Supporting Employee Wellness Beyond the Workplace
Gildan’s commitment to employee wellness and health covers a broad scope of Company actions, including those aimed at supporting employees by encouraging healthy lifestyles through Gildan’s various employee wellness programs. As part of this effort, Gildan introduced its Saving Our Family program, an initiative designed to help employees embrace personal growth and take hold of their lives by providing them with mental health support through counselling and other resources.
The Saving Our Family program was launched in 2009 in Honduras with a core ambition of responding to the needs of employees who face difficulties in their personal lives. These difficulties can range from home hardships and family distress, to personal afflictions or any other problem that an employee might want to address. The program itself is founded on the principle of non-judgmental assistance centered on personal development and counselling. With this program, employees can access free and confidential counselling by certified professionals on a one-on-one basis.
Beyond individual counselling, group sessions are also available through the Gildan Saving Our Family program. In these sessions, employees can participate in co-development discussions with members of their community while learning about the experiences and perspectives of others who may be in similar situations. Subjects covered in these sessions include self-esteem, work-life balance, mental health, mindfulness practice, interpersonal relations, family budgeting, and personal finances, among others.
“We’ve always put our employees’ health first, and mental and emotional health are important focus-areas when it comes to the overall wellbeing of our employees,” says Mike Albright, Vice President of Human Resources for Manufacturing at Gildan. “This priority has become even more critical during COVID-19: Beyond ensuring the physical health of our employees, we also recognize the importance of supporting emotional health in this time of increased isolation and uncertainty.”
In light of this, Gildan’s Saving Our Family program has gone virtual in 2020, enabling employees to participate in call-in counselling sessions.
“At Gildan, we hope to create a culture that destigmatizes these sorts of topics so that we can build more awareness around them while providing our employees with opportunities to reach out for help. Thanks to this impactful program, over 2,000 of our employees in Honduras were able to receive one-on-one support in 2019 alone,” Albright concludes.
This initiative is only one of many employee wellness programs introduced by the Company over the years to support better mental health in the workplace and at home. To learn more about employee health and safety at Gildan, visit the Company’s Genuine Responsibility® website.