By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
PwC has implemented its own version of a holiday miracle as the firm shuts down for 10 days between Christmas and the new year so staff can spend time with family and reignite the creativity their clients expect. This respect for everyone involved is what landed the firm as #1 on Fortune’s Great Workplaces for Parents list. Look for photos at #PwCTakesABreak. Rod Adams, US Recruitment Leader at PwC, managed to fill us in before he left for the festive season.
What was the impetus for the holiday shutdown?
PwC partners and staff work hard all year round and with a holiday shutdown, we know our people will return more productive, more creative and will even appreciate each other more. The benefit actually began as a one-year trial, and the feedback and results were so great, we’ve made it a permanent benefit.
What are some of the benefits?
The benefit itself is a ten-day firm-wide shutdown. We know for our annual people survey that this is a benefit that drives up engagement. A more engaged staff means higher retention and higher productivity.
How does this event tie in the PwC’s overall culture?
This is a key example of what makes up PwC’s culture, and what led us to be #1 on Fortune’s Great Workplaces for Parents list. PwC’s culture is one of flexibility. Blocking your calendar to go to a yoga class on a Tuesday afternoon and being able to fly home for the holidays are both activities that PwC leaders encourage our people to take advantage of. We even recently launched a podcast series called Pursuit of Happiness that displays some of the great stories of workplace flexibility showing the impacting prioritizing personal lives at work can have. This people-centric approach is displayed in several other benefits as well, from our student loan paydown benefit to our paid sabbatical program.
What is the organization trying to accomplish?
We want our people to enjoy the holidays with their friends and family and come back in 2017 reinvigorated to do their best possible work. With a 10 day break, our partners and staff can relax knowing their fellow coworkers (and bosses) are doing the same thing. When employees see our Chairman and the rest of our leaders take a break, they know the firm is serious and has made this a priority.
What’s in the future?
The future includes an ongoing commitment to prioritize flexibility, including continuing to support benefits like the sabbatical program, student loan paydown benefit and an increased focus on people-centric benefits.