ING Financial Markets expands global wellbeing programme

ING Financial Markets

ING Financial Markets, part of global banking organisation ING, has expanded its global wellbeing programme, enabling employees to create and set personalised wellbeing plans and goals.

The Wellbeing Quotient (WQ) programme, which launched for 350 ING Financial Markets’ sales employees across 30 countries in March 2017, was initially designed to help staff actively manage their personal and professional wellbeing, as well as driving measurable and sustainable changes in nutrition, exercise, sleep, and relaxation.

Employees who participated in the original six-month programme were provided with an activity tracker, which linked to a WQ app that delivered personalised data and feedback relating to the programme’s four key pillars: eat, move, sleep, and relax. The programme provided relevant educational information and content around these areas in four six-weekly blocks, allowing employees to focus on one component at a time.

The initial WQ programme also enabled employees to contact individuals from an expert pool of professionals, including professors, coaches, and Olympic athletes, for advice in a specific subject as and when required.

The activity trackers were given to ING Financial Markets’ sales staff on 9 March 2017, with the bank extending access to the programme to interested clients and employees’ friends and family on 3 April 2017, to help foster a culture of wellbeing. Friends, family and clients received a €100 (£85) discount to get the device and join the programme.

The first block of the WQ programme, eat, started on 18 April 2017.

As of June 2018, participating employees have improved their overall wellbeing scores by 5% and spent, on average, 4.2 hours a week engaging with the WQ programme. The top five activities employees were recorded doing were general workouts, running, cycling, walking and freestyle.

Due to the success of the programme within its first year, ING Financial Markets has now launched a second stage of the WQ programme for its Financial Markets staff, and has implemented the initial programme for other departments within ING. Approximately 3,000 employees across the business are now participating in the WQ programme.

The second stage of the WQ programme has been designed to create a more personalised experience, building on the initial learning and insights phase to now encourage staff to be more active in changing their habits and achieving their specific wellbeing goals.

The WQ programme will still centre around the four key pillars of eat, sleep, move and relax, but these will now be tackled simultaneously, as part of a new three block structure: Connect, Speed Up and Slow Down. The Connect block, which is currently underway, allows employees to set their own personalised wellbeing plans and goals; the Speed Up block, which will commence in July, will focus on activity and smart training; the Slow Down module, which will be delivered in October, will centre around relaxation and resting harder. Each block will contain relevant training and events. The programme also has an overall focus on heart health and will measure heart rate variability, especially in relation to stress.

Employees were able to choose a new activity tracking device at the beginning of the Connect block, to select an option that best suited their lifestyle. ING is only able to access collated and anonymised data from these if more than 15 employees within a certain jurisdiction or department are participating in the WQ programme.

The newest phase of the wellbeing programme was communicated to employees in April 2018 using a trailer-style video, created using clips that employees recorded while taking part in WQ activities.

The WQ programme, provided in conjunction with Lifeguard, follows on from ING’s Emotional Quotient (EQ) programme, which launched four years ago to help ING Financial Markets’ sales staff understand and improve their emotional intelligence. The EQ programme covers areas such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Mark Pieter de Boer, chief commercial officer WB at ING, said: “The programme was designed to help staff actively manage their wellbeing, and drive measurable changes in how they eat, move, sleep and relax, improving their health both at work and in their free time. By encouraging our staff as well as clients to invest in their wellbeing and adapt their habits, the ING FM team has witnessed revenue growth of approximately 20% over a period of three years, the last year of which included the introduction of the WQ programme. We believe that by empowering our staff to embrace this mentality, it has had a positive impact on their everyday lives.”