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Drivers of change in the media tech industry: Employee welfare

In the second of our series of features looking at drivers of change in the media tech industry, TVBEurope discusses topics such as mental and physical wellbeing, the impact of the pandemic, and what the industry as a whole should be focusing on

In the second part of our special series of features looking at five key drivers of change within the media tech industry, we focus on employee welfare.

TVBEurope invited a number of vendors to share their thoughts with us, covering areas such as mental and physical wellbeing, the impact of the pandemic, and what the industry as a whole should be focusing on.

What policies and/or initiatives do you have in place to support employees with regard to their mental and physical wellbeing and safeguarding? 
Caroline Meyer, chief human resources officer, Bedrock

We have implemented several policies and initiatives to support the mental and physical wellbeing of our employees and prioritise their safeguarding. Here are some examples:

We offer flexibility in working hours to promote a healthy work-life balance and reduce stress.

We provide options for remote work, enabling employees to work from locations outside the traditional office setting. This flexibility supports employee wellbeing by reducing commuting time and allowing for a personalised work environment .

Themed wellness events based on various themes, such as physical fitness, mental health and mindfulness.

We prioritise training managers to identify and address psychosocial risks in the workplace. This equips them with the knowledge and skills to support employee mental wellbeing and intervene when necessary.

By implementing these policies and initiatives, we demonstrate our commitment to creating a supportive work environment that prioritises the mental and physical wellbeing of our employees. We believe that by safeguarding their wellbeing, we can foster a positive and thriving workplace culture that benefits both individuals and the organisation as a whole.

Nancy Bilotto, director human resources, LTN

The mental and physical well-being of employees is a key area of focus for LTN. We have a number of initiatives in place to support these. Our live virtual cooking class is a fun initiative to enable us to gather virtually and whip up some healthy meals together. With a global diverse workforce, it is important that these initiatives are easily accessible regardless of location so the virtual aspect is key.

LTN also values the importance our furry friends play in our happiness and have recently introduced a Pet Insurance programme, this has been an initiative I am a huge fan of.

In addition, recognising the toll modern life can take on mental health, we’ve set up a virtual therapy programme, an invaluable resource our employees can turn to when they need help navigating personal challenges.

Philippe Petitpont, Newsbridge co-founder and CEO

One key health-related policy that we have introduced at Newsbridge is paid leave for people who menstruate. Our HR team identified that some colleagues were taking regular vacation days to manage painful periods or were choosing to struggle through the pain at work, so, introducing menstrual leave was a no-brainer. Newsbridge provides up to eight paid days of menstrual leave annually. Two days in a row can be used, and no medical certificate is needed.

Other wellbeing initiatives that Newsbridge offers include parent-friendly policies that promote equal opportunities. For instance, Newsbridge has signed the Parental Challenge Commitment Charter, which means that we provide initiatives such as 100 per cent remote working, keep to meeting hours that don’t exclude parent employees, and we provide equal, paid maternity and paternity leave from the start of permanent contracts. We also conduct manager training to increase their support skills and discrimination awareness.

We want to acknowledge that parenthood comes with challenges that can affect our employees’ wellbeing. As an employer, we can be supportive and ensure our team members continue to experience job fulfilment and career advancement.

Has the prolonged impact of pandemic conditions had an effect on staff wellbeing, and your company’s approach to welfare management? 
Matthew Quade, CEO, TSL

There was an undoubted negative impact, and it was interesting to see how this was more pronounced among staff that had to work from home compared to those who could not work from home and so still attended the office and worked with colleagues in person.

A mental health check-in is a key part of our 1-2-1 review process, and we also offer an employee assistance programme. These initiatives were developed and expanded in direct response and we have made widespread adaptations to our workplace practices and policies.

Deniz Uetkue, director human resources, Guntermann & Drunck GmbH

The lasting impact of the pandemic has affected employee well-being and the social management of our company.

A primary change we have implemented in the pandemic is mobile working. By offering home and remote work options, we were able to protect the health and safety of our employees while maintaining business operations. Mobile working allowed employees to work more flexibly and take better care of their family needs.

In addition, we arranged a kids’ room during the pandemic to help employees who had difficulty arranging childcare. This room provided a safe environment where our employees’ children could be cared for during working hours. This was particularly important to avoid childcare difficulties and to allow employees to focus on their work.

As we look back, we remain committed to supporting our employees’ families. We offer flexible working hours and support employees to balance their work more effectively with their family commitments. In addition, we are working together closely with employees to find individual solutions and ensure that their needs and challenges are taken into account appropriately.

Nancy Bilotto, LTN

The pandemic’s prolonged impact has certainly presented some unique challenges, but it’s also reinforced our commitment to support our employees. In fact, it has reshaped our approach to welfare management.

We understand that exercise plays a crucial role in wellness, especially when we’re mostly confined to our homes. That’s why we’ve given our team free access to Apple Fitness+ and the Peloton App for a year. Plus, we’ve initiated a friendly 30-day movement challenge to keep us all motivated to stay active.

What are the most important things the industry as a whole needs to focus on? 
Nancy Bilotto

I firmly believe the industry needs to see employees not just as workers, but as whole individuals. This means addressing their diverse needs and challenges. The pandemic has underscored the need for comprehensive and holistic approaches to employee wellbeing. 

For me, this means fostering an environment that supports not just physical health, but also mental and emotional wellbeing. It means creating a culture of financial stability and offering flexible working arrangements that aim to meet both the individual’s and the company’s diverse needs. This approach combined with a workplace that provides fulfillment to employees by allowing them to solve problems, forge the path for the industry, and to be part of revolutionising into the future is how we create a resilient and adaptable workforce, capable of thriving even in the challenging economic climate we are facing.

Philippe Petitpont, Newsbridge

The broadcast media and technology industries unfortunately remain a “boys’ club” to this day. There needs to be more focus on dismantling the barriers to achieving a more diverse and gender-balanced workforce, not simply waiting for workplace legislation to force employers’ hands.

Supporting women and parents by implementing well-overdue policies like menstrual leave and equal parental leave is a great start.

Matthew Quade, TSL

Striking the right balance of in person and remote working is key. The drive for remote working has obvious flexibility and commercial benefits, but my observation is that for most people it can be isolating and result in a decline in wellbeing (as well as productivity). Finding the right overall solution therefore is key and I don’t think any industry is there yet.