For Erica Edmondson, the realization that she needed to find a new employer came in the form of a huge stack of papers.
She had just taken 12 weeks of parental leave, only two of which were paid, and during her leave she received updates from coworkers that gave her anxiety about the chaos to which she’d be returning.
Little did Edmondson know she would have the opposite experience when she joined Celonis, where she was granted six months of fully paid parental leave after giving birth to her second child last summer.
“It was life-changing,” Edmondson, a marketing specialist, said.
This new benefit is just one of the ways the company is better supporting its growing workforce, and Global Benefits Senior Manager Christina Alliak is one of its architects. She joined the team two years ago to help revamp benefits for the organization internationally.
At the time Alliak stepped into her role, 75 percent of the company’s employees were either planning to start a family or having children. That’s why the team decided to prioritize parenthood-related perks, including 24 weeks of paid leave for main carers and 12 weeks for supporting carers.
Celonis’ newly enhanced benefits package encompasses every aspect of employees’ lives, from parenting to mental health. For Alliak, all of these benefits and programs are intended to support team members during the times that matter most.
“There are moments that literally change your life, for better or worse,” she said. “I feel that we have a responsibility to support employees as best we can during those times.”
Celonis’ process mining technology is designed to help companies unearth and fix hidden issues to optimize their business processes. Not only does the company’s technology enable organizations to produce value quickly, but it can also help them reduce their carbon footprint and improve the customer experience.
A Look at Celonis’ Benefits and Programs
When Celonis decided to introduce six months of paid parental leave, the company wanted to ensure this policy supported families of all shapes and sizes — including those who want to adopt — from the moment they join the team.
Alliak added that team members who experience a miscarriage can also take four weeks off, acknowledging the emotional and physical toll such an event takes.
But caregiving isn’t just reserved for parents. According to Alliak, employees can take up to 10 days off to care for a loved one, whether that’s an elderly parent or a sick friend. In doing so, the company strives to meet team members where and when they need support.
“It’s about creating an environment where you feel comfortable taking time off when it really matters,” she said.
While time off is essential, Celonis also strives to support its people financially. Alliak said new parents are granted a restricted stock unit award, which is set aside specifically for their children’s education.
The company also partners with Gympass to offer employees subsidized gym memberships and provides complimentary access to mental wellness apps, such as Calm and Headspace. In keeping with a focus on emotional well-being, the company also recently dedicated a full month to promoting mental, physical and financial wellness, during which employees took part in a mix of both virtual and in-person activities and workshops.
“There was a lot of positive feedback around this event from our employees, so hopefully we can repeat it again next year,” Alliak said.
COMING TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY
Celonis knows that building a healthy, engaged workforce requires top-notch perks — and a tight-knit culture. Team members across the globe have access to several employee business resource groups, including Women@Celonis, Pride@Celonis and Parents@Celonis. “These groups are a safe space where people can discuss certain issues openly and have the internal support of their community,” Alliak said.
Edmondson said she has benefited greatly from being a member of Parents@Celonis. In addition to offering each other advice, she and other parents use a dedicated Slack channel to share fun photos and updates about their kids.
Support at Every Life Stage
Becoming a parent is hard. Becoming a parent without your employer’s support is harder. That’s why Edmondson wrote a letter to Celonis’ founders letting them know how impactful the company’s parental leave policy has been for her — and many others.
“I knew the company put enough time and investment in me to allow me to be on leave,” Edmondson said.
That support didn’t end once she returned to work. Edmondson and her manager decided that she would come back on a part-time basis for a couple of weeks before transitioning back into a full-time role and made sure to make adjustments to her workload as needed.
Edmondson isn’t the only one who has expressed their gratitude for the company’s parental leave policy. Alliak often receives positive feedback from new fathers in particular who are thrilled to have more bonding time with their newborn.
For Alliak, employee feedback, coupled with hard data, has made it clear that Celonis’ efforts to empower its people are truly working. Nevertheless, she believes there’s still room to explore new ideas and push the envelope even further.
“I think we can definitely do more, but doing more just for the sake of it isn’t right,” Alliak said. “We need to nail down employees’ specific challenges and the tools that work for them.”
While Celonis’ people leaders may still be crafting the perfect approach to the company’s benefits and well-being offerings, one thing is clear: the effect these efforts have had on employees cannot be overstated. For Edmondson, working for a company that supports its team members at every stage of life is essential. Having beer on tap in the office is fun, but it’s not a priority for her personally.
“I feel like we’re more well-rounded regarding what we can say on job postings because we’re not only attracting college graduates — we’re attracting moms and dads,” she said.
“We’re not only attracting college graduates — we’re attracting moms and dads.”
By building out a benefits package and well-being programs that cater to every type of employee, Celonis strives to be a company that its people can turn to during the happiest and most difficult moments in their lives. In doing so, the organization aims to offer a space where employees can put down roots.
“We don’t want to be the employer who they consider only for a couple of years,” Alliak said. “We’re creating an environment where employees feel supported and cared for — that’s ultimately what we try to achieve.”