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Supporting the health and wellbeing of our people during COVID-19

15th May 2020

Felix Cheng, Wellbeing Manager, shares the challenges and methods taken to support employee wellbeing during COVID-19.

At Benetas, the health and wellbeing of our people has long been a priority and a significant focus across our organisation. It is in our nature and embedded into the core foundations of how we work. As a long-standing for-purpose provider, the values of community and spirit are central to how we support our employees, and guide us particularly during times like this.

The impact of COVID-19 on our people has been unprecedented. We employ over 1,500 people, have over 500 volunteers and many valued partners and suppliers - all of whom have experienced the heightened uncertainty, pressure and fears associated with the pandemic.

In addition to this, we also have a cohort who genuinely care for the people they support and have been deeply concerned for those most vulnerable to the virus. During this time, their workloads have increased, they've adapted to unprecedented levels of change, and difficult decisions have been made to protect the health and safety of everyone in our Benetas community.

The establishment of a cross-disciplinary COVID-19 management team, which notably wasn't chaired by our CEO, has enabled our organisation to act swiftly, remain focused on the activities that matter, and importantly provide Benetas employees with clear, confident information from the outset. As part of this, we have been delivering regular updates to all employees and have set up new channels that have helped to triage questions and concerns in a prompt and effective way.

This transparency and assurance for our teams falls to the basis of being able to respect the pressures and demands that people across our organisation are facing.

We’ve also extended this support by providing extra wellbeing resources, training tools and tailored guidance to help our employees adjust to whole new working environments, something we appreciate is incredibly challenging.

Further to these core foundations, we’ve gone to great effort to celebrate the community spirit and acts of kindness that remain ever present. We’ve worked hard to promote employee connection by sharing CEO and employee videos. We've also been capturing the many examples of gratitude that members of our community are extending to both our clients and employees.

These efforts have been important in helping our people feel supported and acknowledged for their contribution. It's also connected our people at a time of physical distancing.

In fact, there’s a great deal being done every-day across our whole organisation from the grassroots up that has helped to maintain morale in teams and provide support for colleagues through this time. To name just a few, these have included morning teas, messages of thanks and even edible bouquets that teams have shared with one another. These creative, yet kind initiatives are testament to the generosity and goodwill that's been fostered at a time like this.

Our Pastoral Care Team have also remained present, connected and dedicated throughout this period. As an organisation that values the holistic care of people, our Pastoral Care Team have played a special role in providing spiritual and emotional support for clients, residents and employees alike.

Find out more about working at Benetas and supports in place.