Don’t prioritise your people and the machinery of business breaks downPublished on 23 Apr 2020
The importance of employee health and wellbeing
It is easy to talk glibly about our people being our priority, but it is the simple fact that if they aren’t, the machine of our business stops working. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have been very careful not to lose sight of the needs and welfare of our staff. It will stand us in good stead for the future.
Our business has grown over the years but family values remain at its core. We embrace the principles that make a family harmonious and successful and aim to treat others as we expect to be treated ourselves. Our mantra is to act as one to the benefit all our stakeholders - clients, partners and staff alike.
The trick, though, is achieving this even when the world appears to be falling apart. As soon as it became clear that we were dealing with a global pandemic, people’s working lives were thrown into disarray. We put our crisis plans into motion and scrambled teams to work remotely and provide our clients – based all over the world - with as seamless a service as possible.
Our team is also global, so staying fully engaged with our networks is imperative. I am particularly proud of how this has been achieved, with 100% of our workforce working remotely. Our IT teams have dealt admirably with the operational challenges but the social and emotional changes take a little longer to adjust to.
Over the past few weeks it has been vital for colleagues to stay connected both professionally and socially. It is a key priority for us and we have launched several new initiatives to ensure this happens with regularity.
Our CEO sends regular video and email updates to all staff and our Head of Corporate Risk publishes a bi-weekly bulletin - Inside Story - designed to address the challenge of new working practices as well as sharing good news stories and boosting morale. The HR team too have been sharing regular tips for working at home and e-learning recommendations focused on wellness and mental health. We encourage team-building through virtual social events. Quiz nights, coffee mornings and drinks parties have done a lot to lift spirits. I’m very heartened by how the staff has reacted.
Going forward, wellbeing remains one of the central tenets of our operational framework. Our ‘social capital’ is the means by which we engage with and demonstrate our commitment to the communities we work in. Our goal is to empower our people to make positive choices about their health and wellbeing in order to deliver mutual benefits to communities, companies and economies. Operating in a crisis has only served to highlight the importance of this.