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Which way HEINEKEN UK engaged colleagues during the pandemic?

The past calendar year taught us a lot of things. How to work from home. Learn to manage multitasking. What to do when you’re alone. What to do when dialing in. How to turn off the mute! Then, be able switch off. We at HEINEKEN UK we’ve been on an exciting journey that will transform the way we work forever.

One thing that has impressed me is the people’s enthusiasm, flexibility and tenacity. We’ve asked our colleagues to stay home and set up their own home “office”. Our brewery employees have been asked to join us in our brewery during the most challenging times. We had to close our pubs, then reopen them and then close them down again.

How did we do it?

Being flexible. We’d already started to adopt the concept of ‘Smarter Working and gave our employees the freedom to choose what, when and where they work. When the pandemic struck, we were able to swiftly switch to remote working for both our field-based and office-based colleagues. We quickly adapted and allowed colleagues to create their own “home office” by providing grants for equipment. In our brewery, we created new methods of working that kept colleagues separated from each other and have processes in place to test any person for Covid prior to their arrival on site.

Turning off. In combination with this, we’ve introduced fresh methods of working, such as an hour of’me time during the working day, between 12.30pm between 12.30pm and 1.30pm in which no meetings or calls are held for employees to shut off. We’ve also provided colleagues with additional days of vacation to ensure that they get enough the time needed to replenish their energy.

Helping to improve mental wellbeing. The last year has tested the resilience of everyone. We’ve seen times when anxiety and isolation have impacted our colleagues. We offer a variety wellbeing services to support the mental health of our employees. health. They include the Employee Assistance Programme, Best Doctors, Bupa, and Nuffield Health – all of which provide top mental health care. Additionally, we have more than 70 mental Health Champions who are there for colleagues to speak with anytime they’re struggling. They’re not experts, but they are there to listen and assist the person to get the assistance they require.

Being active. We’ve also advised colleagues to keep active and take care of themselves. Well-being in the physical and mental realms are the mainstays of our employee wellbeing strategy. Both are interconnected. We know that encouraging our colleagues to remain active can have a positive effect on their mood. We introduced the step challenge earlier in the year. It was our goal to encourage as many of our colleagues as possible to take part to ensure that all kinds of wellness activities were counted in the total: cycling, walking or dancing or meditation, yoga The list is endless. More than 500 employees participated and completed an equivalent of 66,250 miles, and raised PS21k to MIND York.

Additionally for colleagues who are looking for an extra challenging experience, we have reintroduced HEINEKEN The Race towards at the Castle this year. participants can walk, jog , or race 25,50 or 100km in two days through the beautiful Northumberland countryside. In the past, due to the outbreak, we had to pull the race, and we were thrilled that it was able to continue towards the end of June as per the guidelines of the Government. This is the fourth event of the challenge we’ve ever run, and we’ve raised more than PS100k to UK charities including MIND, a mental health organisation MIND.

helping Local communities. Colleagues have told them that helping their communities is important for them, particularly in these times. This is why we offer everyone three paid days of leave each year to participate in volunteer activities. As a immediate response to the pandemic this year, we launched our HEINEKEN Community Fund in partnership with Neighbourly. Through the fund, we gave PS250k to charities that are grass-roots or local to our facilities or recommended by our colleagues.

Communication is becoming more frequent. Making sure we are providing employees with up-to-date and accurate information and assistance is the key to our assistance to coworkers during this pandemic.We’ve increased our frequency of communication and have embraced Workplace through Facebook to keep everyone connected. We’ve scraped face-to face exclusive meetings for leadership, and have we’ve embraced virtual events that include real-time Townhall sessions. We’ve added regular video updates by our team of management that all employees can view live or record and have created the series of ‘What’s Brewing’ online events to provide more in-depth details on subjects such as how we plan to market our business in the coming summer.

Inquiring about. You might be wondering how we can tell what’s going on in our colleagues thinking. Alongside constantly encouraging the People Managers in our company to keep in touch with colleagues on a 1 per one basis, our team has also carried survey online to provide instant feedback. Alongside this we’ve also introduced live, online “JAM” sessions that provide real-time feedback and discussions in small cross-functional forums. The outputs have helped us develop our thinking and have led to new methods of working.

There’s no doubt that the last year and the ongoing crisis is the most stressful environment I’ve seen. I’m extremely proud of the way we’ve made it through this. I’m sure we’ll come out from this with a more energised and more resilient company supported by amazing employees and an even more flexible “blended cultural’.”

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