The world has been presented with a unique
opportunity to adopt new ways of working
that enhance wellbeing for all.
with many employees working from home during the pandemic
and with hybrid ways of working, employers have glimpsed
into the lives of their employees, increasing awareness
of the variety of pressures, responsibilities, environments
and conditions that they are working within.
Today we hear from Santander employees,
who advocate different support networks
within the business to promote inclusivity
and to create a safe space for all.
Our culture promotes inclusion and belonging,
prioritises and supports wellbeing,
and develops our people's skills.
The role of leadership is crucial
for promoting wellbeing and inclusion
and is a key factor in ensuring mental health
and wellbeing for our colleagues across Santander.
In 2020, we set out our next three year inclusion
and belonging strategy called Everyday Inclusion.
A key ingredient to our inclusive and thriving workplace
is our 8 employee lead diversity networks.
They consider intersectionality, providing a safe space
for colleagues to share their lived experiences
and received targeted communications
within a digital community space,
that is a vital source of support.
Managers have seen the benefit of working in a more human,
relational way, appreciating the intersectionality
that each employee brings to the role.
We have implemented new ways of working
and supporting practises around mental health
and training to employees in partnership with Mind
allowing mental health to become part
of a normal conversation, and also encouraging managers
to discuss it in their one-to-ones.
We have reduced stigma by creating a culture of
open, honest communication, empowering colleagues
to speak up when they aren't feeling their best
and to get the support that they need.
We are proud that we have a culture of wellbeing
that is recognised by colleagues at all levels.
Last year, we increased our key wellbeing engagement metric
in our global engagement survey by 13 points
for our commitment to ensuring that colleagues feel
that wellbeing is valued,
as well as they are supported each day.
To measure our approach to wellbeing, we have in place
a monthly wellbeing dashboard,
which shows us the key wellbeing metrics
across the organisation.
This takes into account our preventative measures,
such as our mental wellbeing gap or wellbeing hub,
and interventions like our chat counselling,
or employee assistance programme, and also looks at things
like suicide prevention and also our employee assistance
programme counselling measures.
It also looks at the overall mental health absence
across the organisation.
This dashboard really helps us to understand the sentiment
of wellbeing as well as the uptake of our key initiatives so
that we can really identify focus areas for improvement.
It's important that we also listen to the voice
of the colleagues, so we also run regular surveys
to give our employees the chance to tell us
in their own words, how we can best support them.
And we've held regular pulse surveys to really
understand our employee sentiments on wellbeing,
where we're doing things well and where we can improve
our support. It's been even more crucial to use this data
to create action plans to offer additional initiatives
and interventions where it would most be impactful
to support our colleagues.
Our embrace network exists to provide leadership
and support and insight on LGBTQ+ related matters
for our colleagues and our members
because we believe that everyone should be able to
be their whole selves at work.
We think that that's not possible
unless you're able to create a fully supportive
and inclusive work environment.
You talk to people
about their preschool and kindergarten experience,
we all sort of learn these same rules, right?
Like speak up when someone's doing something
that you don't like, talk straight, be kind to people.
These same behaviours that we talk about in Santander,
making sure that you're actively listening
to your colleagues.
And if somebody comes to you and says, you know
I've got a problem or I've got a challenge,
not just saying, "Oh yeah okay. I, I hear you fine."
but actively listening to that, supporting your colleague,
and we've got a number of channels that you can go
to for support through your line management, through HR.
I like that there's choice
in how you want to raise an issue.
And honestly, if I felt I wasn't being listened to
the world would know about it.
The mental wellbeing network aims to help colleagues
develop and maintain positive mental wellbeing
and empower them to speak up and talk openly
about their wellbeing.
Through my own journey and involvement in the network,
it has allowed me to be more open
and honest about how I feel on a day-to-day basis,
and reach out to the support that is available
Through the network, we've been able to implement
many more virtual events, host safe space sessions
where colleagues can come together
and openly talk in a confidential environment.
We aim to promote wellbeing from all sorts of aspects,
such as making use of the quiet hours
that have been implemented
to encouraging colleagues in taking a break
and getting some fresh air, and most importantly,
logging off at a reasonable time
so colleagues can get some downtime.
One thing I have learned is that it's okay to not be okay.
And if you can recognise the type of day you are having
and if needed are able to get the support you need
or just want someone to talk to
you're already heading in the right direction.
The aim of the families and carers network is to
bring together anyone who feels they want to share or learn
from the experience of others in a similar situation,
and it's for parents, grandparents, partners,
those looking to adopt or foster,
those struggling with fertility,
along with colleagues who have caring responsibilities,
most importantly, listening to feedback
from colleagues to understand where our
family friendly policies can be improved
to help support them in their careers.
The networks at Santander are run by colleagues
for colleagues, and that helps people feel they belong
by being part of a community and providing a safe space
for people to share their experiences.
Our networks aim to bring colleagues together,
and they help us work towards that everyday inclusion
and making it a workplace where all colleagues
feel they're supported, they belong and they can succeed.
Our networks also play a key role
in helping colleagues to connect
around the moments that matter in their lives,
and give us all a chance to share our stories.
Three of our behaviours that Santander are
speak up, talk straight and truly listen.
And that actively encourages colleagues
across the bank to do just that.
There's also a whistleblower hotline
with a dedicated team to support investigations
I have to say throughout the pandemic
that bank have been really good at surveying colleagues
regularly to understand the effect that lockdown is having
on us and understanding our mental wellbeing.
And in response to that
they have provided some really great support.
Santander takes a flexible approach to working
and encourages everyone to speak to their line manager
so they can work the way that best suits them.
Thanks to all of our speakers from Santander.
This case study really demonstrates the value that
employees feel when businesses take an inclusive approach
supporting everyone to thrive.
Check out "Business in the Communities Everyday Inclusion:
What Really Works Report"
which promotes evidence-based actions employers can adopt
to create inclusive working cultures
where everyone can speak up
and be actively listened to without the fear
of negative repercussions.
That link's appearing on the screen right now.