- Professional services company PwC is launching a $2.4 billion program intended to revolutionize its personnel experience. The program, called “My+,” will allow employees “to build personalized careers, from choosing the types of assignments they work on, to the hours they work, to where they work and the benefits they need,” the company said in a May 6 release.
- As part of My+, PwC will expand its flexibility options, providing two weeklong company shutdowns per year and 20% pay leaves of absence, ensuring “no vacation days go unused” and allowing employees to work from anywhere, even internationally. In its benefits realm, all parents will now have 12 weeks of parental leave, employees will have 12 free annual visits with a mental health professional, and out-of-network mental health reimbursement will be upped from 70% to 90%. In the learning space, employees will have access to quarterly sessions featuring external speakers and skill-building opportunities, with an emphasis on intersectionality and soft skill development. Finally, the company will extend community and resources to employees who have moved on from the firm.
- “The most meaningful workplace experiences are those that are created with people’s interest top of mind,” Tim Ryan, U.S. chair and senior partner at PwC, in the post. “It is extremely important for people to be seen, heard and valued; for people to be able to make choices based on their preferences, sense of purpose and ambitions.”
As the war for talent drags on and the pandemic seems to be winding down, a distinct fork in the road has appeared before employers: enthusiastically embrace the wishes of employees and allow the workplace to evolve, or resist the turning tide and hope work culture returns to its pre-pandemic norms.
PwC appears to have chosen the first path. It joins a number of other prominent companies in aiming to prioritize worker happiness, particularly those with the budget and will to fight for top talent.
As is often the case with workplace innovations, the tech industry seems to be leading. In late April, Airbnb declared a new policy that employees can “live and work from anywhere,” even internationally, a decision that nicely aligns with its mission “to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.” Fintech company Bolt and cloud storage company eFileCabinet were among those that recently made permanent a four-day workweek. Google has established a minimum of 20 days’ vacation. And last year, Bumble, LinkedIn and Hootsuite were among those that instituted a companywide week off to combat burnout.
With the labor market exceptionally thin, many retail employers have also added perks. Target will up its starting hourly wage to $24 per hour in some cases, and Walmart will offer salaries up to $110,000 for long-haul truck drivers, the company announced in April. Companies in the space are increasingly embracing learning benefits as well; Dollar General recently announced a no-cost degree program, for example.
Some in the finance industry, however, seem to be following the second path. Goldman Sachs employees have complained of being tracked to ensure they come into the New York office and CEO David Solomon has called remote work an “aberration.” JPMorgan Chase workers also have said their in-office attendance is being watched. Perhaps conversely, however, some finance companies have embraced pay bumps for interns and are considering abortion travel reimbursement policies.