Employee engagement & wellness

Glaxo Wellcome Manufacturing Pte Ltd (GWM), located in Singapore, makes products for GSK (GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second-largest research-based pharmaceuticals and healthcare company).
Health and well-being initiatives to highlight Employee engagement & wellness:

GWM is a winner of the Singapore HEALTH award for its commitment to employee health and wellness. The company offers free comprehensive health screenings and a redesigned canteen featuring a variety of healthier food options compared with what was served in the past. Employees are also able to participate in workplace health activities during working hours, including physical activities.

• Revamped canteen: A volunteer committee of GWM employees initiated and supervised all changes to the canteen, based on inputs from fellow employees. Structural improvements provided a brighter, clean, relaxing atmosphere, with more space for quicker, simpler purchase of lunch, leaving more time to eat. The canteen provides a wider range of healthy foods to encourage workers to use the facilities. Menu changes include a salad bar, fruit, more grilled and steamed dishes, and fewer fried and oily dishes – all of which were employee requests. A dietician was hired to teach the cooking staff how to cook with less oil and salt, as well as other healthy tips, such as removing skin from chicken dishes to reduce cholesterol. Each day the canteen also prepares take-away dinners, a feature popular with working parents. Over 90% of GWM employees use the canteen; others bring a packed lunch. Canteen food during lunchtime and overtime is discounted by around US$1. The salad bar costs 80 cents, so with the lunchtime discount it is technically free.

• Promotion: Workers have access to water at newly installed water coolers around the GWM complex. The company aims to have the staff drink more water and fewer sugary drinks, and signs are posted around the building reminding employees that water has no calories, whereas coffee has 130 and fizzy drinks even more. Four times a year, GWM sponsors a “Fruit and Vegetable Day”, when employees get free fruit or vegetables and learn about their importance in lowering the risk of heart attacks and cancer. During bread fairs, a dietician teaches GWM employees how to make healthy sandwiches using wholegrain bread. (Bread is not a traditional Asian food.) At health fairs, vendors are allowed on site to sell health products and vitamin supplements. The nutrition initiative at GWM is complemented by an emphasis on physical activity and stress reduction.

• Health Screening: GWM received a grant from the Singapore Health Promotion Board (see Singapore case study) which went towards the health screening of employees.

Article: Employee engagement & wellness