DHL Supply Chain employs around 40,000 people in the UK, the majority of whom work in our distribution centres or are LGV drivers serving a wide range of industry sectors across the UK and Ireland.
The provision of a strong approach to wellbeing, through a clear strategy, was on our 2020 agenda long before the Covid pandemic reached us. However, this has led us to both review, expand and accelerate our offering to employees.
I believe a holistic approach to wellbeing is an important part of our company strategy. We seek to be a diverse and inclusive employer, and for me this means encouraging all employees to enjoy what they do and to be comfortable bringing their true selves to work every day. I recognise that some colleagues need extra support at various times of their lives and in different ways, so an overarching wellbeing strategy supports our aspiration around inclusivity.
In DHL Supply Chain UK and Ireland our health and wellbeing strategy has four pillars: physical, emotional, financial and social, with all our offerings badged under these areas to make it easy to understand.
Physical wellbeing includes offerings such as discounted gym membership, weightwatchers and health assessments as well as support and advice through articles and podcasts on living a healthy lifestyle. Our free 24/7 GP service has proved very popular and over 8,000 colleagues took up the offer of a free flu vaccination last year. In addition, we actively encourage our teams to literally “step up” their physical wellbeing through team walking challenges, walking 1-1 meetings and active breaks, and our leaders are champions for this on our internal communications app.
Emotional wellbeing is an area that has really come to the fore in the last year as everyone has had to learn to navigate the very individual challenges that pandemic has brought. In addition to a traditional EAP, we have introduced an app to help colleagues self-manage their mental health as well as a variety of personalised online assessments and support hints and tips. Mental health awareness training is in demand from our line managers and take up of EAP has increased over the past year. Consequently, we are now introducing Wellbeing Champions across our network to ensure we can better support and signpost colleagues who need help.
Our financial wellbeing offerings include savings and share purchase plans, financial awareness and advice and a loan offering. Most recently, we have added discounted tutoring through GoStudent, a popular offering for parents with children at secondary school or in key exam years. We are also very fortunate to have a Helping Hands program through our DHL UK Foundation for employees and pensioners suffering unexpected financial hardship.
Finally, we recognise that social wellbeing is also key to overall health and we encourage employees to take part in volunteering, to give back through payroll giving or to simply send social ecards to other colleagues. We had over 500 colleagues volunteer (virtually) with our DHL UK Foundation last year alone, supporting our charity partners such as Go Teach. Regular “Recognising Excellence” awards and celebrations acknowledge both teams and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their work and ensure managers have the opportunity to celebrate success. We have also encouraged more social wellbeing by developing activities for families, including kids activity packs for each school holiday and special DHL merchandise for our younger family members. This has been very well received and has helped to create a family feeling across the business.
Our biggest challenge, as with any large and diverse organisation, is communicating our wellbeing benefits to all c40,000 colleagues. In addition to the traditional approach of manager support packs and cascading announcements, we use our internal comms app. All employees can access this to share their own stories on our social wall and it’s a one shop stop for all our benefits offerings. I have been both thrilled and humbled by the very personal stories that our colleagues have shared, and I’ve been inspired to ensure that our benefits are working well for everyone, are continually reviewed and updated, and our strategy remains fresh and appropriate in 2021 and beyond.