Hewlett Packard Enterprise Is Setting a Culture-First Standard

September 23, 2019
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Author: Tyran Saffold Jr

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has gone through a few changes in the past five years. Now, improving the company's culture is a primary goal for current CEO Antonio Neri.

Culture and Retention Improve with Progressive Benefits

HPE wants to shape the experience and benefits it provides for employees. Neri wants employees to stay and have a chance to develop, much like he did when he was onboarded in 1995. One way to improve retention among employees is through benefits packages.

Better Benefits

Earlier this year, the company introduced its extensive parental leave policy. Following the birth or adoption of a child, new parents can receive six months of paid parental leave. This comes without a drop in their salaries. The organization believes this initiative will better support its employees’ work-life balance.

“We want to make sure we walk the talk (with) work-life balance,” says Alan May, Chief People Officer at HPE. “That’s not a daily equation; that’s a lifetime equation.”

HPE also allows new parents to work part-time for up to three years as they transition back to work. “It is about how we can best support our employees as (they) go through various transitions in life,” May added.

The company also added wellness Friday, retirement transition support and continual learning programs. Wellness Friday gives employees the opportunity to leave the office once a month at 2 pm. They can use that time to volunteer or to focus on personal and career development. Retirement transition allows employees to work part-time for up to one year prior to full retirement.

Paid Parental Leave

Today, 40 percent of employers offer some sort of paid parental leave. More than one-third of those companies offer paid maternity leave beyond the amount required by law. HPE has taken the idea a step further by extending the benefit to six months, while making it available to new fathers as well.

“When you have a child, you obviously want the best for the child," Neri said. He believes that new parents are pressed to take care of their children financially. Because of that, they return to work before they are ready. Neri felt that the current policy wasn't long enough. To him, extending parental leave was a way to provide “peace of mind” to his employees.

HPE's parental leave policty is more generous than that of other tech firms. IBM and Cisco offer only three to five months of paid leave. In 2015, Adobe introduced paid leave, but it is limited to birth mothers.

Post-Retirement Transition

Many times, retirees float into uncharted waters, unsure of how to spend their time. When a lifetime of work comes to a sudden halt, it can be devastating to some, especially to those who are not financially prepared. HPE decided to make the transition less of a shock. Now, retirees have the option of working part-time for a year before officially calling it quits. The company provides a financial and psychological cushion to the veteran workforce.

This transitional phase gives retirees a chance to receive income while contributing to the workforce. That can prove beneficial for both employer and retiree. Through working part-time, older workers can mentor and pass along their expertise to younger employees. In this sense, retirement is “the gift that keeps on giving” instead of a jarring end to work life.

Antonio Neri’s goal is to improve his company’s culture, and he is starting off on the right foot. Strong benefits are vital to positive retention and business success. Neri understands that, and in a competitive labor market, every advantage should be examined if you want to stand out to potential and current employees.