HUL to celebrate May 21 as ‘Gratitude Day’, while Raheja QBE offers wellness break

Organisations are allowing their employees to pause and take a break from work

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Organisations are increasingly realising the need for their workforce to take breaks to avoid burnout. Today, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) announced that it will celebrate tomorrow, May 21, as Gratitude Day — a day when everyone at HUL will pause and take time off work, meetings and e-mails to re-energise themselves.

Sanjiv Mehta, MD & chairman, HUL, wrote on social media, “Every single day, I am grateful for my team – each and every person who makes up the Hindustan Unilever family, for their unstoppable passion, for their strength and resilience, for their undaunted spirit, that has steered the business through the most challenging times. I salute the frontline heroes who ensured a steady flow of essential products to the people of India. Tomorrow, we celebrate #GratitudeDay – a day when everyone at HUL will pause and take a moment for themselves, stay away from the meetings and emails, and reenergize. Together with my management committee, I would like to say a big thank you to every member of HUL and their family.”

In the wake of the COVID – 19 situation, Raheja QBE, the insurance company, also observed May 19, 2021, as Wellness Day, when all employees enjoyed a day’s holiday. The objective was to give a small break to all employees from work during these tough times, when people are working with a lot of stress. Many are dealing with corona infections at home and there is a lot of negativity around people, with news of the loss of near and dear ones.

“Every single day, I am grateful for my team – each and every person who makes up the Hindustan Unilever family. I salute the frontline heroes who ensured a steady flow of essential products to the people of India. Tomorrow, we celebrate #GratitudeDay – a day when everyone at HUL will pause and take a moment for themselves, stay away from the meetings and emails, and reenergize”

Sanjiv Mehta, MD & chairman, HUL

Talking to HRKatha Saba Adil, chief people officer, Raheja QBE, shares that they announced the holiday last Friday, that is, May 14. It was a big surprise for everyone as one does not just get a day off work just like that. The objective was to give employees one day to focus on their own health and spend some quality time with their family. “We wanted to keep this as a surprise for the staff. Many people asked me why the leave was being granted, and I simply replied, that it was to allow them to do anything apart from work — ‘to spend extra time with your family, focus on your health, hobbies or simply do nothing’,” shares Adil.

As we have seen in the past, many companies have given holidays to their employees so that they can rejuvenate and comeback. Most of them gave this holiday at the end of the week so that employees could enjoy an extended holiday. But in Raheja QBE’s case, the holiday was given mid-week. “We intentionally planned this because of two reasons. First, mid-week is the time when the workload is at its peak and people gasp for a break. Second, we did not want to give an extended leave, which would have felt normal. We wanted our employees to actually experience a ‘pause’ followed by a ‘restart’ of work,” mentions Adil.

“We wanted to keep this as a surprise for the staff. Many people asked me why the leave was being granted, and I simply replied, that it was to allow them to do anything apart from work — ‘to spend extra time with your family, focus on your health, hobbies or simply do nothing’”

Saba Adil, chief people officer, Raheja QBE

Apart from this, Raheja QBE is also providing financial assistance to employees who are suffering from COVID-19 and giving paid leaves for COVID care over and above the annual leaves. Adil also shared that they are planning to tie up with a hospital to facilitate a vaccination drive at Raheja QBE.

This month, Godrej Properties and Goldman Sachs also provided ‘wellness leaves’ to its employees for recuperation and rejuvenation.

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