Above and beyond: Employee wellbeing to drive diversity and engagement
According to McKinsey research, companies with a human resources department that facilitates a positive employee experience are 30% more likely to report organisational outperformance. Firms that are more human in their approach can be inspiring and collaborative, aiming to create an experience that is meaningful and increases employee engagement.
In turn, the same research found that organisations that work together with their people to create personalised, authentic and motivating experiences to strengthen individuals, teams and the company’s performance.
Stakeholders, and employees in particular, are key in achieving Antofagasta’s purpose of developing mining for a better future, as well as continuing to operate in a sustainable way. It is in this light that at Antofagasta, we have taken great strides to engage with our most important asset, our people, to provide employees with benefits that go above and beyond what local legislation calls for.
“Constructive relationships, anchored in mutual respect and transparency, are crucial for a good working environment and talent retention as well as for productivity and efficiency,” according to Antofagasta’s Vice President of Human Resources, Georgeanne Barceló.
“At Antofagasta, we believe employee wellbeing is vital to the effectiveness and sustainability of our organisation, and improving employees’ labour experience is a key focus of our work,” she added.
Antofagasta’s Wellbeing Strategy is also highlighted, which emphasises employees’ physical, emotional, financial and social welfare, aiming to foster healthy habits and closer ties among colleagues and with society at large. As part of this strategy, the company has a 24-hour helpline and encourages in-person meetings and activities to strengthen interpersonal relationships and teamwork. This initiative encourages healthy habits, offers preventive health checks and offers financial education to improve employees’ understanding of subjects such as health insurance.
Additional benefits for all employees include telemedicine services for general medical consultancies, psychological support services, clinical guidance on sleep disorders, monitoring of chronic illnesses, medical advice for parents of newborns and even veterinary consultations. Legal consultancy is provided for employees in matters regarding family, inheritance, contracts and municipal permits, while the benefits programme also offers significant discounts on dental and banking services. Furthermore, Antofagasta provides life, health and dental insurance coverage for all of its employees.
In addition, the company implemented a volunteering programme, that is aimed at helping employees to support their respective surrounding communities. Through this programme, individuals are encouraged to build their own network and collaborate with co-workers who they normally would not know. People from completely different areas of the Antofagasta business are joined together in a common purpose, getting to know each other better and improving their interactions within their own areas of the company. And along the way, employees receive training to help facilitate better job performance. (You can find more information about this programme here.)
Antofagasta’s updated Work-Life Balance Guidelines enshrine the company’s efforts to improve the balance of employees’ time between work, family and recreational activities. The guidelines, launched in 2019 and updated in 2022, provide benefits that far exceed the requirements of Chilean legislation, seeking to establish a positive work environment where all employees can flourish and develop professionally. Referring to this concept as “conciliation,” Antofagasta classifies the guidelines into three focus areas: Personal, Family and Work.
“Conciliation requires the reorganisation of times and workspaces, in addition to the modification of traditional roles, with the goal of ensuring our employees’ development in the different aspects of their lives,” says Georgeanne Barceló.
In the Personal category, Antofagasta offers employee benefits that include the ability to take an extra day off to attend preventive health examinations, as well as additional days off for marriage or civil union, or upon the death of a family member. Employees can also enjoy reduced work hours on Fridays if their shifts allow for it, or take days off to complete the requirements needed to graduate from higher education (to take a final exam or present a master’s thesis, for example). Furthermore, employees with disabilities are granted three extra days off so that they can undertake medical examinations and other procedures.
In the area of Family, parents are given permission to attend their children's school events. Employees who have a family member with a disability are provided additional days off so they can attend to that person’s needs. Pregnant women and their partners can take time off work for medical check-ups, and once the child is born fathers are given additional time off, while mothers are offered a progressive return to work schedule once their legally mandated postnatal medical licence has come to an end. Once back to work, breastfeeding mothers are provided comfortable, private facilities to extract and store breast milk.
In the Labour sphere, Antofagasta divides benefits into three areas. “Vivo Flex” allows employees to opt for a period of up to one year away from work for personal purposes. “Tiempo Flex” offers employees the possibility to have flexible working hours, depending on their personal needs, while “Espacio Flex” allows employees to perform their duties from an agreed location other than the usual place of work.
The benefits programme highlights Antofagasta Minerals’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to Antofagasta’s Human Resources Vice President Georgeanne Barceló. “We value and respect the different aspects that make individuals unique, including disability, age, ethnic origin, gender, beliefs, sexual orientation and nationality,” she says. “One of the great challenges that we have set ourselves as an organisation is to create spaces where all our employees can reconcile their personal, family and work interests, since we understand what it means to balance all aspects of life beyond work,” she added.
“This programme strives to attract, retain and develop the best talent, regardless of their personal characteristics.”