Liberty Global builds resilience through employee wellbeing initiatives

Liberty Global employs more than 20,200 people around the world, providing services including broadband, video and fixed and mobile telephony. While responsibility for resilience and employee wellbeing falls to the different brands within the group, Catherine Bamania, director of international benefits at Liberty Global, looks after the needs of the 2,000 employees working in the UK, the Netherlands and the US. “We had always provided a variety of wellbeing support including an employee assistance programme (EAP), gym discounts and health-related content on our learning platform but, when the pandemic happened, we knew we had to do more,” she says. “We started surveying employees in lockdown to find out how they were coping and we could see there was a lot of anxiety and wellbeing was suffering.”

To address this, Liberty Global launched a wellbeing framework focusing on four key areas – physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing. Content was promoted in each area, with initiatives such as Wellbeing Wednesday, webinars with wellbeing experts and free access to relaxation app, Calm, helping to drive up engagement.

Pandemic-specific initiatives were also introduced. These included the opportunity to take time out to volunteer and a support package through the Liberty Global Response Fund for employees who needed financial assistance.

Employee feedback about these resilience-building initiatives is very positive, with surveys showing it helped to improve wellbeing, especially during the first lockdown. “We will definitely continue to offer support and we’re now looking to embed wellbeing into the way we operate and our culture,” explains Bamania.

As part of this, employees are being encouraged to think about how they might improve their wellbeing, for instance, replacing back-to-back meetings with shorter ones and building thinking and designing time into their day. “We’re empowering employees to do what works for them and the business,” she adds. “It’s important to learn from the pandemic and use that experience to create a workplace that really supports employee wellbeing and resilience.”