Carol Clarke: SDL stays in touch virtually with global workforce to support their wellbeing

SDL has over 4,500 employees across 39 countries and 60 offices around the world. Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has changed the way we work and collaborate with our colleagues and, even though we have supported agile working for many years, it is still a huge change for our global teams.

One of our primary concerns has been the health and mental wellbeing of our employees. We already have employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and private medical insurance (PMI) schemes in place around the world, and in some regions, including the UK, we have now provided employees with access to virtual medical care. Additionally, we have also launched a StayFit@SDL exercise series to encourage colleagues to take time to focus on their physical and mental health.

Another key area has been ensuring that our employees do not face any additional stress during these challenging times. We have run, with great participation and success, a series of virtual sessions across the globe, to provide guidance and tools to help colleagues adapt to a new environment, manage anxiety and stress as best they can and to share ideas and tips with each other. Our main message is to offer flexibility at this time, especially when helping parents figure out how to work with their children at home.

Supporting employees who are struggling with being at home alone, with limited interaction, has also been very important to us. Therefore, we are encouraging our leaders to find innovative ways to stay connected with their teams by promoting video calls, setting up virtual team chats, happy hours, competitions or tea, biscuits and a natter, where we come together and talk about anything but work. Team spirit has been high and we have great engagement on Yammer, with colleagues introducing their new co-workers including their children and pets.

Carol Clarke is VP of global total rewards at language and content management solutions organisation SDL