If a colleague came in bleeding from the head, it’s unlikely you’d ignore them or not offer help. But our mental health is not always as visible. That’s why conversation is so important, says Steve Callaghan, Director, Product Management at Mastercard®. Mastercard is a silver sponsor for Karryon’s first event in its Open Mindset series which will focus on mental wellbeing in the travel industry.
You probably know Steve and his work in the industry with Mastercard® Cash Passport™. Karryon caught up with Steve and his Mastercard colleague Cristina Prazsmari Vice President, People Business Partner Australasia to talk about why mental wellbeing matters and how a not strictly travel company supports its people.
Why has Mastercard committed to sponsoring our Open Mindset initiative?
At Mastercard, we believe in doing well by doing good. Supporting an initiative like Open Mindset is a great opportunity for us to walk the talk.
We truly value our travel industry partners and when you look back at the significant challenges that the travel industry has been through, this is a very needed and timely topic to be focusing on. It is refreshing and brave to be discussing and equipping the amazing people who work in the industry with tools to manage and bring health to this very important aspect of their lives.
Why do you feel an event like Open Mindset is needed?
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 8.5 million Australians aged 16-85 are estimated to have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life. Suicide is the leading cause of death of young people aged between 15 and 24. Unfortunately, our mental health and wellbeing is not something that can often be seen. It needs to be talked about. If we see friends, work mates or people we come into contact with on a daily basis who are physically hurting, it is our natural reaction to talk about it and see if they are OK and support them any way we can.
We need to normalise and openly discuss the reality that people struggle with their mental wellbeing. And it can hurt. It needs to be supported just as much as the physical issues. We also need to openly discuss and teach people how to meaningfully support those who are struggling. This is especially timely after not just the lockdown but also the crazy business of the travel recovery.
This is an industry that needs to take a breather and focus on healthy and positive wellbeing.
What are some of the initiatives that Mastercard has developed to support the mental health and overall wellbeing of its employees?
At Mastercard, our goal as an organisation is to create a robust, inclusive and resilient workforce to ensure employee wellbeing. Mastercard believes that our people and culture are at the core of everything we do. At the centre of our culture is The Mastercard Way. It’s our unifying mindset, unlocking potential and the behaviours that matter most in driving our success.
This starts with prioritising employees’ development and wellbeing. Our holistic wellbeing approach contains four pillars of wellbeing to support our employees.
- Physical: healthcare (medical, dental, vision), corporate athletic program, ergonomics assessment, onsite gym and fitness reimbursement (where available).
- Mental: access to Thrive Global, Virgin Pulse, Employee & Family Resource Program, Mental. Health Champions program, workplace flexibility (meeting free days, end of week flex time, work from elsewhere), and our leave programs (new parent, vacation/annual leave, bereavement leave and more).
- Financial: investing in you (company matches up to 10% of base pay to retirement plan), inclusive family building reimbursement, tuition assistance, business travel accident insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and employee assistance fund.
- Social: recognising you and work anniversary milestone, volunteer days, company matching gifts, volunteer incentive program, business resource groups.
We also have tools and resources available to employees that are accessible at any time:
- Thrive: A mental resilience and wellbeing platform that helps you move from awareness to action, improving mental wellbeing and unlocking potential by curbing stress and burnout. Think of it as your personal behaviour change coach that will empower you to make small changes that drive big impacts.
- Virgin Pulse: Holistic wellbeing platform offering a Health Check Survey, personalised daily wellbeing tips, digital coaching tool, healthy habit and activity challenges with colleagues, videos on yoga and mindfulness, sleep and nutrition guides.
- Employee and Family Resource Program (via Optum): Access to 1:1 short-term counselling for anxiety, depression, family support, career guidance, or just a little encouragement. EFRP is available 24/7 at no cost to employees/family members.
And lastly, we recognise that a commitment to wellbeing must be ongoing and come from all levels. Michael Fraccaro, our Global Chief People Officer, signed a pledge last year, alongside 80 other global leaders to publicly commit to an ongoing focus on employee wellbeing.
Additionally, 30% of our People Leaders in Australasia are trained and certified as Mental Health first aiders.
For more information about Cash Passport, visit the website: https://cashpassport.mastercard.com/.
The last tickets are for Open Mindset are going quickly. To be a part of this very important conversation, get your tickets now.
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