• Home
  • Fostering and facilitating wellbeing

Fostering and facilitating wellbeing

A conversation with Ann Artois, Global wellbeing project leader at SWIFT

Fostering and facilitating wellbeing

Ann Artois prioritises work-life balance and employee wellbeing at SWIFT. Through a number of workshops and initiatives, she helps drive the adoption of a consistent wellbeing culture throughout the company.

Ann Artois, Global wellbeing project leader at SWIFTFostering and facilitating wellbeing

Q: What’s the importance of wellbeing at SWIFT?

A: Over the last few years we have made employee wellbeing a key focus area at SWIFT. We realise that the world in which we work and live has become increasingly complex and people are faced with a number of challenges and pressures. Cultivating a culture of wellbeing can help mitigate these pressures.

We want our managers to be aware of the importance of wellbeing, and want to help employees handle their day-to-day stress. We also want to make sure SWIFT fosters an environment where everyone can take care of their own and others’ wellbeing, both at work and in their private lives.

Q: How is wellbeing integrated into the company’s structure?

A: It is currently driven by the HR team, but our aim for the future is to empower everyone at SWIFT to take wellbeing to the next level and initiate wellbeing activities. I believe that if the organisation feels well, it will perform well. We want every employee to perform at their best and they can only do so if they feel resilient and well-balanced.

Wellbeing needs to be embedded in everything we do at SWIFT. We offer multiple facilities, benefits, and workshops that help people care for both their physical and mental health. Our overall goal however is to build a community where people take care of each other and see the value of wellbeing, for personal as well as professional reasons.

We see that millennials and younger generations of candidates in particular pay more attention to their work-life balance. It’s much more on their radar screen through conscious choices, so we see an increased traction for wellbeing initiatives with this population.

Q: What are the main initiatives you have undertaken to promote wellbeing in your workplace? Do you have a specific programme in place?

A: We believe that wellbeing comes in the form of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy. For that reason, we have multiple initiatives in place that aim to promote and cover all of these areas, from medical insurance benefits, over sports facilities, to stress management trainings.

One of our main initiatives is the global Wellbeing Week, in which we organise several workshops on different wellbeing topics across the regional offices for people to attend. This year it gained a lot of interest, particularly in our Kuala Lumpur office which was nice to see. 

Our sports facilities or allowances play a key role in encouraging employees to be physically active, from team sports to yoga classes. We also promote healthy eating and ensure that there are healthy food options available to all.

We understand that personal matters can impact people’s work which is why we offer flexible working hours, as well as an Employee Assistance Programme. This is a round-the-clock anonymous service which provides free access to a range of specialist support and information, through either telephone or face-to-face counselling.  All employees and their families have access to this service to discuss and resolve any personal or professional issues.

Q: What has been the response from SWIFT employees?

A: We have received multiple positive reactions from our employees. In October, we launched a survey that assessed stress and engagement levels across the company, which had a 77% response rate.  We are happy to see that overall SWIFT scores better compared to other companies in the IT and financial sector.  People indicated that they are proud to work at SWIFT and they feel they can make a positive contribution to the organisation.

Q: What KPIs have you adopted and how do you measure results?

A: Our biggest challenge is getting consistent levels of traction across the regions and understanding how to develop a consistent company mind-set and embed wellbeing in everything we do.

Our initial aim was increased awareness and prevention of stress-related issues.  Our aim for the future is to empower people to take wellbeing one step further and be more in the driver’s seat.  A wellbeing culture requires involvement across all levels at SWIFT. We are also building the skill sets of our managers so they keep wellbeing high on the agenda when working with their teams.

The long-term vision for wellbeing at SWIFT is that, through increased communication and healthy working environment initiatives, employees throughout the company will feel empowered to take wellbeing into their own hands.