Video tutorial: How Aviva has integrated a proactive approach to employee mental wellbeing

Aviva has placed a huge focus on mental wellbeing over the last 18 months as it has looked to better support its staff.

Ally Antell, UK health and protection product innovation lead at Aviva, said that staff were under more pressure than ever, thanks to always connected technology, and that stress and mental health issues among its employees were rising as a result.

Speaking at the Employee Wellbeing Congress 2018, he said it was a huge challenge for companies to overcome, especially since mental health challenges were so broad and could have a wide range of impacts.

Lisa Ost, UK employee wellbeing lead at Aviva, revealed the scale of the challenge at Aviva and the figures behind mental health absences which saw 55,000 reported days lost to mental health illness in 2017.

The company launched a new wellbeing strategy to employees in June 2017 focussing on four key pillars.

Mental health training for leaders to better spot the signs of problems within their teams and to help them direct staff to sources of help have been introduced. The company’s EAP also provided a place for staff to go to for support, she said. “Promoting that in the organisation has been incredibly helpful for us,” she said.

The company has also taken mindfulness seriously within its sites, she said. Encouraging staff to be more open and talk about their mental health challenges had been hugely successful in breaking down stigma and driving behavioural change, she said.

“The single most important thing Aviva has manged to do is to make it ok to talk about mental health,” said Antell.

This video was recorded at the Employee Wellbeing Congress 2018, held in London on 5 July.

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