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Case study: How FedEx Express Singapore delivers an effective employee health programme

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With over a thousand employees, FedEx Express Singapore places immense priority on staff satisfaction and empowerment, having been on Aon’s Best Employers list in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011 and 2017.

"If we take care of our people, they will take care of our customers and hence take care of our profits,” says Audrey Cheong, Managing Director, FedEx Express Singapore.

She believes that FedEx’s success is the result of a talented team and their commitment to the People-Service-Profit (PSP) philosophy.

The PSP philosophy is based on the notion that by creating a positive working environment for employees, they in turn will provide better service to customers, which would lead to customers using more of the company’s products and services.

For this organisation, people are the heart of the business and at the foundation of this people-first culture is the PSP philosophy.

“All FedEx programs and policies, at every level, synchronise with this philosophy.”

The 4 pillars of employee health

In line with this PSP outlook, the express shipping and transportation company has developed an effective employee health and productivity framework that promotes health and wellness for both the body and mind among its people.

This healthcare and wellness framework focuses on four central pillars: prevention, personal support, organisational support, and design and delivery.

Firstly, FedEx takes steps to manage employees’ health with the active promotion of preventative health and safety activities, screenings and emotional health education.

A yearly health check-up is provided for each member of staff, followed by a doctor’s session as well as a flu vaccination. In addition, quarterly health talks hosted in the company’s different office locations to enhance the overall understanding of health and wellness.

Moreover, the employee recreation club, driven and run by staff, facilitates activities such as futsal, badminton, running, bowling and fishing among employees.

Emphasising the importance of personal support for staff, the company offers financial support and education, health advocacy initiatives, care delivery and onsite services.

The organisation also provides premium cost-sharing, with employees being supported through co-payment to panel GPs and SPs, as well as hospitalisation at private hospitals and co-insurance on dependent coverage.

Furthermore, the Work-Life Coaching programme allows employees and their eligible dependents to address an array of personal and work-related challenges through external consultants.

To ensure that there is sufficient funding and resources to implement health programmes and initiatives, the team at FedEx places importance on building organisational support. This is done by ensuring there is aligned leadership that promotes measurement and accountability.

Lastly, recognising that these healthcare initiatives can only be successful if implemented well, the company puts heavy focus on the design and delivery of the programmes, including all elements of the process such as engagement, technology, communications and overall program management.

Overcoming roadblocks to wellness

“Participation and education are constant challenges that we face. Getting employees to sign up for programs and allocate time outside of their traditional job requirements can be challenging,” Cheong notes.

The effectiveness of a comprehensive, well-designed employee healthcare and wellness programme can often be hindered by a lack of engagement.

She adds: “Employees who are medically fit now may not recognise the importance of the health and wellness programmes within the organisation. As such, they may not find it necessary to participate in the programmes offered by employers.”

How can HR departments overcome a reluctance to engage in the company's staff healthcare initiatives? At FedEx, fostering a culture of wellness is a responsibility of managers and leaders, who regularly speak to and encourage their employees to participate in the variety of health and wellness programmes offered.

“Management level staff need to set the example and make it clear that they want employees to prioritise their health,” the managing director affirms.

Aside from encouraging management to take the lead, the company uses internal channels to keep employees in the loop about the benefits of these programmes and to continually reinforce the importance of taking part in them. Professional guest speakers are also frequently engaged to conduct health talks as another way of increasing awareness.

As a result of these approaches to health and wellness, FedEx has seen various successes across the board.

“From an expense measurement standpoint, there has been a decline in the medical insurance loss ratio,” Cheong notes.

“We’ve also experienced a decline in the number of sick leaves applied by employees and enabled better work-life balance.”

With the company seeing an average employee tenure of ten years, and 15 years within management, these efforts to increase employee welfare has paid off, seeing improvements in employee engagement and satisfaction.

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