Steadfast Group has experienced exponential growth in the last ten years. In that time, we’ve grown from a small business of approximately 50 employees to an ASX organisation with over 440.
Through this growth and change, the commitment of our people has been critical in shaping the organisation we are today. And we aren’t lost on the fact that this commitment also includes a commitment from each employees’ family. This is something we have particularly noticed over the past couple of years as the world has had to adapt quickly to a more flexible working model. As the landscape of the work environment evolved, so too did our employee initiatives. It forced us to better understand our employee needs in regard to their families and redefine how our organisation offers solutions that better reflect that change.
Family and flexibility at all stages of life is a key focus of our organisation. We’ve implemented a suite of employee initiatives that offer benefits and flexible working arrangements for those who are starting families, have growing families or who have other caring commitments.
Today, this approach has helped us solidify our culture, retain and attract a more diverse and committed workforce, removed perceived barriers to career advancement, created a more engaged workforce, and achieve even greater success as an organisation.
One of the many initiatives Steadfast has to support employees beginning their parenting journey or growing a family, is our Paid Parental Leave (PPL) policy. Our policy offers three months of PPL which can be taken in full or at half pay and for a twelve-month period, with the option to extend.
The PPL policy is impartial to whether the individual is the primary or secondary carer and can be taken concurrently to the employees’ partner even if they are both employed by Steadfast.
In extension to this, upon returning to work, employees can establish flexible working arrangements, adjust their employment type or roles to cater for the individual needs of their family or caring responsibilities.
Since Steadfast has implemented the PPL policy, we’ve experienced a 100% return to work rate, seen 15% of males in the organisation take paid parental leave and while not solely attributed to the policy, experienced a 10 per cent increase in our female engagement rate since 2020 which is also 3 per cent higher than male colleagues.
In the last twelve months we’ve had fourteen employees access paid parental leave and all have returned or have the intention to return to work. Some have returned to their previous full-time roles, while others have been able to adjust their employment to a part-time basis. Flexibility is always available, and we have several arrangements in place with individuals that cater to their childcare needs.
We see the benefits of being a family inclusive workplace every day. Whether it is through formal means such as our annual engagement scores which sit at 78, our voluntary attrition rates which is three per cent below the industry average, the general take up of family focused initiatives and the continued growth and success of our organisation. Or informal means like the daily interactions we see between colleagues and the genuine care and interest our people show each other, the commitment to our TOGETHER values as well as the output of work and the dedication shown to business initiatives.
Maria Johnsen, Project Marketing Manager, Steadfast Group
I started with Steadfast in 2012 while in my mid-twenties, working full time within the marketing team. In 2018 I took paid parental leave to start a family and at the same time, my husband was posted interstate by the defence force, requiring us to relocate to QLD. At the conclusion of my twelve-month parental leave, I knew that a full-time role would be challenging with a small child and my husband’s work commitments, so my role was adjusted to be part-time, working remotely. I did this for just over twelve months before taking parental leave again to have my second child. After another ten months of parental leave, my family were posted back to Sydney where I recommenced my part-time role with adjusted hours to cater for childcare.
While I’ve been fortunate to have a flexible role since returning after my first child, the more flexible working model Steadfast has implement post-covid, has been highly beneficial to my family and our life in Sydney. My husband is often away and with no immediate family in close by to help, being able to work from home or leave earlier has helped me better juggle family and work-life. Now in my tenth year with Steadfast, I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunities I have and feel even more dedicated to my role, my colleagues and the business.