At the recent Global Healthy Workplace Awards, HSBC landed the accolade of Best Multinational enterprise, demonstrating to the judges its outstanding achievement in promoting a safe and healthy work environment complementary to the business performance of the organisation. Here is a summary of what the financial institution does to help the wellbeing of its employees around the world:

HSBC’s wellbeing objectives are driven by its regular people surveys, which, on average, more than half of its staff complete. This ensures the banking giant offers services and support that are both practical  and relevant. It’s one of the reasons that wellbeing is the biggest driver of positive colleague sentiment at HSBC. And the survey results also enable the business to measure, track and evaluate its progress.

“We firmly believe that providing consistent and equitable support to help its colleagues across 64 countries to be healthier and happier, will ensure the success of its business, and the people and communities we serve.”


Mental health initiatives

When it comes to how it supports employees’ mental health, the following areas are key: 

  • It offers an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and Headspace in every location. EAP utilisation is 8% and Headspace has 23k users from the bank.
  • In January 2021, HSBC founded and launched the Global Business Collaboration for Workplace Mental Health alongside other multinationals, including Deloitte, Salesforce, BP and Unilever,  at WEF’s Davos Dialogues event. Group Chief Executive, Noel Quinn signed a public pledge to accelerate progress in workplace mental health. 
  • The bank’s mandatory mental health e-learning module is completed by more than 200,000 colleagues in 64 countries each year. Its voluntary mental health curriculum, comprising a 30-minute e-learning session and a half-day classroom course, has been completed by 30,000 colleagues across 58 countries.
  • World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year.  In October 2021, it ran a global campaign and created a film featuring colleagues from Europe, Asia and Americas sharing personal stories. This was viewed over 60,000 times.  Human Resources teams, employee resource groups, and c-suite ambassadors held over 40 virtual events covering inclusivity, in keeping with the World Health Organisation’s theme of ‘mental health in an unequal world’.


Financial health schemes

You would expect this banking behemoth to know a thing or two about managing money; it does and the knowledge is passed on to employees in the following ways: 

  • HSBC Together is its employee banking offering, which includes access to budgeting tools, seminars and clinics. It is currently available in ten countries, including China and India, meaning it can be accessed by over half of global employees.  
  • In 2021, its award-winning ‘No Fixed Address’ launched in the UK and Hong Kong.  In partnership with Shelter, and other UK and local charities, the bank helps those without a fixed home address to open a bank account. To date, almost 1,500 accounts have been opened for those that are homeless, refugees, or survivors of human trafficking.
  • The bank’s financial wellbeing curriculum provides two hours of modular learning covering healthy financial habits and savings strategies. Over 2,000 employees across 36 countries have completed it. 
  • All employees that work within an administration with a legal minimum wage are paid at or above this figure. 


Social health initiatives

The bank’s focus on social health was unsurprisingly impacted by the pandemic. It adapted quickly to the changing situation to support its global workforce:  

  • HSBC has introduced hybrid working and updated its global flexible working policies, which means all staff in every country can now work with greater flexibility. 
  • In 2020, employees contributed over 82,000 hours to community activities – during normal work time – through its worldwide volunteering programme.
  • ‘At Our Best’ – the banking giant’s global recognition programme – enables colleagues to thank and express gratitude to fellow colleagues that demonstrate company values. During the early part of the Covid pandemic, HSBC’s Covid-19 Heroes campaign yielded more than 169,000 recognitions, with a further 125,000 recognitions sent in 2021.
  • HSBC offices globally are currently being revamped to create environments that encourage better human social interaction where colleagues can innovate, collaborate and connect more effectively. 


Physical health and safety activities

The final pillar in its programme covers physical health and safety: 

  • More than 160k colleagues globally have access to telemedicine/Virtual GPs, while private medical insurance is offered in almost all locations, covering 98% of employees.
  • Eat Well Live Well is the bank’s global nutrition programme, and this is now live in eight countries, meaning a reach of more than 70k colleagues. The programme includes staff restaurants, virtual teaching kitchens, and online healthy eating resources.
  • Because of the pandemic, it carried out over 1,700 workplace enhancements to its offices around the world. 
  • In July 2021, HSBC ran a worldwide awareness campaign for physical health, focusing on diet, sleep, and management of chronic illnesses. Activities included step challenges, photo competitions, and wellbeing webinars featuring key bank personnel, athletes and medical professionals, who all encouraged healthy habits and provided insights. Over 50,000 colleagues across all locations participated in the initiative.   


The overall programme’s impact 

Given the above, it is unsurprising that HSBC has been recognized for its commitment to staff wellbeing. Here are some of the key results from its ongoing staff surveys: 

  • 68% feel conditions in their job allows them to be as productive as possible 
  • 81% rate their mental health as positive 
  • 70% are confident talking to their line manager*
  • 6 in 10 colleagues globally say their financial health is positive
  • 7 in 10 colleagues globally say their work life balance is positive
  • 7 in 10 colleagues globally say their physical health is positive


* this score has risen by 12% since 2019. A sign that HSBC is creating a supportive working environment during a very testing period.