The wellbeing of our people is one of our most first and foremost priorities. In times of Corona this is even more significant to us than ever before. To ensure that we provide relevant solutions for our people, we have created a Global wellbeing taskforce to build a strategy and understand the requirements of each of our regions. We spoke to Karima Green, leader of this working group to find out more about the working group, its initiatives and challenges.
What is your role at SThree, and what are your responsibilities at usual times?
I’m the Global Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement Partner here at SThree. I work with our Leadership Team to define and develop data driven strategies around Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement, working closely with regional teams to implement the changes across our organization. My role is really varied and interesting and I get to work with lots of talented and passionate people across the business to help shape and drive culture change. I’m also now leading the Global working group around wellbeing, which is really exciting as it’s a topic close to my heart.
What is the purpose of Wellbeing Taskforce and what would you like to achieve with this taskforce?
In this changing world, it’s critical that we’re all open and honest about wellbeing and feel empowered to ask for support when we need it in both work and life. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever there is a significant focus required on the wellbeing of our people at SThree. We are building a strategy in two phases: the first as a direct response to the situation we find ourselves in due to coronavirus and the impact this is having on wellbeing. The second is a longer-term strategy. There are a number of different lenses to consider such as emotional, physical and financial wellbeing and we are working with the Global Wellbeing group to understand the requirements of each of our regions to ensure we are creating effective solutions that are relevant, appropriate and useful for our people to prioritise their own wellbeing.
It’s not easy to keep all the employees on the same page in a large organisation like SThree with offices around the world. What do you think about the balance between global and local initiatives?
A balance between global and regional initiatives is really important because whilst we need to ensure alignment in our approach globally, the initiatives need to be relevant for the local audience. From our recent pulse survey on “Inclusion and Wellbeing”, there are consistent themes emerging from all our regions such as People wanting to know more about how to switch off after a day’s work or feeling motivated and productive both in and out of work during this time. We use our regional representatives to help feed into the global strategy so the ideas come from our People; what has been a success, what hasn’t landed as well and what can we replicate for other areas. Collaboration, diversity of thought, experiences and regular opportunity to connect with each other as a community is a great way of doing this.
What has worked well so far in terms of keeping people’s wellbeing?
The key is to be inclusive and support people in feeling connected during these uncertain times and there are lots of brilliant, local initiatives that have been really helpful in bringing individuals across our business together. We have groups such as book clubs, working parents forums to talk about their experiences during lockdown, exercise classes, recipe sharing and lots more! The Wellbeing group is working together to leverage existing materials and build new content around finding balance to share with our People in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far in the current situation with COVID-19?
Professionally – there has been such a change in the way we work since COVID-19. Developing an engagement strategy for people to feedback around COVID-19 through pulse surveys was initially a daunting prospect as you want to make sure you are covering the right things at the right time, the constantly evolving external circumstances outside of our control and the impact this has had on our organisation has meant we have had to react very quickly. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with functional leads across our business to help identify what it is we need to understand from our people and understand how people are feeling with a good response and action the feedback. On a personal note, my wedding was planned for September this year in the South of France but unfortunately it had to be postponed for another year due to COVID-19. Naturally we were really disappointed but in the grand scheme of things, we were lucky to be able to reschedule and our family and friends are safe and healthy, which is the most important thing by far.
Maintaining Employee Engagement is crucial for Business Continuity especially during these times. Do you think this experience will affect the future strategy of our company or companies in general in any way?
I believe it will change – COVID-19 has had a significant impact on people’s work and personal lives and this will continue as we move into recovery. I think companies will be more focused on their people’s wellbeing as a key factor around engagement and the impact it has on motivation and productivity. Recognizing the importance of balance and supporting people to find that through organizational initiatives will become something people will look for in the company they work for much more.
Thanks so much for the interview, Karima!
In times like these we are grateful to work for an employer who cares and listens to us. We are excited about all initiatives that will arise within this group.
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