Business has the power to change reality, especially in the time of the pandemic
According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 report, during the pandemic the society trusts employers and the private sector more than governments or NGOs. Over 60% of people in the world expect business to take actions focused on solving social problems. Today such goals are set by enterprises that are part of the global B Corp movement, i.e. companies referred to as “the best for the world”, which includes Polish businesses, Benefit Systems being among them. What needs and expectations should entrepreneurs meet today and what actions are they taking?
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, currently the involvement of companies in the area of information quality protection, sustainable practices or care for health and safety in the COVID-19 era has the greatest impact on the trust towards business. The expectations towards employers, which gained the most importance at the beginning of the year, include ensuring the safety of employees and customers as well as the implementation of training programmes developing professional competences.
Health as an important area of business activities
– During the pandemic, companies took responsibility for the health and safety of their employees on such a large scale for the first time. Many entities changed the way they function and work as well as implemented new solutions that were to support the psychophysical health of teams both in the office and during remote work almost overnight. It was no different in our case. Although the employees at Benefit Systems, the company that created the MultiSport Programme, have always been one of the most important stakeholder groups for us, the pandemic created new needs and prompted us to look for ways to meet them – says Rafał Mikołajczyk, Deputy Director of Communications and CSR at Benefit Systems.
As a result, a significant part of the Benefit Systems Group Non-Financial Report 2020 is dedicated to responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic regarding physical health and wellness.
– The most significant initiatives supporting employees that we undertook in 2020 include developing a new health safety strategy, providing access to free COVID-19 screening tests and personal protective equipment as well as introducing long-term online training programmes that support employees in the field of remote work and personal development. Adjusting the MultiSport Programme to online conditions and extending its offer with solutions supporting both physical and mental health was very important to us. Thanks to this, we were able to continue to support the active lifestyle and health of our team as well as hundreds of thousands of Poles using our services. We managed to achieve this, among others, through the #supportclubs campaign launched in March 2020, in which, in cooperation with our sports partners across the country, we activated the MultiSport card users during dedicated online classes. We also created completely new products, such as the Yes2Move.com training platform, which we also made available to our partners as a professional tool that they could use to expand their offer of services at this difficult time – explains Rafał Mikołajczyk.
Longer perspective of good practices in health
According to the “Health Capital” report prepared by the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers and the HR Association, as many as 82% of managers admitted that their companies had increased spending on investments in employees’ health due to COVID-19. In the same study, employers also indicated that in the future they want to build mental and physical resilience of their employees and take care of their healthy nutrition more than they do now.
– Public health is a very important area where business plays a significant role, and the pandemic has accelerated the shift in awareness in this regard. Employees are exposed to many different health ailments, from diseases of affluence, through diseases related to work ergonomics, to burnout or depression. We should be all the happier that many representatives have initiated or expanded activities in the area of health and intend to continue them – adds Rafał Mikołajczyk.
The trend of synergy between the private and public sectors to care for the health of societies is already clearly visible on foreign markets. The UK government recognises the importance of physical activity in its long-term plans connected with public health, thus sports venues are reopened first and closed last.
The social problems from before the pandemic are still relevant
Although the coronavirus pandemic and its effects dominate the public discussion in 2020, societies do not forget about the problems they have been facing for years. Today, climate change continues to be a source of concern for 72% of people all over the world.
–Despite the very difficult and new epidemic situation, like every year Benefit Systems highlighted five areas of great importance to B Corporation companies and not only implemented activities supporting both the above-mentioned employees, customers and local communities but also strengthened the management system and started working on the strategy. Our attention was also focused on the natural environment. In 2020 we measured the carbon footprint of our organisation for the first time. We are no exception. Such actions are continuously undertaken by nearly 4,000 companies from 74 countries that belong to the global B Corp movement – points out Rafał Mikołajczyk.
Benefit Systems was certified by B Corporation in 2018 as the first public company in Central and Eastern Europe. The creator of the MultiSport Programme was then the only Polish company in the international B Corp group. Today, there are seven companies operating in our country that belong to this movement. Each of them accepted the obligation to create business solutions that will implement the idea of social responsibility.
The latest Benefit Systems non-financial report for 2020 can be found at: https://www.benefitsystems.pl/o-nas/odpowiedzialny-biznes/
Last Updated on April 22, 2021 by Karolina Ampulska