In an interview with magazine Knack, Yves Beauvois, HR Director and HR Business Partner Linda Herbots at ABN AMRO Belgium, explain that corporate wellbeing and an open environment are key at ABN AMRO. The company has developed a program called “ABN AMRO Healthy People”, in which vitality and both the mental and physical wellbeing of employees are cornerstones.
The program consists of on the one hand lectures & workshops like those offered by Hercules Academy and on the other hand initiatives like ABN AMRO’s very own sports academy and volunteer work.
It’s based on three principles: learn & share, fun and stay on the move. Yves Beauvois: “Whereas many companies barely comply with the regulations with regards to burnout avoidance, we at ABN AMRO have developed a long term approach to corporate wellbeing. Our program tries to create awareness among employees in a positive way. It’s working, as our Employee Engagement Survey indicates that employees’ commitment has risen from 69 percent to 80 percent in two years’ time.”
On top of the bank’s efforts in terms of corporate wellbeing, ABN AMRO commits itself to act in a sustainable way. Being a modern and innovative bank, the company has turned its sustainability strategy into the form of a durable partnership and offers personal service, transparent solutions and solid expertise. As Partner of the Future, ABN AMRO actively contributes to a promising future for man and society, by supporting ambitious individuals and organizations in the realization of their goals and dreams.
ABN AMRO tries to satisfy the needs of its clients in the best way imaginable, as well as trying to enhance the wellbeing of its coworkers. It’s become the bank’s corporate DNA and the Healthy People program tries to embed that DNA in the mindset of its managers.
Lastly, ABN AMRO is convinced that energized people can help the bank in better serving its customers. Linda Herbots: “that’s where the lectures come in. We’ve invited Serge Haubourdin, Managing Director of Hercules Academy for a lecture on mindfulness and we had Luk Dewulf giving a recitation on burnout avoidance. Professor Doctor Theo Compernolle explained how to ‘unchain your brain’ and Sabine Appelmans of the Hercules Academy shared her expertise on a healthy diet and exercise with all attendees. Safe to say that Healthy People focuses both on the physical and the mental aspect of employees’ wellbeing.”
Theoretical sessions are put into practice via numerous workshops. There have been workshops concerning mindfulness, digital detox and a healthy breakfast in the past, as well as chair massages and countless others.
When asked how employees respond to ABN AMRO’s Healthy People program, Mr. Beauvois testifies that his coworkers are now once again proud to be bankers and feel proud to be working at ABN AMRO. “This is not only confirmed by the innumerable positive reactions of the employees themselves, but also by the results of the Employee Engagement Survey and the psychosocial risk analysis. We’re living up to the program’s main goal, which is making employees feel at home in our company. We’re aspiring to be one big family at ABN AMRO and our coworkers appreciate that. They’re very well aware of the fact that times are hard and they value our efforts concerning their wellbeing highly.
Mrs. Herbots adds that in order to be able to reap the benefits of the program in the future, it’s necessary to adjust it where needed, as it is a
long term solution indeed. “We revise the program on a yearly basis”, she says, “and while some subjects are part of Healthy People at all times, others are offered based on what precisely is needed to fulfill the current needs in the office. Key questions in finding appropriate themes for the program are ‘what’s causing stress’ and ‘what are our employees intrigued by’.”
“Time and money are subordinate to passion and enthusiasm”, Mr. Beauvois continues. “We keep the program running smoothly and are frugal with the budget. Above all, we want to create a positive impact with the Healthy People program and investing in our employees does not only benefit ABN AMRO, but society as a whole as well. As we’re now enjoying the benefits of our efforts we made two years ago, we firmly believe that Healthy People must remain an ongoing story.”
We, at Hercules Academy, share that belief and we’re glad to be a part of Healthy People. Our offerings, like the mindfulness and healthy living programs, contain the holistic Herculean philosophy and remain therefor unique.