Wellbeing and Development Specialist, Deloitte
Tax and Mental Health Partner, Deloitte
Wellbeing is a crucial pillar within overall talent experience, ambition and inclusion strategies. It should be a core of a company and underpinned by shared values of fostering inclusion and caring for one another.
“It’s okay to not be okay” — Deloitte’s World Mental Health Day message. “We’re passionate about the ability of our people to be their ‘whole’ selves at work, and we recognise that while people can readily share the positives from their home or personal life, it can be much harder to acknowledge when things are not so easy,” says Aisléan Nicholson, mental health sponsoring Partner at Deloitte Ireland.
A range of initiatives and policies have been implemented and rolled out at the company to enable employee wellbeing. They cover mental, physical and spiritual health as the organisation acknowledges the importance of a healthy work-life balance. Tools, resources, policies, networks and groups are adding support to help people at key life moments.
Wellbeing and development specialist Rebecca Marshall highlights the value of having such initiatives and innovations not only to support their workforce but also to improve talent retention and attract new talent. She explains how flexible and hybrid working is important, as well as individuals having access to mentors and professional support if required.
A comprehensive leave package is offered to support our people at all stages of their life — from menopause, miscarriage and fertility treatment to fostering and surrogacy, as well as a wide range of benefits such as free eye tests, flu jabs, fitness and craft and painting classes.
Specific initiatives within the organisation include Deloitte Works, launched in September 2021, which is the firm’s flexible and hybrid working strategy that empowers and trusts people to choose how, where and when to do their best work.
“Our wellbeing initiatives support our team members in line with shared values of taking care of each other and fostering inclusion,” Marshall says.
We’re passionate about the ability of our people to be their ‘whole’ selves at work.Aisléan Nicholson
Adjusting to needs
The company recognises that different people have different needs depending on their commitments, responsibilities, or physical and mental health. With this in mind, the firm launched another innovative resource to help team members thrive in their workplace, the ‘Inclusion Passport’ — a digital tool that details and records specific needs and follows each passport holder if they move between departments, so they only have these conversations once.
Other welfare benefits include referral to professional support, a free 24/7 employee assistance programme, on-site health assessments and an in-house clinical psychologist who provides a 1:1 wellness clinic. In addition, mental e-learning modules are available, and, by February, there will be 40 employees across the business trained as mental health champions with a mental health first aid qualification. Networks cover areas of parenting and caregivers, LGBTQ and financial wellbeing. A faith and reflection room offers the opportunity for a peaceful moment, and our people also have eight hours a year they can dedicate to volunteering in communities.
We listen to our people
The wellbeing initiatives are regularly reviewed and every quarter, Deloitte Ireland reaches out to the teams for feedback on the various initiatives. Data from October, for example, showed that 82% of our people felt their choices around flexibility are respected, and nearly 60% were comfortable discussing their mental health. Leaders receive training to conduct difficult conversations with staff, identify challenges at an early stage and direct people to professional services as required.
Since Covid-19, we have significantly developed our wellbeing strategy, empowering people to make choices and providing access to resources that support them. “It is a huge attraction and also important in retaining our people,” Marshall says.
Nicholson adds: “The resources we are making available and the wider discussion of health and wellbeing matters are so important; they give people the courage to talk about their challenges. In turn, this allows their colleagues and the wider organisation to support each other, leading to more positive outcomes for everyone.”