An agency that specialises in content optimisation, Industria takes pride in its expectations and efforts to maintain equality, cultural differences and diversity in the workplace. Its efforts to maintain a diverse workplace struck a chord with our judging panel. The agency believes in defying all expectations and myths regarding agency culture. To ensure there is adequate work-life balance for the employees, Industria has issued a total of three initiatives in the company - flat hierarchy, unlimited annual leaves, and paid parental leaves for both parents.
Industria is limited to only two departments, one for brand and the other for content. There is no managerial layer, which in turn promotes greater autonomy and empowerment within the organisation, the agency said.
With the creative industry being a fast paced one, Industria does not limit the amount of annual leaves an employee might have or take when working in the company. The flexibility of the leaves allows the employee to take adequate rest and have a healthy work-life balance. Furthermore, an employee is entitled to take any amount of leave desired as long as it is applied in advance and aligned with their colleagues.
In Industria, parental rights are given fairly where fathers are allowed paid parental leave for a month, and six months for mothers. With this arrangement, the company is able to ensure that each individual is treated equally regardless of the gender or family situation.
Founder and CEO of Industria, Taavi Kuisma, said the D&I policies were introduced from the start. He started the company with Nordic and Scandinavian ideals. The point being, happy people tend to stay and produce quality work.
“Back where I come from one month of parental leave for a father is standard, and six months an expectation. For mums, it’s a standard to have three to six months or even years. So we wanted to make sure that we have proper parental rights and balance in place from the start,” Kuisma explained. Using the right to apply leave when needed, Kuisma said employees should be able to enjoy the biggest moments of their lives, such as childbirth, with sufficient time.
The policy applies to everyone and so far, Industria has had two maternal leaves and two paternal leaves in the last three years, with another one coming up next year. According to Kuisma, no employees have had an issue with these extended leaves for new parents, and in fact, employees were extremely understanding about the policies. The necessary handovers and knowledge transfer are also always done prior to the longer parental leaves.
“People are happy for their colleagues. Again, the policy has been in place from the start, so it was implemented with since the first hires Industria made in 2017,” he added.
The best benchmark to determine the success of its initiatives would be its turnover rate and Kuisma said Industria has not had more than two at most three resignations in a year, all the way until 2020. Most employees who leave Industria do so to move to another country or start their own business. In most cases even those who have resigned, continue to work with Industria as a freelancer because they feel like a part of the organisation, Kuisma explained. “Industria has from the start given the flexibility to the staff to pursue their entrepreneurial efforts and when needed, convert to freelance terms. So far the staff is happy. You obviously can’t please everyone but we’ve had a good team in place till now,” he added.
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