What is Employee Wellbeing?
High performing organisations strive to keep their employee wellbeing at the highest level possible. This is a statement that we usually come across when we talk, interact or apply for a vacancy in a big corporation or multinational organisation. As we take pride in being one of those organisations, I chose today’s episode to be tackling Employee Wellbeing as a concept and activity.
Although it is not very new to the corporate world, the concept of Employee Wellbeing has seen major change and had leaped long distances in the past few years.
In its 2010 survey, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)has reported that nearly half of the participating organisations have an Employee Wellbeing strategy in place, it was when we, HR professionals, started to feel that big corporations are waking up to the potential benefits of such programmes being activated in the workplace.
Dr. Bridget Tuniper an employee wellbeing specialist wrote articles on the various endeavours undertaken by the organisations trying to boost the concept into action, speaking about both the theoretical and practical aspects of it. Tuniper believed, and I totally agree with him, that the first step towards achieving success in this aspect of employee engagement is to define and agree on the meaning of it. She then proposed to define it as “That part of an employee’s overall wellbeing determined primarily by work and can be influenced by workplace interventions”.
Taking this as a head start, in 2014 &2015 Barclays had started introducing certain processes in order to help our colleagues lead a better, healthier and more balanced life resulting in a better overall wellbeing.
To be able to give real life examples I would like to point out to some of the most recent activities that we have recently introduced at Barclays such as moving our headquarters to a new state-of-the-art building in in the City Stars complex. The move was not just a relocation of the offices from one place to another, it actually constituted a major cultural shift in the way we do business and the way we perform and deliver our duties. The new offices brought along a new work environment. Video Conferencing Facilities, Breakout Areas, Quite Rooms and Collaboration Rooms are all new concepts to Barclays Employees. We now work in an open space; there are no closed offices, a matter that is allowing better ways for communication, engagement and interaction between the different teams and departments.
We have also introduced new ways to boost productivity while at the same time preserve employees’ work-life balance such as the Flexi Hours policy which allows colleagues to choose from three different options of working hours as in when to start and finish their daily work. Working Remotely is another recently introduced option allowing employees to work from a nearby branch or from home up to two times a week.
In addition to these individual endeavours that we have embarked on since 2014 for, in May2015 we have finally introduced our compiled and specialized Barclays Employee Wellbeing Programme which provides an array of services all geared towards boosting the mental, physical and psychological health of our employees. This is a platform that serves our colleagues on all life aspects and not only on work-related matters as it provides counselling services for emotional and psychological support as well as practical guidance on legal, financial, family and work matters. To make it even more convenient for employees, the programme offers an online health and wellbeing guidance that we believe will have a great positive impact on releasing employees’ stress, unresolved issues and general discomfort.
The above are my thoughts on this very important area that comes under the overarching theme of the human capital plan.
At the end, I would like to encourage everyone to maintain and introduce acceptable manners at the work place to maintain his or her work/life balance and overall wellbeing whether or not a specialized programme is in place. Wellbeing is an attitude and a general behaviour and remember that the healthier, happier, more positive and less stressed a person is, the more productive employee he will be…