In this series, we're taking a closer look at Fors Marsh Group's (FMG) B Corporation recertification. We'll talk with FMG experts to discuss the specific areas where we achieved our most notable improvements since our first B Impact Assessment, what it means for FMG to be a B Corp, and how our vision aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We hope the effort and progress FMG has made over the past four years will inspire other organizations to pursue B Corp Certification.
We sat down with Nicole Eisenstat, People and Culture manager at FMG, to discuss People and Culture's (P&C) contribution to its employees' financial, physical, professional, and social wellbeing. In this interview, she touches on the connection between employee feedback and employee success, destigmatizing disabilities and mental wellness, and more.
The Workers Impact Area evaluates a company's contribution to its employees' financial, physical, professional, and social wellbeing.
Q: What is your role at FMG, and how does it contribute to employee wellbeing and job quality at FMG?
NE: My role at FMG is the People & Culture Manager, more commonly known as HR. I lead a team of Employee Partners who represent the various divisions at FMG. We rebranded our team to signal to employees that we're here as partners to help you with their work. Because of this, we feel the "People & Culture" name better reflects our purpose and our mission.
I like to think that my role directly contributes to employee well-being and job quality at FMG. My team and I view ourselves as stewards of FMG's culture, focused on continually raising the bar of the employee experience at FMG. We strive to create a collaborative environment and add value to FMG through programs that improve employee wellbeing, empowerment, and growth and retention. We strive to make the workplace better each and every day for our people. Relationship building is at the core of our purpose as Employee Partners. We want all employees at FMG to feel comfortable coming to our team with any questions or concerns and know that we are on their side.
Q: How does FMG create an equitable and inclusive workplace for employees?
NE: FMG strives for equity and inclusion in everything we do. Our goal is to create a workplace where all employees feel comfortable being their authentic selves. We have several Employee Resource Groups (or affinity groups) that employees can participate in, even virtually.
Compensation-wise, at a baseline, every employee at FMG earns a living wage that is well above the minimum wage for their locality. Additionally, we run compensation equity reviews using a third-party vendor at a regular cadence to ensure that we close any potential pay gaps or identify any areas of concern as soon as possible.
On the inclusion side, we have worked hard to destigmatize mental health and disabilities. We have run events, such as mental health panels and education seminars. We recently revamped our holiday policy to include a holiday bank rather than set holidays. Now all employees can have paid time off for the holidays of their choosing. Employees can also flex their time during a given pay period to accommodate obligations, whether they choose to use that for childcare, religious ceremonies, or any other obligation.
As policy, FMG encourages our employees with disabilities to engage in the ADA interactive process to request accommodations. We have granted employee accommodations running the gamut from inclusive software to flex time for doctor's appointments. We also offer group insurance benefits to dependents that include domestic partners and civil unions.
Q: What policies have been put in place to protect employees' health and wellbeing, specifically since our initial B Corp certification in 2017?
NE: FMG has implemented many programs and policies to protect employees' health and wellbeing! We want to invest our resources where they will be most beneficial. That means we listen to employee feedback. FMG implemented most of these policies based on direct feedback:
- Inclusive fertility benefits: Beginning in 2021, FMG has partnered with Stork Club to provide inclusive fertility benefits to employees.
- Compensatory time: FMG offers additional time off to our exempt-salaried employees who cannot receive overtime pay to help combat burnout and accounts for fluctuations in work.
- Mental health: Beginning in 2021, FMG has partnered with Spring Health to offer accessible mental health services to all employees, regardless of their enrollment in our group health insurance plan. All employees can get the mental health care they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes.
- Personal Health Leave: FMG expanded our personal health leave offering from 2 days to 5 days and expanded the definition of acceptable use of this leave. This time encompasses your typical sick leave and allows our employees to take the time they need for self-care or mental health days.
Q: What inspired these changes?
NE: Our employees, 100%! Changes in policy and programs that we implement almost always come directly from employee feedback. Each year, we field an organizational health survey that allows employees to voice their concerns, needs, and suggestions.
Q: What's coming up at FMG in the near future?
NE: In the near future, we plan to expand our inclusive benefits even further for our LGBTQIA+ employees. We are also implementing a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) program to destigmatize SUD and assist our employees who may be affected themselves or have a loved one dealing with SUD. We want all employees to feel supported.
Q: What piece of advice can you share with organizations embarking on this journey or thinking of making similar changes?
NE: Listen to your employees! Embrace the uniqueness of your workforce; there is no one size fits all approach. Also, don't be afraid to be pioneers.