Contribution by Anne-Katrin Krempien, M.D., Senior Physician at Deutsche Telekom, and Head of Employee Wellbeing / Health & Safety.
Today - April 28, 2022 - is International Workers' Health and Safety Day. The International Labor Organization (ILO) commemorates the day by promoting safe, healthy and decent work. At Deutsche Telekom, this ranges from keeping our colleagues safe while they climb radio masts during their work, to ergonomic workplaces in open-plan offices, to mental health offerings for our employees. All of this is the responsibility of the Employee Wellbeing / Health & Safety unit. World Health and Safety Day is a good opportunity to show what my team and our company are doing to support the health and safety of our employees. After all, health and safety are part of the foundation of an efficient and productive company. And it is also simply our duty as a good employer to create a safe and healthy working environment for our employees in which they feel comfortable. For many years, we have offered our employees comprehensive services to provide them with the best possible support in the areas of health and occupational safety - especially in our ever-increasing digital and agile working world.
Occupational safety and health protection are firmly anchored in all structures at Deutsche Telekom via certified management systems and corresponding guidelines and directives. We are guided in this by the ISO 45001 standard. In 2018, we were one of the first DAX companies to have our H&S management system certified in accordance with this standard. This certifies that we operate systematic procedures and processes that ensure and continuously improve the protection of employees and the environment. And we have that certified.
What we do for our employees
We promote health awareness and health skills among our employees throughout the Group with target group-specific measures and broad-based offerings. At the same time, we attach great importance to safety in the workplace. For us, statutory requirements on health and safety at work represent minimum requirements. We go beyond this. Raising awareness, prevention and personal responsibility among our employees are particularly important to us. The portfolio of measures therefore also includes many voluntary offers for workplace health promotion. These include classic offerings such as checkups, cancer screening, psychosocial counseling, fitness and nutrition tips, and much more. For example, during the Corona pandemic we have so far carried out 52,640 vaccinations.
Our measures have success
We systematically measure the effectiveness of our measures. Various indicators show that our occupational health management activities are effective. The positive development of the accident rate, the health rate and the health index are particularly worthy of mention. For example, the improvement in the health rate shows that the hygiene measures during the pandemic were effective. We monitor key figures annually in the HR Factbook and in the Corporate Responsibility Report.
In addition to regular audits and certifications, we also take part in awards and distinctions in order to benchmark our occupational health management performance externally. Telekom has received numerous national and international awards for its health and safety management, including the Corporate Health Award.
Innovations in health management
We regularly review the challenges posed by changes in the world of work and adapt our products accordingly. In very concrete terms, we support our employees, for example, in the subject areas of digitization or hybrid working in agile work forms.
The pandemic has also added an extra dimension to occupational health and safety. Experience shows the potential of mobile working as well as the associated challenges.
We pick up on trends in the new working worlds at an early stage and have, for example, provided our employees with the "My Health Journey" a program for mental strength in 2020. The health program offers courses on resilience, scientifically based mindfulness training such as healthy and mindful leadership, self-care in the digital environment, and much more.
The innovative #ausruhezeichen project, which is also supported by a study, is also proving very popular with our employees. The campaign on the topic of "healthy sleep" offers events with a sleep trail as well as tips from sleep research and well-founded information on healthy sleep in the context of rest, exercise and nutrition. Rest coaching" is also on offer.
Scientific partners at our side
To provide our employees with the best health and occupational safety offers, we work with partners. Our long-standing cooperation partner, the health insurance company BARMER, supports various innovative projects on the topics of nutrition, digitalization & health, and the current "Healthy Sleep" campaign. The Institute for Occupational Health Consulting (IFBG) is also involved in this campaign. And the Institute for Organizational Diagnostics and Social Research (IfOS) and the TLEX Institute support self-reflection and organization for executives and senior managers with science-based mindfulness training.
With regard to the pandemic, we worked together with the Bonn Institute of Hygiene to develop a hygiene concept that reflects the current state of scientific knowledge. This meant that employees could continue to work at the operational sites during the pandemic if necessary.
Our company medical service (B.A.D.) provides support in the form of occupational medicine, psychosocial counseling and occupational safety measures. Numerous company physicians, psychosocial experts and occupational safety specialists work for us. During the pandemic, the focus of the B.A.D. was, among other things, on consultations and vaccinations.
Employee Wellbeing - our concern for a holistic portfolio
On our way to becoming "best place to work", we contribute to the well-being of our employees with effective activities. We have offerings for physical, mental and social stability and health, and show that we care about our employees in today's ever-changing situations."
The big challenge for a holistic portfolio is to orchestrate the various formats, measures, and tools in such a way that they form a functioning and interlocking ecosystem for health and well-being. To do this, we focus on five dimensions when it comes to wellbeing: Mental Strength, Sleep/Recovery, Exercise, Nutrition, and Balance between Physical and Virtual Environment.
We want to continue to enable the best offers for our employees. That is why we have set ourselves three goals for 2022:
- Holistic Portfolio: For a holistic portfolio, we create a shared vision of "Wellbeing". We take into account the interconnectedness of the relevant offerings in the company, the diversity of the target groups and pay attention to the sustainability of the measures.
- Mental Strength: Continue to strengthen mental, emotional & physical well-being by continuing the "My Health Journey" with offerings on mindfulness, resilience and self-leadership.
- User Experience: Improving the user experience and the reach of communication. In this way, we want to attract even more internal users and increase awareness of the topic of well-being.