“Today, quality of life is one of the most important considerations when comparing job offers. We provide flexibility in our work arrangements in many areas throughout our company. This not only helps us recruit in competitive markets but also supports our employees as work/life balance becomes more complex.”
–Carin Stein, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Viacom
Viacom is proud to have a culture of flexibility, both in terms of employee satisfaction and, from a business point of view, because it has boosted our productivity overall. We understand that we live in the digital age and work can be accomplished in many places at any time. Our flexibility exists both formally and informally, with a process and application that is available to all, and it is supported and encouraged by the heads of all our divisional groups. Examples include our Media & Technology Services (MTS) group, where our flex policy is a proven recruitment tool, and our Music & Logo Group, where many of our parents work late at night or need to attend shows. In each instance, employees benefit from supportive leadership and policies that give them the flexibility to care for their own lives.
“Viacom recognizes that it’s not ‘one size fits all’ and part of retaining and attracting talent is offering flexible options, backup care and an overall sense of community. As an example, having a job share on my team is one of the things I love about my job. It’s not something for everyone, but when it makes sense and it works, it’s a fantastic option that I support.”
–Mary Zambri, Vice President, Ad Sales Music Group, Viacom Media Networks
Another very popular flex offering is the Summer Fridays program. In order to give people more time with their families in the summer, the company compresses work schedules between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, giving employees either half days every Friday or alternate Fridays off (individual departments opt for one or the other). Like all our programs, this is both supported and utilized at all levels of the organization.
Another way we address the needs of working parents is with backup child and dependent adult care. Through Bright Horizons, Viacom and BET employees have access to up to 25 days per year of fully supervised care at centers throughout the U.S., along with home-based child and adult care for all employees and their families. In addition, Paramount employees have access to an on-site childcare center providing full-time care for the children of working parents who need it.
And, for times when parents have to be in the office, our nursing mothers and their partners can take advantage of our Corporate Lactation Program, which offers 24/7 access to lactation consultants, a $50 subsidy toward breast pump purchases and New Mothers Rooms to support lactating mothers’ return to the office.
We are also pleased to extend support to adopting parents with a program that provides paid leave for them, and are immensely proud to be recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation’s list of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces.
Balancing a professional life and being a parent doesn’t leave a lot of time for other important things. That’s why we also provide a range of benefits and services to help working parents. Through LifeCare, employees have access to research and referrals for multiple work/life situations. Our ongoing Food for Thought free seminar series supports individuals and families with sessions on topics such as “Expecting a Baby,” “Buying Your First Home,” “Navigating Private and Public School Admissions” and more. And Paramount’s lunchtime seminar series offers employees free classes on issues of wellness, health and starting and raising families.
Work/life balance is also a two-way street. Just as Viacom seeks to give employees resources to help them thrive in their non-work lives, our employees bring insights and ideas from their lives, communities and cultures that feed into the success of our channels and brands — and the thinking of our executives. To give just two examples: Nickelodeon’s NickMom — a successful programming/website/social media resource for working moms everywhere — emerged out of the needs and insights of Nick’s own working mothers who wanted to create a space where moms could just kick back and have fun. And the Viacom Entertainment Group’s Reverse Mentoring Program pairs members of the channel’s senior management team with Millennial mentors in order to keep their fingers on the pulse of their youthful audience.
Recognizing the importance of our employees’ family lives is part of Viacom’s DNA. We are proud to join the many organizations that welcome children into their offices on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. However, we also have our very own celebration of family life: Kids’ Day. For over 20 years, Viacom has invited employees to bring their children to the office on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, converting offices and conference rooms throughout the company to activity and entertainment zones, with everything from magic shows and craft activities to photo ops with Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants costume characters and other Nickelodeon stars. Kids’ Day is a great company tradition that tells our employees — and, more importantly, their kids — how much we appreciate them.
Viacom’s employees are some of the most talented and creative in the industry. They make us what we are in every way — in our corporate culture, our brands and properties, and our many pro-social and community outreach programs. Recognizing this, and respecting every member of our multigenerational workforce as individuals, we are focused on creating an environment that supports all our people, professionally and personally. It’s an ongoing commitment that engages employees at every level and stage — from new hires to senior executives — and is constantly reevaluated to make sure all our offerings remain relevant to our people.