Wellbeing is a hot topic for us right now. It’s a hot topic for pretty much every L&D function and every organisation. If you read a previous post of mine on what L&D is really all about, you might remember my thoughts on L&D and organisational health. L&D is about organisational health, which is why wellbeing is a key part of our people strategy. It’s part of being a responsible, successful business.

We need an organisational culture that allows people to thrive. We need healthy people and we need to be a healthy organisation. That means helping people to achieve sustainable peak performance. Our biggest risk is people feeling stretched so we need to help them to have enough energy and resilience to keep up, especially with the relentlessness of de-merging and going independent.

That’s why we’ve launched ‘Thrive’, an initiative to support employees and customers in four key areas of wellbeing: physical, social, financial, emotional and mental. We want to raise awareness of physical and psychological health and get people talking about it. People need to know that it’s okay to have feelings, to think about their energy levels and how it impacts their day to day work.

We’re aiming for sustainable, long term energy shift. So it’s not about having Indian head massages at your desk, which although they can be beneficial and fun, it’s only an instant relief and can be quite costly. We want more than that, which is why we’re taking a deeper and more sustainable approach.

It’s not just about employees either. We connect our customers to this too. I like to talk about it in terms of prosperity. What does prosperity mean? It’s wealth, health and happiness. We want prosperous employees and customers and we want a prosperous society generally. There are lots of vulnerable customers who, for all sorts of reasons, may be having financial difficulties or health difficulties. As an organisation, we pay for mid life crises, we pay for weddings, for education, for funerals, when people fall sick and are unable to work…In terms of wellbeing and prosperity, we need to protect the internal and the external customer. We are trying to connect all of these things together with our wellbeing programme.

What will success look like if we manage to achieve what we want to achieve? We’ll see people access the services. We’ll see a really quick impact on our quarterly culture survey results. We’ll see improvements in customer satisfaction levels and should see a better customer Net Promoter Score. We should see a difference with the bottom line stuff – such as turnover levels, sickness levels and employees relations cases.

We want to hear a difference in how people talk about stuff. Instead of people today saying things like: “Work is relentless. There is no time for me”, we want them tomorrow to say: “I feel supported.” And we want leaders to say: “I have the tools and techniques to support my team.”

The campaign will be signposted and very visible. We will give people tools, such as scenario-based help kits for managers. We are going to recruit culture champions, who will be the voice of the people and who will discuss the indicative scores such as sickness absence, employee engagement etc, and get
conversations going.

Mental health and wellbeing are such important topics now, which is why we are doing this and have signed up to charters such as ‘Time to Change’. I would really love to hear what everyone else is doing to help people with the constant challenges facing them as lives get busier and busier. What else can be done?