Last week, we worked with the leadership of FMC (APAC Region) to curate a conversation around emotional health at workplace and how leaders can build emotionally healthy workplaces.

FMC is an agricultural sciences company with operations in over 50 countries, and about 40% of employees are in the APAC region.

Mental health in the agriculture industry is a topic of growing concern around the world.

Rates of stress, mental health issues and distress are much higher among people who work in this industry as compared to the general population.

The many constant demands, pressures and time constraints that come with this line of work often make employees of agriculture products makers, put their work ahead of their well-being. And during the pandemic due to travel and other restrictions, this has put significant pressure over the overall wellbeing of employees.

We started with mapping out the current stressors, coping mechanisms and the priorities of the leaders across the organisation. And then looked at the agriculture sector to document best practices that organisations across the sector have adopted to support emotional wellbeing at work.

Four Simple and Effective Wellbeing Initiatives for Employees Any Company Can Implement

1. DuPont ICU Program

The ICU Program is an awareness campaign made especially for the workplace, designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and foster a workplace culture that supports emotional health.

Developed by DuPont’s Employee Assistance Program, the ICU Program was delivered to each of their 70,000 employees worldwide. DuPont has since donated ICU to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, who now makes it available to employers across all sectors, industries, and sizes, cost-free.

The ICU Program points out that just as people with a physical injury or illness may require help through an Intensive Care Unit, people with a psychological/emotional injury or illness may also require help from one another.

Thus, “ICU” becomes “I See You.”

The ICU Program offers employers three steps to take in order to help those affected by mental health issues:

1. Identify the signs of distress.

2. Connect with the person experiencing distress.

3. Understand the way forward together.

Understanding the way forward together can be as simple as having a simple conversation with an employee in need, or using the mental health benefits and programs available through your organization.

2. Hindustan Unilever Thrive Program

Thrive Program covers about 20000 people at HUL comprising of Managers, Executives and factory workers. Managers and Executives complete on-line training modules and subsequently attended thrive workshops.

Pillar Wellbeing Framework : mental, physical, emotional and purposeful

Thrive program is designed on 4 Pillar Wellbeing Framework : mental, physical, emotional and purposeful providing practical solutions to sustain each wellbeing area to cope with pressures, while feeling focused, energised and maintaining work-life balance.

All employees’ including factory workers had access to EAP counselling line 24 × 7 manned in multiple languages by qualified counsellors. Subsequently, Wellbeing Week was initiated showcasing different ways to leverage thrive, following which Wellbeing Wednesdays were launched.

3. Cargill Working on Wellness Program

Working on Wellness is a partnership between Cargill and its employees to improve employee health and quality of life through preventive education and health risk management services.  Desired results are going to positively impact employee engagement and productivity, while encouraging appropriate healthcare utilization.

Cargill India launched a psychological wellbeing toolkit and a few other learning modules that cover everything about taking care of oneself to making a sense of this global crisis. They also host virtual events and several internal channels for employees to feel connected with their peers and at an organisational level.

How are you doing, really?

Cargill US launched a “How are you doing, really?” campaign to generate positive feedback based on interpersonal relationships. Posters in multiple languages and photos of employees along with a quote from them about their struggles were put up to encourage speaking up and seeking support.

4. Syngenta Wellbeing Week

Syngenta UK hosted a wellbeing week that highlighted the skills of its own employees. They kicked off with a Wellbeing Week with a single question

“What is your superpower? What do you do when you’re not working?”

Employees were then asked to share their superpower with peers via workshops, talks and other engagements. During the wellbeing week internal and external mental health champions made discreet appearances at wellbeing seminars and quietly engaged with employees.

Syngenta UK also launched Pause 2 Talk campaign to take a moment to talk to colleagues and acknowledge each other’s issues. In additional internal Employee Mental Health Forums to discuss ideas that can be rolled out to employees were created, so initiatives can surface ground up.

Agricultural sector understands the importance or resilience. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has widely supported the motto of

“We need to protect the ground beneath our feet.”

Companies in this sector are also thinking of wow do we protect the ground beneath our feet and be of support to our teams in these tough times.

These four organisational initiatives might help you craft your own emotional wellbeing programs.

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If you would like to build an emotionally healthy workplace at your organisation, please reach out to us at talktous@manahwellness.com

At Manah Wellness, we are reimagining emotional wellbeing at work with our personalised, proactive and preventive approach.

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