Wave is a leading national business water retailer helping over 300,000 customers across the UK to benefit from the non-household water market. We’re dedicated to helping businesses lower water use, be more water efficient and reduce costs – all which helped us earn Water Retailer of the Year 2021 and again in 2023. Our vision is to be the most customer-focused utility delivering value and efficiency in everything we do, making a positive difference to the environment and society.
The culture at Wave is everything you’d hope it to be and we welcome working mums, working dads and people of all ages. We’re committed to a happy, healthy place to work, and have a working environment which supports continuous learning and development, one where people can really flourish. Our people are at the centre of everything we do. Joining us means you’d be part of a team of over 300 people working flexibly across two UK based offices. You’ll find a real focus on employee wellbeing and some great benefits too. We expect great things from you and we give great things back.
We want our people to have a great work-life balance and offer a flexible working arrangement to enable hybrid working. Our people work primarily from home, with some teams coming in to our offices once per week or once per month depending on what works for them. Our 2023 Employee Benefits Survey has shown that having the option of hybrid working is one of the things that people love the most about working at Wave and it helps them achieve a better work life balance. Our attendance rate has increased to 97% since we introduced hybrid working. People know to look after themselves at home and not come in to our offices with coughs or colds. We also offer flexibility in terms of varying start and finish times depending on the role you’re in. While currently we have no plans to move to a condensed working or 4 day/week arrangement, we do have many employees working part-time, where the role lends itself to that.
We care about our employees and we do all we can to support physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
We provide our employees with a cashback and treatment plan that they rate highly. The scheme enables employees to claim money back towards healthcare including dental, physio and optical appointments and gives funded treatments for many key things such as MRI, CT and PET scans, knee replacements, hernia operations etc. There are also a number of great non–cash benefits such as a doctor line giving our employees and their families (at the same address) virtual GP appointments 24/7. In addition, the ‘Best Doctors’ service has proved popular with our employees as it provides people with an independent medical expert second opinion if they need it.
We offer gym discounts and salary sacrifice gym memberships and our employees have access to a health hub via Perkbox which includes a wealth of online workouts such as HIIT, cardio, low impact workouts and pilates and yoga classes. There are also a range of meditations to help with relaxation as well as mindfulness classes, hypnotherapy sessions to help with things such as stopping smoking and webinars on a number of topics. We began doing virtual walks during lockdown, walking Route 66 and many more trips and by popular request we recently organised a virtual walk to Alaska to encourage everyone to get their steps in.
We regularly bring in external speakers to talk to us about a range of topics that employees have suggested they’d find useful. These range from talks on Pride, nutrition and menopause, suicide prevention, transgender women, cancer awareness autism and men’s health, where we had a British Airways pilot give his account of being diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer and provide tips about checking for signs of this disease and encouraging awareness. We also had a talk from 3 Dad’s Walking who raise awareness about suicide in young people after their daughters took their own lives. We take our external phone lines down during these talks so that all employees have the option of attending. We regularly feature national ‘days’ for particular health conditions, including amongst others, Chrons and Colitis week where we raise awareness and signpost people to further resources.
As well as mental and physical health, we focus on financial health as part of our Heath, Safety and Wellbeing Strategy. We want to raise financial awareness through education to help reduce financial anxiety and ensure our people feel prepared when there is a need to make financial decisions or when they encounter a financial difficulty. We partner with Wealth at Work and to date they have run workshops on topics including managing money, pensions, mortgages, debt management retirement planning. These sessions are non-judgemental and the material is conveyed in simple jargon free terms. The idea is to provide financial education on topics throughout an employee’s career, spanning all ages.
We want to help our employees with the cost of living where we can. We have a dedicated Intranet Page including resources and tips on how to save money and even video demos from an employee on how to cook cheap but nutritious family meals. We also offer toolkits and resources from the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) for employees and their families too.
Employees have access to Perkbox membership which offers a vast range of perks, from high street savings (fashion retailers, supermarkets and restaurants), discounted cinema tickets, travel and holiday discounts and online fitness classes. Wave gives each employee 40 points every month which can be spent on a range of freebies! This can include a number of things ranging from food and drink (supermarket meal deals, Nero coffee, Greggs) to high street vouchers (H&M, ASOS etc) and people can save these points for up to a year to buy a bigger digital voucher.
Our Social and Sustainability Promise is important to Wave, and “doing good” is something we pride ourselves on. To support this promise, everyone in Wave is entitled to either one full day or two half days of paid leave each year to spend volunteering. This can be used for any activity that benefits the local community, the environment or a group(s) of people. In addition to this Wave is proud of it’s portal where people can sign up to simple challenges in any of 3 categories of environmental, diversity and inclusion or wellbeing. Every challenge is about doing good (e.g. reducing your shower time by 2 mins for an entire week and saving 196 litres of water, having a virtual coffee with a colleague you don’t know that well etc) and completion of a challenge gains the employee virtual points called ‘Hopeys’ that we record and track at a company level to see the positive impact our people have.
The Boys Network/M10
Several of our men give up one hour a month for 10 months of the year to give their services to the incredible Boys Network, run by the M10 charity. The boys network provides monthly sessions for boys in Year 10 at high schools and often these boys don’t have a male role model in their lives. Our male employees follow a cohort of boys through 10 meetings, beginning each time with a group session and then leading 1:1 breakouts with their allocated student, covering a different topic/life skill each month. This activity gives a huge amount back to the community but is also incredibly rewarding for our employees.
Our people benefit from being part of a supportive environment and we are so proud of Wave’s Living Library – something we’ve not heard any other company to be doing. A number of our people (from all levels of the organisation) have volunteered to be human ‘books’ on a variety of subjects. There are over 30 topics where employees describe their lived experience and while they are not experts or there to give advice, employees can reach out to them if they are going through that same thing and need some support. There are a wide range of topics included in our Living Library that could help people of any age or background, including adoption, autism, cancer, disabled children, drug addiction, infertility & IVF, parenting and many others.
Our employee support groups provide invaluable spaces for people to come together to share experiences, speak openly about challenges and share information. The results can be astounding with members often trying new things and feeling more positive. At Wave we have a number of groups which have all been created by volunteers who are really active, providing guidance and support. You can find a little more information on each below:
The Hot Flashes – this group provides a safe and confidential space for support and advice to anyone who is affected by the menopause and for those who may have concerns or worries about symptoms, impact and treatment. This can be women directly or anyone who has family members/friends who could be affected by menopause.
Go with the Flow is a support group for all things relating to the menstrual cycle. The group covers topics such as PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) & PMDD (Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Their main aim is to provide support and raise awareness of issues relating to periods, whilst removing the stigma and embarrassment around it. They are an open group that meets monthly and any employee is welcome to join.
Talking BS – This is Wave’s men’s health group who are taking the bull by the horns and talking about all things relating to “bloke stuff”. They have frank discussions about issues that everyone (not just men!) are often afraid to speak to others about. Their aim is to provide an open and honest platform, so that people can find support and raise awareness of issues that are affecting them inside and outside of work. The group is open to everyone.
We heard from many of our colleagues during lockdown that caring responsibilities were often a struggle. We have teamed up with Companiions to offer our people access to free of charge, in-person support when they are struggling to balance work and a caring situation. Companiions provide services for elderly care, childcare and everyday assistance. All companions have been interviewed and fully vetted and can be accessed via an App.
Having a family is a big change and we offer our employees an experienced parent coach to talk through any queries and worries before they go off, while they are on leave adapting to the joys and challenges of their new life and then preparing them to return back to work. Parent Coaching sessions are offered through the experienced external coaches at WishFish to employees who are the main care giver for a child who is about to be welcomed into the family. We also provide 1 coaching session for line managers so they know how best to support their team member back in to work. Sessions are available to men too.
We have a detailed maternity toolkit for anyone going off on maternity leave which talks them through the full process from announcing their pregnancy to going off on maternity leave and returning to work. It also explains maternity pay and anything else they might be wondering about, ensuring they feel supported and know what is happening every step of the way.
We want to support our people through difficult times and not have the added stress of worrying about being paid. Two weeks of paid leave will be granted to any employee (male or female) who suffers a miscarriage at any point.
Our annual Engagement Survey (WeThrive) was conducted in October – November 2023 to measure how our employees feel about working at Wave. 97% of our people took part in this voluntary survey which shows the engagement of our people. Wave’s overall company level engagement score was 81% against an average score of 75.5% across all WeThrive clients.
The survey showed that some of people’s favourite things about working for Wave were the people, the culture and the flexibility.
“My team, the business ethos and overall work life balance that is encouraged is supportive and I am personally grateful to work for such a forward thinking business, as part of a great and supportive team.”
“I like the flexibility hybrid work offers. I welcome the feedback culture and feel that in most cases my views are considered. I feel that my peers all get along on and that makes the Wave values easier to work towards.”
“Working from home and flexible working. The people at Wave are great and everyone is approachable.”
“The people! Wave has such an amazing group of people to work with. Given we are across two different offices and predominantly remote workers now I love how we can all still get along and help each other out when we need it through work related or personal!”
We’re thrilled that our supportive and inclusive culture and how we look after our people, has been recognised in numerous National awards. Last year we were up against large companies but gained the following:
Silver Award Winners at the UK Employee Experience Awards for Health and Wellbeing (May 2023)
Gold Winners at the UK Employee Benefits Awards for Best Healthcare and Wellbeing Benefits (June 2023)
Water Retailer of the Year (for the second time) at the UK Water Industry Awards (June 2023)
Silver Award Winners at the International Brandon Hall Excellence Awards for Best Advance in Managing a Remote or Hybrid Workforce (August 2023)