If you ask Astrid Baidjoe of the Health department what drives her, she says: “I strive for every Royal IHC employee to return home from work in good health every day.” That is an apt summary of her function. The coming years will be dominated by a focus on increasing the sustainable employability of Royal IHC employees, with vitality, competence, agility, culture and leadership being central to promoting the enthusiasm of all employees.
Within Royal IHC, Astrid is mainly concerned with vitality, which is high on the agenda. Astrid indicates: “As an organisation we recognise the importance of a healthy and energetic working environment, where employees can function optimally. To prevent absenteeism and to contribute to the personal well-being of employees, we implement various initiatives in the field of vitality.” There is a Mental Health project group for this, where Astrid is the project leader.
First of all, a lot of attention is paid to movement and body awareness. “Employees are encouraged to exercise regularly and to participate in sports activities. For example, we organise sporting events, such as football tournaments, walking tours and running competitions, in which colleagues can participate. A sports committee has been appointed for this purpose. In addition, there are facilities available, such as our own company fitness centre at the Kinderdijk work location. To promote the fitness of employees, employees can go to the company fitness centre before or after working hours. Employees can also use the 'sustainable employability day' laid down in the collective labor agreement to use the company fitness centre for a year in exchange. It is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.”
In addition to exercise, mental health is also an important aspect of vitality. Royal IHC offers various programs and workshops to support employees in stress management, relaxation techniques and improving work-life balance. This can vary from mindfulness sessions to trainings focused on personal development and resilience.
In addition, Royal IHC invests in ergonomic working conditions. “We provide ergonomic workplaces and facilitate regular breaks to prevent physical complaints. Employees are encouraged to discuss their ergonomic needs and raise any issues early so that appropriate solutions can be found.” Support is also offered in the field of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. “We regularly organise workshops and information sessions about healthy nutrition and encourage healthy choices in the company restaurants.”
A good work-life balance is essential to the well-being of our employees. We promote this by, among other things, applying flexible working hours and home working options as much as possible.Astrid Baidjoe - Senior Health Specialist
This gives our employees the opportunity to combine their work with their personal lives, which can lead to more job satisfaction and involvement. Employees also have access to professional resources to improve their physical and mental well-being. For example, if situations arise in the workplace that can cause psycho-social workload, confidential advisers have been appointed.
There is also a possibility to deploy the company social worker. This can be done preventively or during sick leave. The company physiotherapist makes the connection between the physical limitation and work posture and movement behavior for the employee and draws up a treatment plan. The company physiotherapist can also draw up a schedule for exercises that can be performed in the company fitness center.
As Senior Health Specialist, Astrid not only focuses on the well-being and health of Royal IHC colleagues, she also believes it is important to properly implement the absenteeism policy in order to reduce the absenteeism percentage, among other things.
While colleagues from sister department SHE-Q (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) focus organisation-wide on preventing industrial accidents and environmental damage, Astrid pays daily attention to how Royal IHC can help individual employees with health problems to return to full-time employment. She advises a team of approximately ten HR Business Partners, who closely monitor the case management of recovering employees together with the managers. The aim is to have the absent employee return to work as soon as possible, in collaboration with the company doctor/absenteeism consultant.
Astrid also advises management, analyses absenteeism trends and identifies patterns within the company, so that targeted measures can be taken to further reduce absenteeism. She is also the contact person for contacts with HRM service providers. Special attention will be paid to preventive medical examinations and to themes such as work-life balance, exercise, nutrition and mental health.
By implementing these strategies and measures, the aim is to reduce absenteeism and promote a healthy and productive work environment. The team continues to invest in employee well-being through preventive measures, support and creating a positive company culture that emphasises the importance of health and well-being.
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