Starting out in Singapore, the bank’s spokesperson shared with HRO that these programmes will be rolled out to other markets in the near future.
Honouring its commitment to cultivating a caring workplace and workforce and help its employees stay mentally resilient during the pandemic, UOB has put together two mental wellness programmes: ‘UOB Mental Wellness Days’ and ‘Appreciation Month’.
These are an enhancement over its existing mental wellness programme, and are being started out in Singapore. The bank’s spokesperson shared with Human Resources Online (HRO) that these programmes will be rolled out to other markets in the near future.
Fridays dedicated to wellness
UOB Mental Wellness Days is a virtual programme—organised every Friday, starting this month, until the end of the year—packed with activities where employees can participate to learn how they can help themselves, and their colleagues, when mentally distressed.
Some of the activities include:
- Workshops conducted by certified psychologists and counsellors;
- Open discussion groups between managers and colleagues;
- Staff leisure classes spanning across topics like fitness, psychology, and nutrition
Through this experience, all UOB employees can learn ways to become more self-aware of their mental state, as well as equip themselves with knowledge to recognise signs of mental distress within their teams, and with skills to support their peers in coping with it. These sessions are open to both managers and employees.
They complement UOB’s library of more than 100 courses and 400 videos on mental health and resilience which employees can access at any time and place through LinkedIn Learning.
Recognising the positive impact of colleagues
UOB Appreciation Month is an initiative that is now in its second year running, with the objective of recognising the impact that colleagues have made at work, and to the lives of those around them.
One of the recipients of appreciation in the inaugural year was Brandon Wong, Vice President, Group Wholesale Banking, UOB, who said: “As we work from home in such challenging times without face-to-face interaction, it is easy to feel isolated. It was therefore such a pleasant surprise to receive a box of pastries from my manager, accompanied with a handwritten note of encouragement."
According to the bank’s press statement, 'Appreciation Month’ will commence in July 2021.
In addition to these enhancements, UOB has in place the ‘Care’ wellness benefits programme, which includes psychiatric support through health insurance, of up to S$3,000 per annum.
Dean Tong, Head of Group Human Resources, UOB, highlighted that it has become even more important to prioritise people’s wellbeing to minimise their risk of stress or burnout as they cope with changing work patterns and lifestyles.
UOB’s stepped-up efforts are evidently bearing fruit, as Tong added: “It heartens us to see that our people are taking steps to care for their mental health with some of the virtual activities lined up for ‘UOB Mental Wellness Days’ from June to July oversubscribed by 110%.
“We will continue to offer a range of interesting activities focusing on holistic wellness every Friday until the rest of the year for all colleagues to pursue better mental and physical health.”