Business Development | Case study: Fujitsu's three-fold EAP utilisation

Case study: Fujitsu's three-fold EAP utilisation

By Tracey Ward, Head of Business Development & Marketing at Generali UK Employee Benefits

Against a backdrop of less than 5% average EAP utilisation in the UK, Generali UK’s client Fujitsu independently reported a three-fold increase in their EAP utilisation in recent years. We hosted a webinar with Fujitsu’s Amanda Hammond, Wellbeing Programmes Lead, and Lorna Hawkes, UK Benefits Manager, to find out more.

Steve Smythe, Senior Employee Benefits Business Development Manager, Generali UK who has been working closely with Fujitsu UK in relation to their Group Income Protection scheme, asked: What does wellbeing resource look like at Fujitsu?

Amanda: At Fujitsu UK, we have around 6,500 employees. I sit in the diversity, inclusion and wellbeing team; a team of three that works very closely with other parts of the HR team. So, I work closely with Lorna, as our benefits manager. We also have a large network of wellbeing champions, who support the driving of wellbeing initiatives throughout the organisation.

Steve: Was there a conscious decision to work on your EAP utilisation? Or did it just form part of a bigger picture of mental health support at Fujitsu?

Lorna: There was no conscious decision to increase EAP usage. We had some feedback when we renewed the contract last time around that, being around 70-75% male in our organisation, men might not feel as happy picking up the phone as women might be. So, we pushed things like the app to encourage people to have it downloaded on their phones, so that they just have it to hand should they need to reach out and make contact. That could be via a text message, or online chat, not necessarily a call.

What we wanted to do was just to make sure everyone knew what was available to them, not with intention of trying to increase usage; that just happened as a by-product.

Steve: What are some of the key ways you support utilisation of the EAP?

Amanda: We do this in a number of different ways. Firstly, awareness and education; making sure everyone knows about the EAP and the services available to them. We’ve done a lot of work in terms of promoting EAP. We’re not just focusing on the counselling aspect though. We wanted people to understand all the different ways that EAP can help. The proactive things, like providing legal advice, financial advice. Those sorts of things.

As well as awareness sessions for employees, we have a regular manager webcast. All of our people managers attend and we regularly remind them about EAP on those calls. Also, our employee resource groups. We have an Inclusive Community through which we promote the EAP as well.

The other key aspect is around creating an open mental health culture, where people feel able to talk about mental health and able to access the support they need, when they need it.

Again, this is where our line managers are key. We’ve done a lot of training with our line managers in terms of helping them spot the signs of people struggling with their mental wellbeing. Also, in terms of how to promote a positive mental wellbeing culture.

We’ve also created an environment where people hopefully feel able to share their own stories; personal examples of where they might have found things difficult and needed help and support. We’ve had lots of people throughout recent years sharing their stories, whether via webcast, blog post or social. And that’s been from leadership level, all the way through the organisation. Again, this helps create that environment where people feel it’s OK to talk.

Finally, the use of technology. The great thing about our EAP is there’s an app, as Lorna mentioned. This provides another way for people to access EAP. There’s a live chat function, so if people don’t want to pick up the phone, they can use that facility instead. There’s also their website, with lots of podcasts, articles and other resources. We promote that too.

Steve: In terms of proactive, everyday usage by employees, can you give us some examples of that?

Lorna: Yes, it’s always pointed out to us how high our legal service usage is. And one of the stories that’s known throughout Fujitsu is that one of our senior people was having a neighbour dispute to do with leylandii, and they received some really helpful input from the legal team at our EAP provider. That’s an example of where someone willingly shared their story.

Other examples include a situation where someone bought a car that wasn’t as legitimate as they thought. We’ve also had parking fines disputed. All manner of different everyday examples that people have willingly shared when we’ve asked them what benefits they’ve got from the EAP.

And whilst the legal service won’t write the letter for you, they’ll tell you the kind of things that need to be included. That’s really invaluable to people, because the cost of getting such professional support independently would be quite high.

And we all know how those kind of things, if not dealt with, can play on your mind and cause worry and stress, so it’s good to nip them in the bud.

Steve: You mentioned earlier about line manager training. Can you tell us a bit more about what that entails and how it’s weaved into wellbeing support at Fujitsu.

Amanda: We have lots of different manager training programmes. One of the key ones is called “shape your leadership”. That’s a series of really practical training sessions on all sorts of different topics, including wellbeing. We’ve run sessions on things like having difficult conversations and spotting the signs of poor mental wellbeing.

We get really great feedback from our managers about these, and we’ll always weave EAP support into those sessions.

We build on the formal training with more informal conversations with managers, such as the regular manager webcasts that I mentioned earlier, where we always promote EAP. We also encourage managers to call the EAP Manager Referral service for help and support for themselves when they’ve perhaps got an employee who might be struggling. It helps give them confidence that support is there for them too.

Steve: Do all managers do this?

Amanda: We have a manager training programme, called FMAP – the Fujitsu Managers Accreditation Programme. It’s split into bronze, silver and gold levels. All managers undertake this training, which is split up into various modules and wellbeing represents one of the modules.

At the end of each level, the manager has a 360 degree feedback process. They go out to their employees to gain the feedback and that determines whether they’ve achieved that level or not. We don’t really have a pass or fail, but if it’s felt that a manager hasn’t quite achieved a level, based on the feedback, we’ll work with them to get there. We get great feedback from managers on this; they find it really helpful.

*To receive a free recording of the 35-minute webinar ‘Fujitsu on demonstrating EAP value of investment’ please email [email protected]

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All information contained herein represents the views and opinions of the author as at the date of writing and is provided for general information only. Nothing herein constitutes or is intended to constitute financial or other form of advice and no individual should rely upon the information provided in making a specific investment decision without first seeking independent professional advice.

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