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5 Ways We Support Employee Well-Being in the New Normal

Published on : 10/10/21
  • Quality of life is at the heart of everything we do, and this starts with our employees. Over the last 18 months, as we battled with COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns, Sodexo’s focus has been on ensuring the well-being of our employees and protecting the critical infrastructure required for safe business operations. Here are some strategies to support employees’ physical and mental health.

    1. Building Resilience 
    As a people-centric company, we’re dedicated to supporting our employees on this journey. 

    Over the last year, we reinforced support for our employees’ well-being through the Sodexo APAC  Health & Well-Being Hub. The APAC Health & Well-Being Hub is an intranet portal that provides practical resources to help employees cope with uncertainties in the new normal. We also invite external specialists to host live webinars on topics such as “Working in the New Normal” and “Developing Emotional Intelligence” to build resilience and answer questions that are on top of employees’ minds. This allows our employees to be equipped with the appropriate skills to deal with challenges they may face, such as labour constraints, changing regulatory guidance or working remotely. Employees can also learn from one another through the sharing of personal stories.

    Sodexo APAC Health & Well-being Hub


    2. Staying Connected & Providing Assurance
    In times of crisis, employees look to leaders for guidance. 

    As early as January 2020, Sodexo chose to pivot to webinars to address teams across different client sites safely and provide assurance. Communication apps, previously used for more informal communications, were quickly leveraged on to enable a constant conversation and quell misinformation. Using these channels, we were able to address managers  and establish a consistent top-down and bottom-up communications drumbeat.

    COVID-19 briefing webinar

    At we transition to an endemic stage, we continue to leverage on tools such as Microsoft Teams and Yammer to connect with our employees in formal and informal settings. This ensures accurate information is shared with employees while enabling individuals in the company stay connected to one another. 

    3. Showing We Care
    With Sodexo’s robust crisis management framework in place, our HR team and leaders were able to stay focused on employee well-being. 

    Throughout the initial stages of the crisis, we kept our employees informed and assured by providing regular, timely updates and breaking down complex topics into simple, actionable steps. As COVID-19 spread in the community, our HR team and managers looked after the welfare of employees who were placed under quarantine or isolation by checking in on their health. Our HR team also navigated regulatory guidance to support employees who were stranded overseas or kept apart from loved ones. 

    WeCare Pack given to employees

    To thank our employees, including frontline team members who have been at the forefront of the crisis, we curated WeCare Packs . These WeCare Packs are filled with essentials to safeguard our teams’ well-being and welcome them back to safe working environments.

    4. Staying Healthy while Doing Good
    Since Sodexo’s founding, corporate responsibility has been at the heart of everything we do. 

    With the implementation of safe management measures and various workplace regulations, we observed decreased physical activities among employees. To promote an active lifestyle among employees, as part of Stop Hunger Servathon, Sodexo’s community engagement programme, we launched a Virtual Steps Challenge where employees are encouraged to clock steps individually and donate to a charity of our choice. Employees enjoyed the opportunity to marry good health with doing good, often competing with each other to reach the top of the leader board. Employees were invited to upload exercise selfies onto our internal communications channel, which fostered a sense of community.

    Sodexo Steps Challenge

    At the end of the Virtual Steps Challenge, we clocked over 11.7 million steps together, surpassing our original target of 10 million steps. Through this challenge and activities such as virtual pilates, we continue to encourage our employees to stay active during this pandemic while contributing to the local community.

    5. Providing Professional Support
    Due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, it is common for employees to feel anxious about the situation. 

    Sodexo Supports Me

    Our Employee Assistance Program, Sodexo Supports Me, launched in 2016, is a helpline that lends a listening ear to our employees’ personal and professional questions. It is a free and confidential counselling helpline that provides employees with access to expert guidance and specialist support.

    This program is extended to our employees and their immediate family members to help them cope with challenges in their life. This is especially useful given the long-drawn pandemic we are in.

    Continuing the Journey
    The World Mental Health Day on 10 October is a moment to remind ourselves of the value of positive mental well-being. At Sodexo, we believe that mind, body, and spirit are inextricably linked and that building a mentally healthy workplace is beneficial for everyone in the business. 

    Through these five strategies, we will continue to engage our team to care for their well-being, build resilience in the face of a rapidly changing work environment and thrive in the new world. 

    Looking for a partner to support you and your teams to rise and reopen in the new normal? We’re here to help.