Accounting giant EY has created a wellness director to uplift and empower its staff
Emerging from the pandemic, empathetic companies changed their perception of the workplace and learned how to treat their employees better. Workers, seeing the devastation caused by the virus outbreak, realized how precious and fleeting life is sometimes. People decided they couldn’t put up with the disrespect, low pay, and capricious dictates like being forced into an office every day after two years of demonstrating that remote work worked.
Large, empathetic companies have intuitively noticed this shift in mindset. These organizations have established new policies and programs to elevate and empower their team. They pay special attention to the mental health, emotional well-being and happiness of their staff.
The Director of Wellbeing
Frank Giampietro has been appointed Chief Wellness Officer at EY, the leading global accounting, auditing, tax and advisory firm. Indicating the importance of the role, the EY board was involved in creating the inaugural C-suite position. It’s not just a feel-good act. There is a strong business case for the creation of the CWO.
Leaders recognize that to stay competitive and excel, they must attract, recruit and retain top talent. To do this, they must stand out from their rivals. In an interview with Ginnie Carlier, EY Americas VP of Talent, and Giampietro, they discussed the move and rationale for the newly created position, and what it entails.
Carlier, the vice president of talent for the Americas, led the charge on the mission to ensure EY is a caring place to work. The goal is to improve and maintain the mental health and well-being of its employees.
It is not an easy task. We live in volatile times. Workers must not only worry about their jobs, but also suffer the effects of geopolitical events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, rampant inflation that dramatically increases the prices of everything from food to gasoline , devastating school shootings and a politically toxic climate in the United States where people bicker constantly.
These problems, and other serious ones, are taking their toll. Carlier and Gaimpiertor are working hard to take care of their people in these turbulent times.
Make people happier
Happier workers who feel empowered, respected, and trusted by managers are likely to perform better because they value trust and autonomy. Their positive attitude will help create satisfied customers. This should lead to revenue growth and everyone benefits.
One of the ways to make employees and their families happier is to offer a flexible work style. A person could decide for themselves whether they want in-office, remote, hybrid, or another way of working based on what is best for the individual and their family.
Carlier shared his thoughts on the future of work in a LinkedIn post, writing in light of World Mental Health Day: “Our employees are under increased pressure at home and at work due to the current crisis – health, economic, social, racial and mental. Consequently, our role as an employer has changed. Managing the physical and emotional health and well-being of our employees needs to be at the top of every leadership team’s priority list every day, not just on World Mental Health Day. Companies can and should be doing more to support the mental health and well-being of not only their employees, but also their employees’ families.
The installation of an empathetic and respected executive leader in this position demonstrates that the company is passionately dedicated to improving and improving the working lives of its more than 312,000 employees in more than 700 offices and 50 country.
How EY takes care of the mental health and emotional well-being of its employees
Giampietro, EY’s director of wellbeing for the Americas, said he had the best job in the business. As CWO, Giampietro says he will focus on cultivating a climate of caring that holistically addresses the emotional, physical, emotional, financial and social well-being of his team. Prior to this role, he was a leader in people consulting services, talent management and culture transformation.
The accounting, auditing, tax and management consulting firm had been active in this field for a long time. Quite recently, in early 2020, EY launched a $2 billion investment in total rewards for its team members, which involves compensation, bonus programs and wellness benefits.
Here are some highlights of their new programs:
The accounting giant is increasing its free mental health counseling and coaching sessions from five to twenty-five a year. This will include both the worker and her family members. Their thought process is that what happens at work is brought home. If you are well treated and taken care of at the office when you return home, you are in a good mood, which will improve the attitude of the whole family. When a family member struggles with unresolved mental health issues, it will likely impact the worker’s mood and performance. Proactively focusing on the family and the worker helps improve everyone’s emotional well-being.
The company added to its annual welfare fund from $500 to $1,000 per person. Funds will help cover a wide range of expenses such as vacations, travel, game consoles, fitness classes, ergonomic home office equipment, meal delivery services and fitness equipment outdoor physics. They doubled child and adult support program benefits, extended relief care from 12 days to 24 days, and offered tutoring resources.
The accounting, tax and audit firm has implemented the EY Way of Working. The program gives people flexibility in where and how they want to work. EY WOW encourages teams to collaborate to formulate what combinations of remote and in-person interactions and team-building exercises work best.
To create more conviviality and connections, the company launched the EY WOW transition fund. It encourages leaders to actively engage with their teams and reimburses all expenses related to hybrid team building activities such as travel, dependent care and pets.
The well-being index
EY tests a well-being index. By analyzing data from new programs and policies, the company can better understand what is working and determine if it is meeting its goals for improving employee well-being. The results will help indicate if changes need to be made or if interventions are warranted to help people in different ways.
As we begin to see hiring freezes, downsizing, a slowing economy and a declining stock market, pandemic fears are coming to mind. By instituting a progressive wellness program, he will help people cope and thrive despite uncertainty and turbulence.