Corporate Wellness: 3 Key Initiatives for a Healthy Workforce

Corporate Wellness: 3 Key Initiatives for a Healthy Workforce

, CHRO, Sterlite Technologies Limited
Corporate wellness
Anjali Byce, CHRO, STL

From implementing wellness programmes to creating a culture that values work-life balance, corporate wellness is not just a buzzword, but a strategic investment that yields numerous benefits for businesses and their employees alike. My perspective on corporate wellness is grounded in the belief that the health and well-being of employees are crucial to the overall success of any organisation.

To succeed in the competitive business landscape of today, it is imperative for the workforce to possess both the necessary skills and motivation, as well as physical and mental fitness to tackle the challenges that may lie ahead. As HR leaders, we have a responsibility to proactively create an environment that fosters the well-being of our employees, not just as a moral obligation, but also as a strategic imperative.  The corporate wellness market in India is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.75% from 2020 to 2025, with an estimated value of INR 21.53 billion by 2025, compared to INR 14.59 billion in 2019 according to a 2022 report by Quadintel. While the projected growth numbers are certainly promising, it’s crucial to recognize that the pursuit of corporate wellness should not be solely driven by numerical figures. The focus should go beyond mere financial gains and instead be rooted in a genuine commitment to the well-being of employees. 

Wellness initiatives should be driven by a sincere desire to create a healthy and supportive work environment that prioritises physical, mental, and emotional health, resulting in a more engaged, productive, and fulfilled workforce.

The imperative of employee well-being

Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL) has a longstanding commitment to employee well-being, evident through a range of proactive initiatives such as comprehensive health and wellness programmes, flexible work arrangements, employee assistance programmes, and mental health support. Our genuine concern for the welfare of our workforce has been steadfast, long before the onset of the pandemic.

Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), called Optum which was launched in May last year offers confidential, no-cost counselling to employees and their families for mental health and emotional well-being. Employees can use Optum to seek support for high levels of stress due to personal or work-related issues. They can schedule counselling sessions with licensed therapists to learn stress management techniques, coping strategies, and healthy ways to manage stress. The EAP also aids in resolving conflicts with colleagues or supervisors through mediation sessions, conflict resolution techniques, and communication strategies. Employees facing financial challenges can access financial counselling and guidance, while those dealing with parenting challenges or childcare issues can seek support through the EAP. 

Examples of usage of Optum are far and many. It is accessible to both employees and their family members around the clock, 365 days a year, through various channels including phone, online, and the mobile app. We closed the year with an almost 30% engagement rate as compared to Optum’s worldwide engagement rate of 16%.

Also read:Corp Wellness Strategy Can Safeguard Employees From Covid-19 Impact: Policybazaar’s Raghuveer Malik 

Multifaceted approach

We have implemented a diverse range of programmes and initiatives to support various aspects of health and wellness. Some of them include:

  •     Financial planning programmes to help employees manage their finances effectively
  •     Flexi-Holiday (Optional Holiday Plan) where employees shall have seven fixed holidays across India and three ‘flexi’ holidays to choose from a defined holiday list
  •     Self-defence training for women to promote safety and empowerment in our plant sites
  •     Health camps for all employees to monitor their physical health
  •     Yoga classes to promote relaxation and mindfulness
  •     Sessions with nutritionists to educate employees about healthy eating habits
  •     Fitness challenges like step count, push-up challenges etc. to encourage physical fitness
  •     Virtual fitness classes to provide flexibility in maintaining an active lifestyle.

STL understands that career advancement is a key aspect of employee well-being and job satisfaction. As such, we prioritise the development of employees’ careers by providing them with opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge, and by offering clear pathways for career progression. By supporting professional growth, we aim to provide employees with a sense of purpose, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall well-being in the workplace.

For instance, our ACT UP programme identifies and develops high-potential talent, resulting in 28% of promotions in M7-M9 (levels) in the past year. We also have the impactful leadership programme, Elevate, which is run in association with Harvard University, and which focuses on key pillars tied to our purpose of transforming lives. This programme allows STL leaders to upskill and learn from top faculties while facilitating peer-to-peer learning. Our managers are certified in the “People First” Program, which has won Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards, and our managerial effectiveness programme empowers them with tools to enable their teams.

Also read: Employee Wellness Vs Employee Wellbeing: What’s The Difference And Why The Latter Is Vital

We closed the year with an almost 30% engagement rate as compared to Optum’s (STL’s Employee Assistance Program) worldwide engagement rate of 16%. It is accessible to both employees and their family members around the clock, 365 days a year, through various channels including phone, online, and the mobile app

A culture of listening

Finally, we are committed to creating a secure space for our employees to offer feedback and share their thoughts. To this end, we have introduced several channels, including exit interviews, pulse checks, and annual surveys, to provide ample opportunities for our employees to communicate any suggestions they may have for improving the workplace. This approach helps us to continually grow and evolve while fostering a culture of open communication and trust. Notably, in one of our recent culture studies, 76% of our employees reported that we acted upon the feedback collected.

Our programmes prioritise employee well-being and place great emphasis on the importance of achieving work-life balance and effective stress management. Our leaders serve as role models for healthy behaviours and actively support employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, resulting in reduced stress levels, better mental health, and improved overall well-being of the workforce.

 Author: Group CHRO of Sterlite Technologies Limited, Anjali Byce is an accomplished HR leader with a wealth of experience in the field. With a deep commitment to fostering a positive work culture, Byce is passionate about developing effective HR initiatives that promote employee well-being and support organisational success.

Registered Name: Sterlite Technologies (STL), 4th Floor, Godrej Millennium, 9 Koregaon Park, Pune – 411001
Year of incorporation: 2000
Number of Employees: 8000 (including contractual)
Promoters: Twin Star Overseas Ltd
Key Executives:
– Ankit Agarwal, Managing Director, STL
– Anajli Byce, CHRO, STL
– Akanksha Sharma, Head CSR and Sustainability, STL
Business Line: STL is a leading global optical and digital solutions company providing advanced offerings to build 5G, Rural, FTTx, Enterprise and Data Centre networks.
Key HR Factor: 18% diversity


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