Regular communication, 24/7 support for personal problems, and access to digital wellness app - these are just some of the ways in which WTW is keeping its workforce resilience and healthy.
This article is brought to you by WTW.
Last year, WTW was named as one of the best corporate wellness providers in Singapore at the HR Vendors of the Year awards 2021. For WTW, the award is not just about keeping its clients’ workforces healthy but more importantly, ensuring that the workforce of WTW is resilient and healthy.
Building greater organisation resilience is a defining mandate of the current environment and provides a new form of competitive advantage for a company.
“Future-focused leaders focus on operational, financial and workforce resilience. For example, adopting practices and educating employees on effective interventions to limit the spread of COVID-19, and addressing wellbeing issues can strengthen operational and workforce resilience,” says Audrey Tan, Head of Health & Benefits, Singapore at WTW. “In addition, creating a wellbeing programme that incorporates a behaviour change model that is easily executable and equally engaging can be no mean feat.”
At WTW, a ‘Working to Wellbeing’ committee in Asia Pacific was formed even before the start of the pandemic.
It comprises employee volunteers from different departments and businesses representing various offices in the region, coming together to implement an organisation-wide wellbeing action plan that strengthens the resilience of the workforce.
Different programmes are run to create awareness on the importance of wellbeing and help WTW employees better manage their physical, emotional and financial wellbeing in a fun and engaging way. The goal is to nudge positive behavioural change and in the long run – to see positive health outcomes in the workforce.
Unfortunately, the pandemic over the last two years has also unmasked the unseen impact of the remote realities. Based on a study conducted by WTW in Singapore last year, 79% of organisations believe COVID-19 will have a negative impact on employee wellbeing, and 84% of employers think it will have a negative impact on employee productivity. A majority of employers cited rising stress as the number one wellbeing concern for the workforce, followed by mental health.
While stress has always been an issue, this has become more severe compared to five years ago as it has been aggravated by the pandemic. The mental wellbeing of employees will therefore continue to be a key employer focus.
Some of the actions that are taken at WTW to improve employees’ wellbeing include:
1. Communicating regularly, including holding webinars, to remove stigma around mental health issues and increase colleagues’ and managers understanding of these conditions.
2. Providing an 'Employee Assistance Programme' (EAP) to our employees in Asia. This is a 24/7 support, including resources and information, to assist them and their dependents with personal problems. The programme offers someone for the colleagues to talk to and consult whenever and wherever they need them.
3. Other than leveraging on the EAP to better address emotional and financial wellbeing for employees and dependents, WTW also provides virtual care solutions and digital wellness apps for employees where they can use to help them better manage their overall wellbeing.
4. Embedding flexibility, inclusivity and empathy into the organisation culture. At the start of the pandemic, WTW managers were reminded that they are empowered to grant flexible work conditions to support the needs of their team members who have pivoted to working remotely. If any employee experiences mental health issues, managers will provide the emotional support and encourage them to seek the help they need, be it professional, medical or non-medical support.
“Creating an inclusive workplace with mental health awareness is important. Leaders play an important role to raise the awareness and promote conversation in the workplace, such as on allyship, so that employees and managers are not bias against those who may be facing some mental health challenges or issues at work or at home,” adds Audrey.
Over the last one year, WTW also held regular workshops on topics such as building connection, focus, compassion and peak performance to cultivate greater resilience in our workplace.
Virtual classes, such as those on heartfulness relaxation, meditation, rejuvenation, were conducted with the aim to help employees balance various facets of life, as well as continuously develop and improve themselves.
The company has also rolled-out initiatives to help employees uncover their relationship with money as part of its continuous efforts in advocating financial wellbeing. Through a simple tool developed by a financial advisor and an organisational psychologist, the 'Money Mindset' financial wellbeing assessment provides employees personalised insights into their money habits and helps them be more mindful of future decisions.
“We believe the ideal state of the employee wellbeing is achieved when employees are physically thriving, emotionally balanced, financially secure, and socially connected. These are the four elements of our wellbeing approach,” says Audrey.
Photo / Provided by WTW