ZALORA's CPO reveals three rules to support well-being

The e-commerce giant has rolled out new mental health initiatives

ZALORA's CPO reveals three rules to support well-being

ZALORA, a leading fashion and e-commerce brand in Asia, this month launched several new mental health initiatives. As part of the initial phase, all full-time staff members across the region will get access to benefits that promote well-being - such as:

  • Two mental health days to encourage time out for self-care
  • A special leave called ‘occasion day’ that’s additional to existing annual leave allowances
  • A weekly Zoom-free half day to help manage screen time and avoid burnout

Other initiatives include access to an online mental health platform, which provides free and confidential access to counselling sessions run by qualified psychologists, as well as a new meditation app to encourage some down time. Employees can also join in on weekly guided journaling exercises to engage in daily reflection.

Read more: There's a mental health pandemic coming – here's how to prepare

The new initiatives are expected to tie in with ZALORA’s Future of Work (FoW) framework. This involves a structured rollout of initiatives and supportive policies aimed at upkeeping employee safety and well-being as they continue to adjust to new norms in the post-pandemic world.

Louise Pender, general counsel and chief people officer at ZALORA said the updated well-being strategy aims to promote a healthy work-life balance for employees. The programs have been customised to meet the needs of their employees and are ‘scientifically proven’ to support stress relief, mental health and well-being.

Read more: Can HR policies end mental health bias at work?

Besides offering programs and tools, HR leaders have a critical role to promote well-being in these difficult times. Pender shared three steps leaders can take to help employees prioritise their well-being in their day-to-day. “Firstly, we believe it is our responsibility as leaders to promote awareness and normalize conversations around mental health,” Pender told HRD. “The onus is on us to take the initiative in creating a happy and vibrant workplace, where employees can feel safe and supported through all of life’s challenges.

Secondly, leaders must take the time to listen. In 2020, ZALORA undertook a comprehensive survey across the region to find out their employees’ evolving priorities at work and at home. They also sought out to understand employees’ expectations and concerns amidst the pandemic. “We asked our employees what was most important to them and the insights they shared guided our approach,” Pender said. “But listening to employees had to be an on-going priority.

Thirdly, leaders must remain agile to the evolving needs of their employees. “Mental health and well-being take on different meanings for everyone and these evolve in response to our dynamic circumstances,” she said. “This is why it is so important to continually assess and evaluate the effectiveness of everything we do, with the welfare of our employees at the heart of our decision making.”

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