The recently concluded Employee Wellbeing Program, spanning six months and centering on Leadership and Management, aimed to provide comprehensive personal and professional growth opportunities for participants. Two distinct groups, the "steady group" and the "flexible group," were established to accommodate varying employee preferences regarding schedule stability. Each group had a capacity of 12 employees, ensuring a manageable and engaging experience for all.
A team of eight professional coaches with diverse expertise was assigned for the program’s success. Activities, workshops, and training sessions were tailored to enhance employees’ capabilities in communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, and work-life balance. Designed with the aim of empowering employees to reach their full potential and thrive in their roles. This collaborative effort was orchestrated by the HRM and Public Health departments.
In the second phase of the Employee Wellbeing program, which commenced in September and was organized by the Organization Hostmanship, the emphasis was on exploring oneself and others. Led by trainer Rob van Vlokhoven, a proactive approach aimed to influence and create a welcoming atmosphere for all participants. The course delved into the depths of human similarities, recognizing that, fundamentally, we all share common desires, worries, loves, failures, and successes.
Hostmanship encouraged participants to tap into creativity, curiosity, and inquisitiveness. The group had the opportunity to learn the art of making guests feel important and valuable. This program was not a receptive activity but an active commitment to welcome others and address potential issues before they arise. Rooted in the belief that a welcoming world forms the basis for lasting success, the Hostmanship program provided practical tools for creating valuable interactions in both personal and professional spaces.
Following in October, L&D Support, alongside Ludwijn Braam, revisited the Employee Wellbeing Program, joined by trainers John Witte and Tanya Leider. Together, they focused on interpersonal relationships within teams, crafting a one-day session aimed at deepening self-understanding and deciphering the 'instruction manual' between colleagues.
Grounded in the principles of reaping what one sows and practicing what one preaches, this course prioritized the enhancement of group dynamics. L&D Support Trainers utilized personal profiles and interpersonal strengths to transform potential irritations into combined strengths, creating a more profound understanding among team members.
Participants engaged in a comprehensive exploration of themselves and their colleagues, using personal profiles and interpersonal strengths to initiate discussions on group resilience and well-being. Through an analysis of the Group Report and open dialogue, the emphasis was on replacing assumptions with understanding. The primary goal was to create a secure space for civil servants to pose open questions, comprehend triggers, and improve interpersonal relations within the team. The focus on open dialogue and understanding aimed to promote a culture of care, enabling civil servants to navigate interpersonal complexities with sensitivity and mutual respect.
The following day saw civil servants scheduled to meet with Arjan Erkel, a Dutch international speaker and author, presenting his harrowing tale of abduction by Tjetsjenian Rebels in 2002. The presentation offered a unique opportunity for attendees to interact with Erkel and explore the challenges he faced during captivity. The central theme focused on maintaining freedom of thought and action within the confines of captivity, emphasizing resilience and mental endurance.
Erkel's work with Doctors Without Borders and his subsequent abduction marked a turning point in his life, providing profound insights into navigating adversity. The presentation served as a powerful exploration of the human spirit. Erkel generously shared copies of his book “A True Story Held Hostage”, a testament to his resilience, further inviting attendees to reflect on applying these lessons in their personal and professional lives.
The Be-the-Change program in November, which concluded with the transformative Challenge Day, offered a valuable opportunity for learning and growth. Facilitated by trainers Rich and Yvon Dutra – St. John, the program aimed to provide a platform for meaningful connections and personal development. Based on the Challenge Day model, the event was designed to provide participants with engaging activities that bridge differences, uncover shared ground, and reveal individual strengths. This initiative aligns seamlessly with the Challenge Day commitment to create inclusion, diversity, and equity, emphasizing the commonalities that bind us together rather than the differences that set us apart. The Challenge Day itself featured a dynamic blend of fast-paced engagement activities and serious conversations, encouraging a collaborative work environment. Through a combination of large group exercises and intimate small-group discussions, the program ensured a safe space for attendees to connect across diverse backgrounds. Be-the-Change program also marked the end of the Employee Wellbeing Program but a transition for those that participated.
“Challenge Day was one of the most meaningful and vulnerable activities that the Saba Comprehensive School has ever experienced. It left the door open for us as a school to continue the conversation about empathy and connectedness. I am personally very grateful to Public Entity Saba for the opportunity given to our school to participate. This time it wasn’t possible to include a session for teachers and staff, but I would love to experience one in the future if it is organized again” said Care Department and Part Management Team Carol Skinner.
"We recently did a challenge day with the management team of the Public Entity of Saba. In addition to working together on the goals and challenges for Saba, we also form a team with all different characters, characteristics and experiences. This makes it important that we also develop well as a team. Under the guidance of Rich & Yvonne, the team was challenged to ‘go under the waterline’ and shared stories and experiences with each other. The team was brought together and a true feeling was created of having more understanding, compassion and connection with each other we have really taken the next step in developing as a team and there is more understanding, compassion and connection with each other" said Island Secretary Bram Streppel.
In the year of 2024, The Employee Wellbeing Program is slated to continue in its commitment to affording civil servants the chance to cultivate both personal and professional growth.