The event started with the opening remarks by Pete Swift, AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman who welcomed the participants and spoke about the importance of introducing a new initiative for creating a mindful workplace that focuses on improving employee wellbeing and retention. Swift then introduced Maryam Saif, Chief Diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for Zain Group, and Raed Labaki, General Manager of Middle East (Excluding UAE and Saudi Arabia) Cigna.
Maryam Saif highlighted that high stress and anxiety levels among employees can harm their overall health and well-being, reducing productivity and increasing absenteeism. A mindful workplace can help address these issues by creating an environment that promotes mental and physical health, social connectivity, and emotional resilience.
To achieve this, Zain Group recommends that employers take several steps; These include conducting regular assessments of employee needs and expectations, developing customized wellness programs, providing incentives for participation, and offering resources and support for mental health and wellness.
Following Saif’s presentation, Labaki spoke on the topic of stressors, as stress is currently the highest threat to wellness in the workplace. High-stress levels can be extremely determinantal to health and well-being, and according to Cigna’s 360 Survey - 97% of those surveyed in the GCC have experienced at least one symptom of burnout Vs 94% globally. Stress has also manifested itself physically and emotionally as residents report feeling depressed (36%), losing interest in activities they enjoy (39%), and disrupted sleep (46%). additionally, the survey found that females are more susceptible to higher stress levels than males with 94% reporting incidences of stress, as the survey also showed that Gen Z is amongst the most stressed demographic (95% reported incidences of stress) and 98% reported experiencing burnout symptoms.
"At Cigna, we recognize the importance of a mindful workplace that prioritizes employee well-being and retention," said Labaki. "We are committed to providing innovative solutions and recommendations to help employers create a positive and sustainable work environment. We believe that a mindful workplace is not only good for employees' health and well-being, but it's also beneficial for business success."
ABCK-AmCham Kuwait is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium-sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait has acted as an advocate for American interest in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on the social media channel @abck1985