Our policies speak to our relationship with our employees, says Juliet Edmonds of Orange
We have a close relationship with our employees and want to maintain that, so we have embedded our wellbeing policies around that relationship. Orange is a large organisation with workforces deployed across the globe, but with a strong culture around employee wellbeing. People’s needs are different from country to country, so our wellbeing policies are adapted for those local contexts. For example one company in the UK has an older workforce demographic and their wellbeing needs are different, so we are focusing on three main areas of wellbeing: physical, financial and mental health to support them.
Alongside our main benefits offering, which includes on-site physical health sessions, free vaccinations and awareness seminars about various medical conditions, we are also focusing on menopause support. We want to create an inclusive culture where people feel supported in the later stages of their career, and we want our retention levels to be good so our skilled workers can hand over their knowledge to the next cohort of recruits.
In terms of recruitment and retention, we take our wellbeing benefits seriously. Our local entities are required to prepare their policies to present to the group and they have to include the levels of benefits that meet our core principles, for example, health coverage and insurance protection for employees.
A competitive advantage
Ultimately, we need to be an attractive employer and be able to attract and retain skills in the market. Our benefits package is a critical part of our recruitment strategy and we regard it as our main differentiator from the competition.
We are competing for highly in-demand skills such as IT and cyber, so for us to be attractive to that talent we have to offer something people really want.
Having an extensive wellbeing programme is key, because that is what potential employees are demanding these days, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic. It is not about how much base pay or bonus they get, it is knowing the company will support them and the wellbeing offering is important.
It makes business sense as it is part of our culture and helps secure a good talent pipeline. Obviously, in terms of funding this, we have to be realistic, but we recognise the benefits of offering a wellbeing package, and that it gives us the edge in the war for talent.