Banyan Tree leads by example and rolls out three new staff mental health initiatives
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Banyan Tree leads by example and rolls out three new staff mental health initiatives

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We initially developed the wellbeing Index as a form to assess the lifestyle of our guests, but we believe this should be extended to our team
– Lee Won Hoe

Banyan Tree Group has announced it’s rolling out three groupwide initiatives to promote wellbeing, in particular mental health, during COVID-19 and beyond.

The group is advocating for more corporate leaders to invest in mental health and heed the World Health Organisation’s call to address this historically neglected area.

Banyan Tree has begun by revamping its group wide staff training modules to be inspired by empathy, positive psychology and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). The new modules build in an experiential learning and facilitative approach.

Led by the Banyan Tree Management Academy and Wellbeing teams, the group describes this as an internal learning revolution that promotes resilience, self-awareness, and self-care.

“As leaders, it’s our job to help alleviate that for our teams at this time because we can only look after our guests when we look after our associates,” said Ho Renyung, VP of brand HQ and daughter of Banyan Tree’s founder, Ho Kwon Ping.

“While these initiatives were conceived pre-COVID-19, the pandemic has only elevated their importance because we’re in an industry that continues to be severely affected.”

In addition, the group is laying the groundwork to support associates’ wellbeing with the launch of Project T – a teletherapy service which partners with externally-certified wellbeing practitioners.

Available in English, Chinese or Thai languages, staff can benefit from complimentary professional sessions to learn stress management techniques, to apply at work and in their personal life.

Banyan Tree has also pivoted its usual annual associate survey to focus more on individual wellbeing. It’s planning to roll out an Organisational Wellbeing Index for its 10,000 associates globally at the end of 2020, with a set of 64 questions on lifestyle practices, based on Banyan’s eight pillars of wellbeing.

“We initially developed the Wellbeing Index as a form to assess the lifestyle of our guests, but we believe this should be extended to our team,” Lee Woon Hoe, executive director of wellbeing, explained to Spa Business.

After associates at a property fill in the details, Banyan Tree will then accumulate the results to pinpoint overall trends, strengths and weaknesses in employee wellbeing and work with the hotel’s management team to suggest appropriate guidelines, training and activities to address any issues.

Lee’s already trialled the index at three properties this year and is planning to launch it on a group-wide level by 2021.

Ho added: “We all have stress in our lives and we need a culture that seeks to collectively and individually address that. There’s no question that mental wellbeing is a vital component in building a resilient global workforce of the future.”

Read more about Banyan Tree and its vision for a COVID-19 world in the most recent issue of Spa Business here.

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Banyan Tree Group has announced it’s rolling out three groupwide initiatives to promote staff wellbeing, in particular mental health, during COVID-19 and beyond.
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