Seetec is delighted to have been shortlisted for the CIPD awards in the category “Embedding a Culture of Workplace Wellbeing” alongside other organisations such as the Department of Defence, the National Treasury Management Agency, Bank of Ireland, Iarnród Éireann and Trinity College Dublin. As the most recognised HR award in Ireland, the CIPD Ireland HR Awards reflect the powerful impact and reach of the people profession. Our Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Sophie Finglas takes us through some of the reasons she believes Seetec has been shortlisted.
Sophie said: “Seetec Ireland is a relatively new presence in the Irish labour market, seven years is a short time to build and embed an employee-owned organisation tasked with advancing fairer, safer and more prosperous communities. The fact that we stand alongside some incredibly reputable Irish businesses in this category, some of whom have been operating to an award-winning standard in Ireland for decades, means a lot to us.
“As contracted public service providers, many of our colleagues are on the frontline, supporting clients to overcome their barriers to employment in the community. These can be challenging and difficult conversations to have at times and we knew it was imperative that we put our colleagues’ wellbeing at the forefront.
“Throughout COVID-19, we began our review of our current approach to supporting our employee’s wellbeing. Our colleagues worked remotely and spoke to clients virtually from home. We wanted to ensure we had resources in place for them to detach following a tough call or day. We launched our Listening Ear programme, which is made up of 30 Mental health first aiders who are on hand for immediate support to their colleagues.
“We believe our approach to wellbeing has changed our culture immensely over the past 12 months and we believe this CIPD shortlisting recognition validates the significant improvements we have made.”
In our aim to create a safe and healthy working environment, we have improved mental health and workplace wellbeing learning modules, we have updated our health and safety policies, improved our employee benefits including health insurance allowances and upgraded our employee assistance programme to include a wellbeing studio and a digital gym.
At the forefront of these changes are our Wellness Team, who champion wellness, create events and initiatives, launch new support and take in our colleagues’ ideas and suggestions to expand our wellbeing offerings further. In addition to this, our employee champions are the spokespeople that ensure all our employee-owners have a voice in the governance and direction of our organisation.
To promote a positive work-life balance, Seetec introduced flexible working arrangements, team reconnect days, volunteering days, and a holiday buying scheme. Our wellness team also hold weekly wellbeing webinars including a variety of topics such as “How to Budget Successfully” “Men’s Mental Health” and “Menopause Awareness”. We also take part in weekly desk yoga sessions as a team. Our colleagues have access to a digital gym which offers over 20 live gym sessions per week and personal training programmes, and we also encourage involvement in step challenges and walking meetings.
In October 2020 we became, and remain, certified as a Great Place to Work receiving a 77% positive score from colleagues. From employee feedback, we were able to identify the impact our wellbeing initiatives had on our colleagues as well as our absence management. We have been able to take a proactive approach to managing mental health absences by implementing wellness improvement plans to spot triggers and implement early intervention supports. This along with other initiatives including our enhanced EAP support, decreased our absences substantially. In our internal engagement survey, our Health and Wellbeing Score increased year on year since 2018 with a considerable jump in 2022.
Sophie adds this final thought: “I’m delighted that we have made such progress in the last few years and that we’ve been recognised for it. We realised that when it comes to wellbeing, one size doesn’t fit all. It’s our mission to expand and enhance our offerings to support our colleagues in a manner that suits them. Our transformation into an employee-owned organisation over the last two years has seen us promote a business model of empowerment. As owners of our business, we always ensure to act in a way that supports each other and the long-term sustainability of Seetec. The CIPD awards will be held in the mansion house on the 28th of February 2023.”