Innocent Drinks probably needs no introduction. The healthy drinks brand which began in 1999 making smoothies and has now branched into other drinks like coconut water and juices. It employs 600 staff across Europe and Asia, with the majority working in their quirkily nicknamed headquarters ‘Fruit Towers’ in London. This is an unconventional space with astroturf flooring, picnic benches and ping pong tables, all designed to encourage staff to interact and have fun. It’s a key part of why we’ve chosen to feature this business as an employee wellbeing case study.
The company embraces diversity and inclusion, reporting its gender pay gap to be much lower than the UK average and has many women in senior positions. Innocent is innovative, often ahead of trends in sustainability and raising money for charity, and a survey by Best Companies found 100% of staff agreed that the organisation is run on strong values.
Benefits show its commitment to staff wellbeing
Innocent’s wellbeing strategy is focused on providing staff with great benefits which go beyond those offered by other companies. This includes subsidised massages, a free onsite gym, and sabbaticals when individuals require extended time off. Although there are over 300 employees at its headquarters, it tries to foster a tight knit community by having weekends away four times a year to bring staff from all parts of the business closer together. It also provides free breakfast and plentiful healthy snack options.
There is an element of humour to all of the company’s initiatives; it doesn’t take its approach to wellbeing too seriously, but instead encourages staff in a jokey manner. For example, every month the best employee wins a top hat or tiara for ‘services to fruit’ and gets a special treat of their choice.
Another noteworthy perk is that every year several employees can take an extra week’s holiday to work with a not-for-profit project, allowing them to have a break from their usual responsibilities. Innocent also gives away three ‘scholarships’ every quarter, which consist of £1,000 to help employees ‘do something they’ve always dreamed of’. In the past, this has included travelling to India on a quest to find the best chutney, learning how to breakdance, and making a music video.
Innocent also runs its ‘The People Clinic’ every week which is a drop-in centre where employees can get practical, confidential help for any issues in their work or personal lives. On a related note, during 2020 and with staff working from home, the company created the ‘Innocent guide to eternal meeting happiness’, which looks to ensure staff have the best meeting experience possibly, albeit over video apps.
‘This year we are doing a huge push to promote mental health, mindfulness and a healthy workplace at innocent. Every week, everyone has an hourly 1:1 meeting with their manager where they go over any projects that they are working on, any areas that they are struggling with and are generally encouraged to be really honest about how they are doing with their work. It keeps people on track and motivated with their work and lets them know that they’re supported.”
Recognition for its wellbeing commitment
The success of its wellbeing culture has been recognised through its third place position in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For in 2018, which is calculated by using a mixture of employee ratings and engagement statistics. In addition, the company also rates strongly on Glassdoor with an average of 4.2 stars and positive reviews from employees, 93% of which would recommend working there to a friend.
One employee commented: “Innocent isn’t a normal place to work. The engagement, commitment and passion from employees is nothing like I’ve ever experienced. People genuinely love working here… the company spirit is strong and the culture is uniquely intimate. Your development is taken seriously, wellbeing is a priority.”
Furthermore, a survey by Best Companies further found that 98% of staff agreed that they felt proud to work for the organisation, indicating their commitment to the brand. These results and accolades clearly indicate that employees genuinely enjoy working at Innocent Drinks and that the way its supports its staff provides a fine employee wellbeing case study example.
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