Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s comprehensive employee health and wellness strategy scored it a win at Benefits Canada‘s 2021 Workplace Benefits Awards on Oct. 14.
The technology company won the award in the Health/wellness program category for an employer with fewer than 1,000 employees for its offerings that focus on helping staff “relax, refresh and recharge.”
“We have [many] generations working for us so we try to offer something for everyone,” says Merlyn Sequeira, director of total rewards, payroll, recognition, wellness and human resources systems at Samsung in Canada.
In a bid to support the health and wellness of generation Z, millennial, generation X and baby boomer employees and their dependants amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Sequeira and her team significantly ramped up virtual communications to educate staff on the offerings available to them to ensure they felt supported.
The electronics and technology company has been offering a range of supports, including access to a virtual health-care platform, an employee assistance program and virtual wellness workshops amid the pandemic. And Samsung has long taken a holistic view of employee health by supporting financial, mental, physical and social wellness.
In the early days of the pandemic, Samsung held online financial wellness sessions and invited employee’s entire families to join, in recognition of how personal and professional life have merged with many employees working from home during this time, says Sequeira.
And since the onset of the global pandemic, the company has put an increased focus on employee mental health, continuing to encourage all people leaders to complete a workplace mental-health leadership certificate program and providing all new leaders with online mental-health awareness training. All new hires are assigned mandatory online mental-health training as part of their onboarding. And it has permanently increased its coverage for a range of mental-health practitioners from $600 to $2,000 per plan member per year.
In a bid to further support employee well-being, Samsung enhanced its early leave and log-off policy this year. The company previously allowed employees to log off early on the day before a long weekend during the summer months and has now extended that offering for all long weekends year round.
The comprehensive health and wellness focus has helped the organization keep its voluntary turnover rate to 5.1 per cent and has been a factor in its average employee tenure of 6.4 years. It’s always looking to build on its success and garners feedback through an annual survey, as well as via pulse surveys and one-on-one sessions. “We’re always getting feedback from our employees,” says Sequeira. “And as a direct result of people asking for it, we’re launching a full flex plan in 2022.”
On top of rolling out more flexible benefits offerings to meet employees at every age and stage, Samsung will be launching a refreshed mental-health strategy early next year, she adds, as the importance of emotional well-being will continue to a be top priority as employees look towards a post-pandemic future in the years to come.