Well-being and sustainability go hand in hand

January 14, 2022

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That well-being is gaining prominence on the agenda is good news. However, B-Tonic, subsidiary of Baloise Insurance, does warn against the pitfall of an ad hoc welfare policy with little future-proofing. With the online well-being platform wellbeingworks.be, it advocates for a sustainable well-being policy centered around positive impact and long-term vision.

‘A sustainable well-being policy means that you need the whole organisation for it,’ says Siviglia Berto, managing director of B-Tonic. ‘Well-being policies can only, with support from the top of the company, seep into all layers of the organisation. Sustainable also means looking at the broad spectrum of wellbeing; you have to go wider than a few keynotes and activities a year. It requires a process of change in which the entrepreneur dares to step away from his habits, with a long-term focus.’

As a guide, Wayne Visser, professor at the Antwerp Management School (AMS), worked out the Good Work Goals with a team of stakeholders, including B-Tonic. If a company compares its activities to the ten goals (see box), it immediately sees which areas of its welfare policy need extra attention. ‘Good Work Goals work as a checklist that challenges organisations,’ explains Wayne Visser. ‘Some companies are already working on health, for example, but have they thought about how to create an inspiring and connecting workplace? The checklist could be a trigger to organise a survey among staff about that.’

Learning network

With its online well-being platform wellbeingworks.be, B-Tonic uses the Good Work Goals as a stepping stone for the well-being programmes it tailors. Those programmes rely on five pillars: healthy working, healthy thining, healthy exercise, healthy eating and healthy sleeping. B-Tonic helps companies map all existing initiatives, link them to the 10 objectives and draw up a three-year plan on that basis.

Those who sign up will join a learning network that values open communication and co-creation. Siviglia Berto: ‘Every three months, the network has deep dive sessions where we dig into a topic completely. The entrepreneurs exchange best practices, as well as the obstacles they encounter. Being in a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, you do not shy away from any issue.’

Gamechanger

Siviglia Berto believes we make faster progress by sharing experiences and ideas on a topic. ‘That is the great power of co-creation: you no longer have to invent everything yourself. Companies used to tend to keep information to themselves, but now we are moving towards a sharing and conversation culture without taboos. We then translate these insights into our offerings. We use the Good Work Goals as a real gamechanger or handles.’

Implementing a sustainable well-being policy pays off. ‘It represents an opportunity for companies to show leadership. Companies like to declare that people are their most important capital. In difficult times, like now with covid, they can show that their employees really come first and that they are worth investing in. In a crisis, this is more important than ever.’

What are good work goals
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maartje vanewijk

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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