The start of 2023 marks not only the beginning of a new year but also the long-awaited moment that Hong Kong is finally on the path to resuming normalcy in both the social and economic context following the border reopening between the city and Mainland China since the outbreak of COVID-19 three years ago. 

All of us would agree that the pandemic has brought disruptions in many aspects of our lives. It makes us rethink the way we live and work. Work-life balance, hybrid work, and career resilience have therefore come into the limelight.

In the recent study of Mercer Global Talent Trends, it was revealed that benefits and support for staff wellbeing are a priority for employees, with almost a third of respondents happy to trade salary increases for additional wellbeing benefits for themselves and their families, including medical coverage. 85 percent of HR leaders recognise the need for hyper-personalisation to ensure benefits attract and retain talent.

Against this backdrop, we must be agile to keep pace with change in the labour market and to implement people strategies in a timely manner to ensure organisational resilience.  Leveraging market benchmarks, the voices of employees, and data, we have enhanced a suite of benefits at DBS Hong Kong since September 2022 with the aim of supporting the holistic wellbeing of our people and making them feel supported, valued, and cared for at all times.

Flexible Wellness Programme Customised for Every Individual

In the post-pandemic era, agility and flexibility are key for organisations to stay competitive as we embrace the future of work. The same rationale shall apply to employee benefits to cater to and accommodate the changing needs of our diverse employees and their dependants, which vary at different life stages. 

“Organisations have a role to play in creating a mentally healthy workplace, which leads to enhanced job satisfaction among employees and higher productivity.”

At DBS, employees’ Wellbeing has always been and will continue to be our priority. We take this agile and flexible approach and offer hyper-personalised benefits and wellness programs to our people, in which they feel invested and cared for. We launched iFlex for our employees, which provides them with choice and flexibility in selecting medical, risk, and wellness benefits that support the unique health and wellness needs of themselves and their dependants. Credit points, namely iFlex$, are allocated to our employees’ iFlex wallets, with which they can purchase desired coverage for medical and risk benefits. They can also use the iFlex$ on wellness items, ranging from work-from-home furniture and gadgets to fitness club memberships, spa or massage treatments, and even pet care.

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle via Reward Programme

Habits shape our lives in many ways. It is important that we adopt good habits to live a longer and healthier life. In the research paper “The Future of Wellbeing,” published by Gartner, it is suggested a two-pronged strategy be taken where a mix of responsive and preventive tactics are applied when curating wellbeing offerings for employees. Apart from the provision of flexible health and wellness coverage for staff, employers also need to take a proactive approach to encourage staff to take charge of their own well-being, say by making exercise a habit, for example. Gamification can be a useful tool as it helps boost engagement and motivation by injecting fun and interactive elements into our journey towards a healthy lifestyle.

At DBS, iFit will be launched later this year to encourage employees to take on challenges for their well-being. Upon completion, they are rewarded with additional wellness points, which can be used for expense claims for health and wellness-related items. We believe the reward program would cultivate a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment among employees, which would reinforce their efforts and behaviours to take care of their own well-being.

All-in-one Employee Assistance Programme for Work-life Support

Employees’ mental Wellbeing is of equal importance to their physical Wellbeing. According to the Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey by the McKinsey Health Institute, conducted across 15 countries and nearly 15,000 employees, around 60 percent of employees have experienced at least one mental-health challenge at some point in their lives. Organisations have a role to play in creating a mentally healthy workplace, which leads to enhanced job satisfaction among employees and higher productivity.  

An all-round employee assistance program (EAP) is thus necessary for supporting employees and their family members on any work-related or personal issues throughout different life stages. Timeliness, accessibility, and confidentiality are pivotal to EAPs. At DBS, our EAP, which is named iOK, offers 24/7 round-the-clock service by trained psychologists and counsellors in more than 60 languages. Access is easy, free, and confidential, while employees can choose to remain anonymous during consultations.

In addition to counselling services around mental health issues, the scope of our EAP also extends to being a concierge, helping employees with a variety of topics such as identifying solutions for child and elderly care and connecting them to legal and financial service providers in the city. This helps free the mind of employees from their personal errands and enables them to concentrate on work.

A compelling employee value proposition (EVP) is what sets an organisation apart from its industry peers, especially when it comes to recruitment and retention. DBS, as a different kind of bank, is committed to creating a great workplace for employees to live fulfilled the way they define it: be the best they can be, drive change, and make a difference, supported by comprehensive coverage and tailored benefits. Together, we are to reach our next horizon: being the Best Bank for a Better World.