Software organisation CA Technologies has relaunched its health and wellbeing strategy, expanding its wellbeing offering to include mental health and resilience components, rather than focusing solely on physical health.
The organisation has 2,500 employees across 22 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), including 500 staff in the UK. It relaunched its health and wellbeing strategy in April 2017, in conjunction with corporate wellbeing provider Sally Gunnell Health and Wellbeing. CA Technologies revised its approach after an employee survey conducted at the end of 2016 found that employees had widely varied definitions of what wellbeing meant to them as individuals. Its new strategy was designed to encompass mental health and lifestyle elements, as well as physical activity, in order to accommodate and engage employees.
Fionnuala Feighan, senior regional compensation and benefits specialist, EMEA and Ireland at CA Technologies, says: “To date, [we had] been doing a lot of the usual activity-based, health-based [programmes], but for some people, [wellbeing] could be something as simple as connecting with their friends and family.”
With this in mind, CA Technologies devised its Five Ways of Wellbeing approach, the pillars of which centre on being active, connecting, learning, giving and taking notice.
The organisation helped bring this new health and wellbeing strategy to fruition through its Mind Your Step Challenge, held in September 2017. Over four weeks, teams of five employees had to achieve a collective minimum number of steps in order to unlock 12 different educational modules on topics such as sleep, stress, focus and resilience. The challenge was delivered using a mobile app, while employees tracked their steps through personal activity trackers or their mobile phones. “One thing that professional athletes do very well is talk about that team interaction and collaboration, that support,” Feighan explains.
In addition, the organisation uses quarterly themes to promote different aspects of wellbeing, including areas that are more focused on recovery and rest. The themes are: healthy body, healthy mind, healthy habits and healthy eating. During each quarter, classes and events are run on topics such as nutrition, hydration, mindfulness, posture, cancer screening, and the importance of sleep and mental health.
Having former track and field athlete Sally Gunnell helping to implement the new health and wellbeing strategy has given the approach additional impetus, says Feighan. “Getting somebody like a professional athlete, who has to prepare, execute, learn, adapt and go through that process at a really personal level [has helped with the health and wellbeing strategy],” she explains. “Our [aim was to] start getting that mentality in at a leadership level and an employee level, so people really thought [not] just about their business objective, which we’re all very focused on, but how we as individuals really can support ourselves mentally and physically to achieve those.”