On Friday, 26th May 2023, BOV employees swapped their normal formal work attire for a more casual look with green being the highlight colour for the day. This initiative was undertaken by the Bank to raise mental health awareness, as part of European Mental Health Week held between the 22nd and 28th May 2023.
“Green is internationally recognized as the symbol of mental health awareness,” explained Ray Debattista who heads the Bank’s People and Culture function. “It is customary for people to wear green to show that they care about mental health issues and give it the importance it is due.” He went on to explain that “Bank of Valletta is a service provider that focuses on providing its customers with the highest level of service possible. However, we can only do this if we have a strong workforce that is healthy in both mind and body. We feel it is our responsibility to continue striving to create a work environment which tangibly supports the wellbeing of our people.”
This sentiment was reiterated by CEO Kenneth Farrugia, who acknowledged the hard work that Bank employees put into their daily job. “At Bank of Valletta, we recognise the importance of maintaining a healthy mindset and approach in everything we do. Promoting mental health is an integral part of this reality, which is no longer restricted to the office but also extends to the home environment. For us, this is not merely something we commemorate once a year – as one of the largest employers in Malta we adopt an ongoing approach to safeguarding the welfare of our people, thereby truly living up to our promise to be the Employer of Choice for our people.”
As part of its wellness benefits, BOV offers its people immediate and confidential access to counselling and support services through its ongoing partnership with The Richmond Foundation. In addition, BOV employees receive an annual allowance for items and services that contribute towards their physical and mental well-being. More initiatives are earmarked in this area, with a view to promoting a more active and healthier lifestyle among the Bank’s community. Employee well-being is also important, with the Bank providing opportunities for skills enhancement, personal growth, emotional intelligence development, and fostering a culture of continuous learning. This year the Bank revamped its BOV Sports and Social Club, which had been in hiatus during the pandemic. Through this initiative, activities such as quiz nights, cycling, photography and trekking are organised to bring people together socially. Meanwhile, the Bank continues to involve staff in staple favorities like the BOV Summer Event and Christmas Reception.
During the event organised on Friday, several teams across the Bank took team photos and submitted messages promoting mental health. Among the slogans put forward, the below short poem received from Roberto Schembri is worth highlighting:
Switch off that screen
And go into the green
It will give you the energy of a teen
And don’t forget to eat lots of green
As it will get you more lean