The business world has learned a great deal about itself in 2020, I think we can all agree. We have adapted in ways that we would have thought impossible just one year ago. Many of us have found a new appreciation of our coworkers and certainly of our IT team as we struggle with seemingly untamable computers from our spare rooms. As recruiters, we have seen a variety of different situations and trends evolving. We have supported clients through the good and the bad and we have learned many lessons on the way.
This blog takes a look at a few shining examples of businesses in the UK and across the world who have been inspirational employers during the lockdown. By celebrating and recognising them for their achievements we can consider ways to apply these strategies and tactics to our own workplace. Read on for some great examples of firms who have been successful with retaining and engaging their staff - and generally been great employers - during the lockdown.
Salesforce takes employee wellbeing seriously. The company refer to their workforce as Ohana, which is the Hawaiian word for family. The company has a raft of practices, programs and benefits that promote wellbeing and good mental health. When working onsite Salesforce staff enjoy meals cooked by an executive chef and can sign up to free yoga classes and guided meditations. Remote employees are allocated funds to kit out their home offices and are given a voice to discuss issues at employee forums.
Recently, Salesforce has introduced a number of wellbeing initiatives relating to psychological safety to promote balanced, healthy living. The company has partnered with Mental Health First Aid England to train up to 16 of its UK employees with an in-depth understanding of mental health. Another priority for Salesforce, and one that is particularly welcome right now, is family care. Employees are asked to advise the company about who the primary and secondary caregiver of their child or children are so the company can ensure they get the correct amount of time off. Salesforce also helps to make it easier for parents to return to work via their Parentforce Trailblazer programme, where returning parents are teamed up with coworkers who can help them through the process of transitioning back into the workplace.
Cisco already had an admirable employee wellbeing program in place before the pandemic. Over the last eight months or so, they have developed a number of extra initiatives to help support their teams across the globe during the pandemic and beyond. These include:
Employee wellbeing has always been a top priority at Admiral. The company initiated a Ministry of Health strategy over 10 years ago of which mental health is a big part. Since the pandemic began, Admiral has introduced a number of measures to help support their employees and their employee’s families. Admiral HR officers are committed to working closely with their departments to prioritise the wellbeing of employees who they perceived to be vulnerable or unwell or are shielding. The team call these colleagues on a daily basis to check on their wellbeing. Admiral has also introduced a weekly wellness Wednesday which is a communication that staff can access via mobile, signposting support around mental health and featuring a local personal trainer workout video.
Admiral’s in-house wellbeing coach who usually offers meditation and mindfulness session in the office now runs virtual 1:1 sessions with employees who have been identified as vulnerable. Admiral has opened up its employee assistance programme (EAP) to include family members. The company has also partnered with HSBC Bank to offer virtual financial advice workshops for employees.
This is just a small selection of some of the great employee wellbeing initiatives that have been put in place to help support staff and their families during the pandemic. Naturally, not every business has the resources or infrastructure to accommodate complex wellbeing programs or offer financial assistance to their employees. But even companies that have modest resources can do their bit to show staff that they care and that they are listening. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your team. From organising weekly Zoom socials to publishing resources on mental health and wellbeing on your intranet, there’s plenty of simple things you can do to make a difference.
Has your business changed the way it approaches staff wellbeing during the pandemic? Have you introduced a budget-friendly program that has made a difference to your team during this challenging time? If that’s you, let us know on our social media channels or give us a call. We’d love to know your stories. As we move forward towards a brighter future we’ll continue to be there for our staff, our candidates and our clients. If there is anything we can help you with, please do get in touch.
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