Wellness as part of our Safety and Health Roadmap
To date, Nestlé’s workplace wellness activities have been largely driven by individual needs at the country level and have focused on issues such as employee assistance programmes, counselling, fitness centre provision, smoking cessation, stress management, health screenings and other services.
This section of the report will provide a snapshot of our activities across different countries prior to the implementation of the Safety and Health Roadmap. We will report in more detail on the Roadmap in subsequent Nestlé in Society reports.
Enhancing work-life environment
Nestlé’s ability to provide working conditions that match the expectations of our workforce is key to our continued success. The work-life environment is an important aspect of workplace wellness. Our recently launched Policy on Conditions of Work and Employment outlines our commitments in terms of ‘Work-life environment’, which includes providing work-life flexibility and lifestyle and wellness programmes.
Encouraging work-life flexibility
Nestlé recognises that employees need and expect to work flexibly, so that they can connect their busy work and home lives. It makes business sense for us to do this since we want to attract talented individuals who can manage their time efficiently and productively.
Following the launch of the ‘Flexible Work Environment at Nestlé Guidelines’, more than 20 countries including at the global headquarters launched their own flexibility guidelines, clearly outlining how the working culture is based on performance, not presence.
In early 2012, we launched a practical guide (‘Flexible Working Arrangements’) to help managers and employees in our head office explore flexible working practices. The new guidance clarifies potential options for flexible work arrangements including changes to working times, changes to working locationand ‘career pacing’ opportunities such as sabbaticals or education leave.
In July 2012, we launched the Service Centre, a pilot project at headquarters is Switzerland to provide employees with services designed to ease their lives.
Lifestyle and wellness programmes
Work-related stress is becoming the leading cause of lost work days in many countries. Nestlé has been committed to understanding the causes and remedies for stress for a number of years. For example, between 2008 and 2011, Nestlé Switzerland was involved in a pilot stress management project called SWiNG which examined workplace stress through online assessment. We continue to use the online assessment (Stress-Tool) at our Nestlé Switzerland head office and some factories in the country.
Nestlé Japan started an initiative on stress and resilience that was well-received by employees.
Proactively, we’re working on a range of health promotion initiatives across our country operations globally to address this important issue. For example, in 2012, Nestlé Brazil, Nestlé Mexico and Nestlé USA supported Wellness Week, an initiative of the Pan-American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). In the United States, we ran a series of programmes to achieve a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, preventative care and a balanced diet at 12 sites, reaching more than 2,100 employees.
Working-time and parental support
In addition to the work-life commitments outlined in our Policy on Conditions of Work and Employment, we continue to focus on other areas of work-life balance and flexible working conditions, including:
Encouraging fair working time: Working hours represent an important element of work-life flexibility. In 2012, Nestlé introduced a commitment to limit working time to a maximum of 60 hours per week in all our operations (where no relevant local rules are in place, or where maximum working time limits are higher). To ensure this commitment is adhered to, from 2013, Nestlé’s Human Resources function is being tasked with enabling managers to take responsibility for promoting and encouraging reasonable working times consistent with this Policy.
Supporting new parents: Nestlé’s maternity and paternity leave is guided by legislation at country-level. Both Japan and Italy have introduced parental leave where fathers are allowed to take two weeks paid time off with their new family member. We offer support to new and existing parents in a number of ways. For example, young families can use crèches at approximately 10 head office locations. Two factories, Japan and Pakistan, also recently opened crèches. We also offer breast-feeding rooms at a number of our head offices and factories. New fathers are offered paternal leave to spend time with their families.
Return to work and retention rates after child-birth are useful indicators of work-life satisfaction and work-life flexibility. Looking at employees who took parental leave over a 12-month period, the return-to-work and retention rates following parental leave were 89% for women (2011: 70%) and 92% for men respectively (2011: 79%).
The diversity section also details our Gender Balance initiative that, amongst other things, promotes work-life flexibility initiatives for both men and women.
Disease prevention programmes
We continue to develop disease prevention programmes at many of our sites and offices. Among other things, these programmes provide vaccinations, HIV/AIDS prevention information and care in some low-income countries, cardiovascular and diabetes testing, and distribution of impregnated mosquito bed nets to prevent the transmission of malaria. The programmes are delivered or managed locally by occupational health professionals, nutritionists and rehabilitation experts, with support from other voluntary ‘site champions’, Human Resources and other business functions.