proud of and will together strive to increase in our EOT journey.