Over the past year, Knauf Insulation has been investing in the well-being of its team by helping them discover a greater purpose to their work.
Well-being has once again been at the centre of Knauf Insulation’s activities during 2022. One area of focus in particular has been helping employees to feel empowered and driven by their own unique purpose.
Katja Pruša, HR Director for Systems Division, explains: “We want our employees to be activated, empowered people who strive to make a difference, not just in our company but society too.”
A number of initiatives have been undertaken during the past year to help employees uncover their purpose, including workshops via the Living with a Green Heart initiative, which was started this year in Slovenia.
The Living with a Green Heart initiative launched by Knauf Insulation Systems Division in Slovenia promotes a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, with particular emphasis on societal and social sustainable development. It places an informed individual at the forefront of the sustainable transformation of society.
Katja says: “In the Living with a Green Heart social sustainability workshops, we held ‘Green Warrior’ circles, initially for our teams involved in customer relations, where we explored the most important elements of people’s well-being according to PERMA theoretical research from Martin Seligman.
“Martin Seligman’s PERMA theory of well-being involves five building blocks – Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment (PERMA). The workshops allowed space for open, honest discussion where we talked about each of these elements.
“The aim of these discussions was to raise awareness of how important it is to have activated and empowered people in regards to their well-being, and enable them to think what they can do to work towards a greater goal. We want to provide individuals with the tools and knowledge of things we can all do to live full lives and flourish.”
Alongside the workshops, Knauf Insulation’s teams have been rolling out other initiatives, such as employee questionnaires, developing external standards and encouraging open, honest conversations.
Katja says: “There are also smaller steps to staying positive and promoting well-being in the workplace. Keeping a gratitude journal and regularly reflecting are little things we can all do. We’re also rolling out an employee assistance programme, which will be launched during our Mental Health Week.
“However, as an employer when it comes to well-being, we don’t want to just focus on vanity benefits, such as gym memberships or fitness programmes to promote positive wellbeing. We want to create an environment where people can make real, positive social change. We want individuals to feel like they can use this approach to influence those around them and have a great impact on the communities they are in.
“We’re all striving towards a greater good and this way of thinking is so powerful when trying to create change, both in our business and the wider world.”
When it comes to Knauf Insulation’s ultimate goal for well-being, Katja explains that it’s to build an environment that empowers people. To do this, there are three distinct areas of focus:
“To create change, we need to start from the top down. Our leaders must drive this change and act as role models. This is why we are investing in leadership upskilling, with workshops and individual and team coaching processes.
“We are looking at people related processes in every aspect of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment, onboarding, development, performance management and more, and asking: What is the experience of our employees in this process? How can we strengthen it? Are we creating those two-way conversations between individuals and their managers? Are we empowering people to take ownership of their goals and well-being?”
“Recognition is huge. Our teams deserve to be acknowledged for what they have done and this is why feedback is essential. It’s important for us to take the time to pause and reflect on what we’ve achieved rather than constantly striving forward. Implementing diverse recognition systems, like we have done, is important, but at the end of the day it’s on every one of us to use them and to recognise others. And what we often value most are sincere words of appreciation."
“Creating this sense of belonging is key to well-being. We all want to feel part of something bigger in the workplace but we also want to feel like we can be our true selves at work. This is why our Diversity & Inclusion activities are so important.”
Belonging isn’t also just good for employee well-being – it’s also good for business. Studies show that workplace belonging leads to increased job performance and 50% reduction in employee turnover.
[Source: BetterUp: The Value of Belonging at Work: Investing in Workplace Inclusion report https://grow.betterup.com/resources/the-value-of-belonging-at-work-the-business-case-for-investing-in-workplace-inclusion-event]
Katja concludes: “Our people have overcome so much and have shown their resilience. Coming out of the initial COVID lockdowns really allowed people to shine, showing their true colours in a time of need. We really have amazing people working for us and I feel proud of the work that we do. This is why it’s vital we continue to care for them, look after their well-being and help them be empowered workers and citizens.”