The last two years have reflected the importance of mental health and emotional well-being. Companies that take care of their professionals also reap benefits in terms of productivity.
The impact of the pandemic, its effects on society, and economic uncertainty have highlighted the importance of physical and psychological well-being for individuals, communities, and organizations. Many companies have begun to worry about aspects such as conciliation and care for their employees, putting new means and tools at their disposal for this. There are many benefits of doing so: those companies that invest in the well-being of their employees are the ones that obtain higher levels of loyalty and improve their business results.
Although mental health has overcome much of the social stigma that surrounded it, there is still a long way to go. This was indicated in the meeting Emotional well-being and well-being at work, organized by EXPANSIN in collaboration with TherapyChat. According to a study carried out by the start up, barely 17% of professionals in Spain have some type of help or emotional support in their workplace.
“Every company has a responsibility to its employees, such as how to contribute to the welfare of society,” said Teresa Roch, manager of compensation, benefits and welfare of American Express. She the company is committed to training and communication to help those responsible to detect possible alarming behavior within their teams. “The key is to create an environment of trust in which the employee feels supported. We provide that training to leaders and make sure they know the tools we put at their disposal,” added Roch.
The experts agreed that the pandemic has marked a before and after in this regard. “We have all seen the need to work on aspects related to the well-being of workers and, to do so, we must create environments of trust,” agreed Mara Allende, director of human resources at Este Lauder. The company carries out actions in three pillars, focusing on the physical, emotional and economic well-being of its employees. Allende added that “it is essential to combine flexibility and balance, in addition to the commitment of the leaders.”
How can companies align their teams in this direction? Alejandra Sastre Calvo, HR Business Partner at Jobandtalent, pointed out that “these aspects must be part of the culture, which is one of our strategic goals, to ensure that employees are aligned with the company’s values”. Likewise, he highlighted the importance of communication between the organization and the workforce. In the case of Jobandtalent, it carries out weekly anonymous surveys to find out the needs of its employees and, based on them, implement solutions.
For his part, Gonzalo Martínez Coco, director of well-being at Aon Spain, referred to the pillars on which a well-being strategy is based: “The first thing to do is review and define what the culture, purpose and values of the company; then to place a lot of emphasis on leadership issues; and finally, the section on communication and storytelling”. In addition to determining the main risks that their employees may face in terms of stress and uncertainty, Martínez Coco explained that “it is necessary to obtain indicators and metrics that allow decisions to be made.”
Javier Cantera, president of Auren Consultores, distinguished between two concepts: “One is hedonic well-being, where companies can provide tools or training to employees, and the other is well-being of purpose, understood as the development of people”. In an ideal scenario, the human resources function responds to this second type of well-being, based on tools such as social action, which promote motivation and emotional connection between employees and companies. The person in charge of Auren stressed that “hedonic well-being must also exist, but that vision must be overcome to reach this personal well-being, aligned with the purpose of people”.
Lastly, Ada Rubio, Head of Clinical Content at TherapyChat, emphasized the need for companies to carry out continuous monitoring of all the measures they implement: “Measurement is basic.” Drawing a parallelism with the treatment processes followed by psychologists, Rubio concluded that “we must evaluate, implement, keep track of this implementation, provide feedback and extract indicators to draw conclusions.”
What the experts say
- Teresa Roch, ‘manager’ of compensation, benefits and well-being of American Express. “All companies have a responsibility towards their employees. It is the way to contribute to the well-being of society”
- Gonzalo Martínez Coco, director of well-being at Aon Spain. “Culture, leadership and communication are the pillars on which a wellness strategy must be based”
- Javier Cantera, president of Auren Consultants. “People are now looking for a different emotional connection with companies, linked to aspects such as culture and leadership”
- Ada Rubio, ‘head of Clinical Content’ of TherapyChat. “It is essential that companies carry out continuous monitoring of all their measures. Measurement is basic”
- Mara Allende, director of human resources at Este Lauder. “We all see the need to work on aspects related to the well-being of workers, creating environments of trust”
- Alejandra Sastre, ‘HR Business Partner’ of Jobandtalent. “Culture is one of our strategic goals to ensure that employees are aligned with the company’s values”