“Great Workplace”: online lender launches programs to help staff blow off steam

Lawn bowls, soccer, ten pin bowling and massages might not be what one normally associates with work, but with a belief that a happy and stress-free working environment flows straight through to their customers, that is exactly what one online lender is doing.

With 92% of OnDeck employees agreeing that the company is a great place to work, the fintech has recently been certified as a “Great Workplace” by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work.

The fintech’s head of people and culture Cherie Habashi told MPA the group was committed to valuing and caring for its employees.

“It’s important to us that our employees feel appreciated and happy because they play a key role in the success of our organisation,” she said.

The research also found that 97% of OnDeck’s employees feel a sense of family or team in their place of business. The fintech achieves this by organising regular offsite activities such as lawn bowls, mixed soccer and ten pin bowling that allow its team members to get to know each other as well as to appreciate individual talents.

Strike a balance
According to Habashi, to look after their employees’ wellbeing, OnDeck has introduced wellness programs to reward its staff and to help them blow off some steam after a hard week’s work.

As part of its employee wellness initiatives, OnDeck employs temporary resources during peak periods to support its team members with their work volume. In addition, during particularly busy times, the online lender brings in a massage therapist each Friday to give their staff a quick stress relief. 

“One of our values at OnDeck is to strike the right balance, so running these programs allows our staff to balance their own physical and mental wellbeing with work,” Habashi said.

Empathic and sincere
OnDeck has such a high degree of trust in its employees that they get to manage their own time and have personalised and meaningful conversations with customers.

The fintech’s executive team, strongly believing in the importance of being transparent, makes themselves available to team members who want to chat so they can identify growth and learning opportunities.

“By creating a happy and healthy work environment where people feel appreciated has allowed OnDeck to leverage strong interpersonal relationships to work towards a common goal,” Habashi said.

“If you genuinely care for your people, in turn, they will genuinely care for the success of your business and its customers.”