Wellbeing: A vital component in the workplace

We take a real interest in the health and wellbeing of every one of our colleagues. In recent times we’ve introduced a number of initiatives which look at specific wellbeing topics - physical, mental, financial, and social wellbeing.

Active support

As a result, over 9,000 colleagues have actively been involved in our global digital wellbeing platform, designed to support and encourage personal wellbeing goals. More than 22,000 health checks have been carried out in our main locations. We’re supportive of ‘Time to Change’, the UK’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma, and have been since 2014. Our Workplace Wellbeing Group has 26,000 members, delivering conferences around Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day, and our managers undertake mental health awareness training, making sure they’re better at spotting signs of mental health issues at work and at giving support to the colleagues and customers who need it.

Additionally, our financial wellbeing initiatives are well established, encouraging colleagues to save well and be proactive, and via our ‘Great Place to Work’ and ‘Do Good Feel Good’ campaigns we continue to promote healthy wellbeing by supporting our communities via charity involvement and volunteering. And with a flexible working culture we help colleagues to be at their best to focus on our customers’ needs, with choice in working locations and working patterns.

Seeking opinion and providing advice

We recently asked colleagues about wellbeing, how they deal with stress and stay focused, and how they relax at the end of the day. We discussed the responses with Samantha Clarke, a respected life coach, happiness consultant, change maker, and keynote speaker. Samantha works with numerous companies across the world to build employee confidence, and helps business leaders create a nurturing environment that fosters job satisfaction and progression.

Samantha Clarke

Samantha Clarke

We’ve a lot of change happening due to new technology transforming the way we work and the way we help our customers. How can we avoid such change feeling stressful?

By appreciating and understanding that change is the only constant. We shouldn’t fear technology, it's going to evolve us, and how we live and work for many years to come. We can’t go backwards! So we need to evolve to make sure we understand how to harness the power, learn from it and understand it. Technology should be here to serve us, not us serving it.

In such a busy working day, how can we maintain energy and keep motivated?

There are three ways to strengthen your resolve. Ask yourself ‘What could I do to help others?’ and consider taking someone a coffee, giving a compliment, or helping with a task. Think ‘What could I do to help myself?’ Set up an achievement and success diary, make sure you eat well, and monitor habits that don’t serve you. Finally, consider what you could do to change your work routines. If you can listen to music whilst working, find music that puts you in flow whilst you work, or create a mini vision board on your desk of your goals.

We take pride in supporting our colleagues to develop their careers. How important is career progression to wellbeing?

I believe that we thrive at work when we see how we are connected to the bigger purpose and mission of the company as well as seeing the trajectory of where we can go.

If we’re in a role we love, then we’ll want to continue to maximise this feeling and not be frustrated by not knowing where to arrange extra training. The ability to have richer conversations around progress in a company is key to employee happiness.

Our colleagues tell us they value the support of those they work with. How can we make the most of the relationships we build in the workplace?

Our colleagues get the bulk of our time, and often much of our emotional energy, so it’s important to work on relationships with those around us and have a network of co-workers that allow us to feel supported, not stressed. Taking the time to be interested in people and connect on a personal level can go a long way and help build up emotional ‘currency’ in our relationships. The more we learn about each other the less likely conflict is to arise. It pays to be mindful, present and aware of how our colleagues might reach out to us for support, and how we can respond to them in the right way.

At the end of a busy day, how can we best recharge and relax?

Having a wind down routine always helps to separate the blurred lines of work and life. I like to put my aromatherapy diffuser on as soon as I get home, find a quiet space to reflect on my wins, mood and energy, and then take a moment to pause in stillness and silence with a nice hot drink. We need to make space for reflection time and moments to lean back, to give our brains a rest. This helps me create separation and make sure that I’m fully present for whatever is next.