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Karen Hackett

Head of People Experience, Permanent TSB

Ger Mitchell

CHRO and Corporate Development Director, Permanent TSB

Trusting people and being open, inclusive, supportive and compassionate can enhance colleagues’ experiences to create a healthy and resilient workforce.

Employees have been faced with a myriad of challenges, through Covid-19, hybrid working and most recently — the increased cost of living. As such, we have continued to adapt and evolve our offerings across four pillars of wellbeing — financial, physical, mental and life-stage support — aligned to our purpose of building trust with our customers. 

There should be more caring companies 

Our wellbeing strategy is supported by an employee-led group ‘Livewell’ which works with the organisation to drive our agenda forward and ensure that it has consistent focus at all levels. Ger Mitchell CHRO and Corporate Development Director at Permanent TSB acknowledges that a purpose of building trust with customers has been the animating cultural force across the bank. Overall, we are making improvements year after year. 

Committed to focusing on engagement opportunities 

No two colleagues will have the same attitude, physical or emotional strength, self-discipline or motivation. Not everyone needs the same help at the same time, which is why we ensure leaders at every level keep wellbeing on the agenda and emphasise its importance to all colleagues at every opportunity. Our senior leaders are committed to driving the wellbeing agenda and demonstrate their commitment by: 

  • Leading by example through their team commitments charter, ensuring leaders include a focus on work-life balance and promote the right to disconnect.  
  • Openly discussing their own physical and mental health challenges at events, supporting mental health training and encouraging management teams to support initiatives. 
  • Including wellbeing on regular team/one-to-one agendas — and asking People Managers to do the same. 

Currently, 52% of colleagues are availing of flexible working options, including men and women in leadership positions.

Flexible working options  

Our ‘Smart and Flexible Working Framework’ was launched in conjunction with our Diversity & Inclusion strategy in 2018. Since then, the promotion of flexible working, such as reduced hours, home working and compressed hours has supported enhanced flexibility and work-life balance for all colleagues. It is aimed at attracting and retaining diverse talent across functions and levels. Currently, 52% of colleagues are availing of flexible working options, including men and women in leadership positions who embrace the opportunities provided, allowing colleagues to see how flexibility and a successful career within Permanent TSB can align. 

Parental support 

We have created a package of external support services through engagement with three service providers. It helps them navigate different stages in their journey through parenthood, ensuring they can meaningfully contribute to our ambition. These include:  

  • Career coach: New parents and soon-to-be parents have access to a career coach who can support them to articulate their career goals and/or concerns and formulate an action plan for a pathway forward.  
  • Parents coach (under 5yrs): A coach for parents/carers of toddlers and young children whose aim is to equip and empower parents to promote optimal speech, language, communication and social-emotional early milestone development. 
  • Parents coach (5–17yrs): A coach for parents/carers of 5 to 17-year-olds, supported by training, e-learning and workshops for parents and children. It is focused on promoting healthy conversations about friendships, relationships, sexuality, physical development, feelings and communication. 

Acknowledge constant change 

Karen Hackett, Head of People Experience maintains focusing on the moments that matter for our colleagues at every stage of their lives is a key consideration in maintaining wellbeing. Wellbeing isn’t about having a menu of random supports that could be interpreted as a ‘tick box’ approach. Rather, it is about co-creating and adopting meaningful colleague-centred support that we are committed to evolving continuously.  

We have several standout benefits that support wellbeing. By enhancing financial support in terms of pension contribution, wellbeing days, medical screening, EAP services, extended full-pay maternity leave and life events leave such as menopause. With these options, colleagues see flexible working and parental support as key differentiators in what we offer.

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