Netural Wins HRbert Award with a Garden Project
Business Upper Austria´s award for innovative, sustainable human resource management goes to Netural
HRbert is an award for extraordinarily creative HR projects that make a lasting contribution to the economic success of Upper Austrian companies. Netural won this year´s “Innovative” category for companies with up to 250 employees with the Netural Morning Dew Community Garden Project. In challenging times, this garden proved to be of particular value, offering Netural´s employees a place where they could meet in person – keeping a COVID-safe distance - and together “harvest the fruits".
Ahead of the times
During the annual Christmas celebration, the Netural Christkind traditionally brings one sustainable present for each employee, and one for the whole team as well. Netural celebrated Christmas 2019 under the motto "Everything is green", with a 1300 sq. ft. Morning Dew Garden situated on the Freinberg in Linz as a collective Christmas present. What started as an experiment soon turned out to be most fruitful during a time of crisis no one could have foreseen. A core of Netural gardeners gathered, and ever since meet outside the office environment to tend to the garden, taking this as a most welcome opportunity to exchange ideas in the open air and to develop personal relationships, which proved especially valuable for Netural “Internationals”, the expatriate employees. Together they sow, weed. and harvest organic vegetables.
2020 brought fundamental changes to everybody´s work environment, and from day 1 of the lockdowns, Netural migrated to home offices. This hurt, because Netural´s company culture has always thrived on one-on-one exchange and the lively “beehive” office atmosphere. Now, all of a sudden, collaborating happened “at a distance”. During these weeks and months, the Netural Garden became a very special place where employees – albeit minding the necessary safety distance - could meet in person and enjoy the open air. Some came looking for one-on-one contacts, homeschooling parents gladly took their children along to take a bit of "fresh air”, and all hobby gardeners proudly gathered to harvest the common garden´s fruits.
Find roots and grow together
"It's so nice to team up to grow something together," says Leonie Lawniczak, Senior Designer from the Netural UI / UX team. It is only one part of the rich team building activities of the Upper Austrian digitalization company, but this garden has grown to play an important role in the agile and highly dynamic Netural world. “It grounds us as people who create digital things every day, both in times of lockdowns and in the ‘real’ life that we hope to regain soon, ”says Lydia Kaiser-Ortig, responsible for Brand & Culture at Netural.