Humanity, Mental Health, Empathy: Changing Attitude to Staff amid Pandemic

It has been the second consecutive year that the business operates in the extraordinary setting: remote working and switching to online communications entail lack of social engagement, as the employees tend to be more anxious. НR experts claim that in addition to new approaches and motivation, different from those pre-pandemic, the staff also needs empathy, care and attention to mental health. Kontrakty Information and Analytics Portal reached out to HR experts and Ukrainian executives to ask them about new challenges and how they address them.

Most companies started their pandemic transformations with focus on well-being of their employees. However, this is not about insurance package, already being a common perk of official employment; this is about аn immediate response to new pandemic and its associated lockdown restrictions. Normally, this involves teleworking and additional health monitoring.

Natalia Halunko, Head of Human Resources Management Department of UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, tells that back in the spring of 2020 the bank determined sensitive employees with maximum exposure, including pregnant women, people aged 60 and above and those having specific critical diseases, and allowed them to be absent from their workplace for the duration of quarantine with 100 % salary retention. “In the context of strict lockdown, we arranged for commutes to bring our employees to work and back home; our employees could also call hot line and access psychological assistance. This is our investment to support and protect well-being and lives of our staff”, says Natalia.

Indeed, this year UKRSIBBANK teamed up with Mental Health for Business to launch a series of workshops on well-being and staying fit. It also includes trainings, sessions with psychotherapists and coaches. “Increased tension causes stress that can’t be relieved in a short term and that requires us to learn to live with it while maintaining stable functioning of all systems: from an organization to an individual”, Natalia Halunko says about motivation. She notes that today a quick response to fast-changing environment is crucial. Instead of its traditional global survey, the company chose to conduct local sociological studies by using Pulse surveys to find out confidence pillars and sense the pulse of how staff attitudes and behavioral trends change and to respond accordingly.

Posted on kontrakty.ua on June 11th, 2021

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