While banking organisation Metro Bank supports employee wellbeing all year round, it recognises that certain times of the year are harder for some.
The bank, which employs almost 4,500 members of staff, takes an equitable approach to ensure it has an inclusive culture. It does this by educating line managers on the myriad cultural, religious and current events that may need additional support for wellbeing throughout the year, such as Christmas, Diwali and Eid, to name a few.
Metro Bank has a three-pronged approach to employee wellbeing that includes the right environment, line manager support and personal responsibility, explains Khushboo Patel, head of engagement and inclusion at Metro Bank.
“As an organisation, we’re providing the right tools for social, mental, physical and financial wellbeing, as well as an environment that includes effective support and structure, respect and clarity in which to use them,” she says.
“The line manager is the gateway for the employee experience, so we train them with skills to lead wellbeing centred on the concept of compassionate leadership, with focus on listening, understanding, empathy and support. Finally, the third prong is personal responsibility. The change comes from within, and supporting employees’ own wellbeing is so important. We make sure they have the opportunities to look after their wellbeing and give them the empowerment to do this.”
In terms of supporting staff experiencing loss and loneliness at any point during the year, the bank’s five colleague inclusion networks not only educate, but also form a system of support so that no one is alone and everyone is supported. It has hosted events to support employees through child bereavement, child loss and domestic violence, as well as regular check-ins through its menopause and step-family cafes, and the sharing of lived experiences through events, blogs and vlogs to support a place of belonging.
Metro Bank works hard to build psychological safety, which allows employees to feed back to the organisation to make sure it offers what they need, says Patel.
“At Metro Bank, we are advocates of a safe environment, and while this is extended to customers, it starts internally, making sure our workers are safe to be their authentic selves at work. When our employees feel they have support and are not alone, they are more resilient, and often able to cope more effectively with difficult times. Supporting our staff also makes them feel valued, engaged and part of a workforce that truly cares,” she concludes.