Aludyne, a lightweight solutions and components supplier to the mobility industry, employs close to 5,000 individuals globally. Over the past three years, the company has increased investment and resources to help employees live happier, healthier lives.
The Employee Well-Being Climate
Aludyne has developed a culture that prioritizes employee health and well-being in the workplace and beyond by investing in initiatives that promote physical and mental health, career growth, and workplace belonging. Jenifer Zbiegien, chief human resources officer and vice president of marketing, leads employee well-being efforts with her HR team.
Aludyne’s COVID-19 Response Plan
To develop an effective COVID-19 response plan, Zbiegien and her team first needed to identify challenges employees were facing. Through conversations, surveys, and anonymous submissions, the team was able to pinpoint challenges.
“You hear concerns about money, you hear concerns about wellness, well-being, and stress, so we came up with ways to bring the conversation forward,” said Zbiegien.
After talking with staff, the HR team found higher stress levels among staff due to concerns about the supply chain, turnover, limited resources, adjusting to remote work, and uncertainty around navigating the pandemic’s impact on their personal lives.
To address these concerns, Zbiegien and her team created a plan to assist staff with challenges at work and at home. Challenges addressed include:
- Job security. Transparency is key to building trust among employees and easing stress around job security.
- Financial well-being. Aludyne offers complimentary financial education webinars to help employees better manage their money. Leadership also increased wages across most locations in 2021 to better assist staff.
- Emotional and physical well-being. The HR team regularly shares educational information across company channels about the importance of meditation, mindfulness, and physical activity.
- Belonging. Introduced in 2021, Aludyne’s belonging initiative is working to create a diverse environment where employees feel valued, appreciated, and included.
Leadership’s Role in Health Promotion
While the HR team directly influences the implementation of well-being efforts throughout the organization, they rely on those in leadership and management roles for support. Zbiegien consistently reminds those in leadership roles, “You are the leaders, what are you doing to help break down barriers for your employees and make it a better place for them to work? What are you doing to hear their concerns? What are their pain points at work and how can we help resolve those?”
Navigating the COVID-19 Vaccine
Aludyne is educating and highly encouraging employees to get vaccinated. While the company has offered small incentives for vaccinated employees, “It’s all about educating, said Zbiegien. “We continue to educate almost every week on different areas when it comes to the vaccine.”
Credible resources and information are distributed through Aludyne’s employee intranet, newsletters, and discussed during regular calls.
“Staff appreciate not having to filter through the misinformation,” said Zbiegien. “We provide them with credible information from the CDC, the WHO, places that aren’t politically based but more science-based.”
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine remains the most effective way to avoid serious illness from circulating Coronavirus variants. For a comprehensive guide on navigating COVID-19 vaccine education and encouragement in the workplace, download the complimentary employer guide.
- In 2021, Aludyne introduced its belonging initiative which aims to create a diverse environment where employees feel valued, appreciated, and that they belong. The program features book clubs and monthly meetings for employees to share their experiences and better understand different perspectives.
“We want to do a lot more community outreach in 2022,” said Zbiegien. “2021 was all about creating the structure. This year is going to be all about filling in that framework and really maturing the belonging initiative.”
Retention and Attraction in 2022
- Career growth is an essential element of well-being. Aludyne leadership developed career paths throughout the organization that differ from traditional linear-based growth. In 2022, The HR team wants to focus more on communicating, advertising, and strengthening those paths, to encourage personal growth in many areas. This will support the belonging initiative, increase retention, and help with talent attraction.
“Talent in general is going to be challenging in 2022,” said Zbiegien. “The more we can do to work with our employees to help them grow their careers is going to benefit us but also benefit them.”
Advice for Peer Employers
Throughout Southeast Michigan, employers are exploring best practices when it comes to developing a robust employee well-being initiative. To take the first step, Zbiegien recommends, “start by listening to your employees – it doesn’t cost anything, it just takes some time. Ask them about their pain points, what are their concerns and frustrations on the job or outside the job.”
Zbiegien also recommends employers take advantage of complimentary resources from:
- Health care providers. Aludyne partners with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and utilizes complimentary tools from MI Blues Perspectives and Virtual Well-Being Webinars often.
- Employee Assistance Programs.
- Wellness Works.
One of the biggest lessons Zbiegien has been trying to teach the HR team throughout the pandemic is to remember to be kind to one another. “HR isn’t allowed to have a bad day,” she said, so remembering to be kind, patient, and non-judgmental is helping Aludyne’s HR team support one another along with the rest of the company.