Wellness at Blackhawk Network Europe

At Blackhawk the health and wellbeing of our employees is our top priority. We spoke to Katie Rose, HR Business partner and BHN Europe’s wellbeing champion to find out how BHN support their people.

What does Wellness mean at BHN?

Wellness at Blackhawk Network is a key focus and we cover all aspects of wellness including financial, mental, physical and social. We encourage healthy habits and ensure our people have the knowledge and resources to be able to prioritise their health. We recognise that each of the dimensions of wellness are interlinked and if one area is off-balance, then it can very quickly start to impact the rest. That’s why we recognise its important that we provide support to everyone within the business no matter if they are struggling and need additional support or if they are well but looking to maintain their healthy habits.

How do HR support the mental health / wellness of its employees?

As a team along with our senior leadership team, we have ensured wellness at Blackhawk Network is a priority. We plan wellbeing campaigns and each year they gain more engagement and momentum. We ensure there are a package of support resources including our employee assistance programme and occupational health to ensure everyone can access support when they need it the most. We have also run mental health training for our managers and plan to do more this year.

Our wellbeing campaigns include a jam packed programme of events. In previous years, we have had puppy therapy sessions, fitness boot camps, team rounder games, static bike challenges and more, which have been so much fun and brought the team together. We also have had charities and experts run webinars and on-site talks where they provide more information on topics such as ‘staying financially fit’ as well as how to cope with caring responsibilities.

What benefits / initiatives do we have in place to support our employees

During the pandemic, we noticed we needed to adapt some of our support resources so we implemented tailored initiatives to assist employee with the shift to remote working. Firstly, we launched an all encompassing digitial wellbeing platform which offered both live and on demand fitness classes, from yoga sessions for beginners through to advanced, stretch and posture exercises and dance yourself fit sessions. We also had a digital wellbeing series which delivered talks such as top tips for self-care, anxiety during the pandemic and lots more.

During the height of the pandemic, the majority of our teams had to make a sudden shift and all work remotely. Many of us were not having to commute to and from work and so there wasn’t that natural break at the end of the working day. We wanted to help support individuals to prioritise their health and encourage a healthy work/life balance. We therefore implemented some key wellbeing initiatives such as ‘time for me’ which gave everyone within the business 2 hours wellbeing time during the working week or 4 hours over a fortnight. This was received really well and gave those who had busy schedules to have some time back for themselves.

Equally, due to remote working, many of us were having numerous video calls, which we soon learnt resulted in many of us having ‘Zoom Fatigue’. We listened to our teams and implemented ‘No Zoom Fridays’; this ensured individuals had a break from videos and gave them some focus time instead.

What external parties do BHN engage with to help raise awareness of mental health and wellness?

We work with a number of excellent and knowledgeable companies and individuals who are all experts in their field. Wellness encompasses a large variety of topics and its important for any business and HR team to get up to date with relevant topics. We also work with charities plus our benefit providers to ensure we are receiving up to date and relevant guidance on what is happening in the external environment to understand the current trends and tailor the resources within the business accordingly.