CONVERSATION WITH GERALDINE KING, THE WORKPLACE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELLBEING MANAGER, CITIBANK
Join host Terry Robson in a lively discussion with Geraldine King, Citibank's Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager. Geraldine, who started her early career as a registered OH&S nurse, is now the occupational health advisor at Citbanki. In this podcast, she discusses the health infrastructure and systems needed to support the employees of an organisation as busy and progressive as Citibank. When you work in a corporate space, chances are you spend most of the day sedentary. Corporate jobs require hours of office work and intellectual output from professionals making hours of sitting a common consequence. Getting that high-pressured project done on time can leave these workers computer bound and stressed. The broader issue is that corporate spaces are in need of a movement, physically yes, but culturally more so. We have all been exposed to the facts and risks of remaining still and stressed for long periods throughout the day. Citibank is taking a stand, and addressing the health and wellness risks associated with sedentary office work; the increased muscle aches, back pains and mental grievances. Also, in an office environment as busy as Citi, King discusses workers worry. “Someone might miss a big digit at the end of an important sum”, everything is a collaborative team effort and there is the possibility that a mistake will have a chain reaction on the company. Determined focus, keeping sharp and accomplishing a project that requires being stationed to a desk is, at times, the nature of the job. So how does a wellbeing advisor like King, help build wellness for employees whilst keeping true to their job requirements- being a professional working in finance? King discusses why a company needs to set parameters, proactively send out services, and see individuals for one on one consultations where necessary. She discusses ergonomic sweeps, which means assessing the office and creating the preventive measures that will promote better wellness in the corporate space. And when it comes to dealing with mental health in the office, this also means dealing with internal and external social misconceptions and stigma. According to King, finding and promoting people who are willing to advocate mental health in the organisation, is an effective way of breaking down mental health barriers at work. King is helping us pave the way in how we approach professionals suffering with mental distress, a life crisis, illness or burnout. She suggests a flexible approach to wellbeing, not just a one-size-fits-all. Depending on their situation, workers might start their days off later, leave earlier, have a few rest days in between or take a few weeks off- it will all depend on what they need and what health professionals recommend. In this approach, you don’t lose staff to a health discrepancy or a social crisis, instead you build long-term employee loyalty and rapport. Listen and you will learn how King is facilitating a culture that helps managers lead and build emotional intelligence, both in themselves and in their teams. She discusses why leadership style is a crucial to driving office wellness and how top down leadership is fundamental to overall employee culture. You will also hear why flexibility is synonymous to the needs of the modern day worker and how wellness advisor’s like King assist the flexible movement, promote office flexibility and push barriers.