Adopting a holistic approach to health
Even in its third year, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to have a strong influence on the work of our health services. Along with actual physical measures such as vaccinations and hygiene strategies, we created new services in 2022 to address the mental health and social challenges caused by the pandemic. We have a holistic understanding of health that incorporates physical, psychological and social aspects. Our Medical Services, psychosocial counselling service (COPE) and Corporate Health Management (CHM) put that philosophy into practice. It enables us to give our staff the best possible support – and not just with regard to stress related to the pandemic.
The COPE team alone registered 2,000 psychosocial counselling sessions with GIZ staff and their families in 2022. The issues were often related to psychosocial stress caused by the crisis situations and fragile conditions in our countries of assignment, by excessive workloads, by conflicts in the workplace, or by personal crises.
We added questions about psychological stress at work to our anonymous staff survey for the first time in 2022. As a result, we now have company-wide data we can use to perform a psychological risk assessment, and which serves as a basis for putting targeted measures in place within the company. Follow-on measures included developing an information manual for managers, for example. The guidelines and assessments they include are designed to help managers recognise and reduce psychological stress at work.