Video tutorial: The CEO perspective on wellbeing

Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson says his company has one main aim with his company’s wellbeing programme. “We are trying to make our employees as happy as possible,” he said.

Watch Peter Simpson's session 'The CEO perspective on wellbeing' in full

Speaking at the REBA Employee Wellbeing Congress 2017, Simpson explained how his company had moved from a safety and compliance orientated approach to health in the mid 2000s to an integrated, cost effective wellbeing programme that had delivered financial benefits, better engagement and the happier employees that the company had strived for.

“We started to move from compliance to the creation of an environment that will create the healthiest and safest environment and started looking at where we thought the benefits might be,” he said.

He said the company looked to Business in the Community’s Work Well model – a framework that he used to understand the concept of health and wellbeing and see where the gaps in Anglian Water’s approach were.

“We simplified it to physical, mental and workplace wellbeing and linked those three pillars to happier, healthier and safer. That model sits in our business plan and underneath it lays out all things we are doing over next five years,” he said.

The strategy was combined with a transforming leadership programme to create the environment and culture the company was after. “That’s important because leaders in our business would think about personal resilience in a very different way to how they would have done a few years ago,” he said.

Although the company took an integrated approach it was also individualised, looking at how staff were affected across the business. For call centre staff he said the analysis revealed problems around diet that, following a review of canteen offerings and dietary education, had seen sickness more than halve and service and productivity improve. A similar approach was taken with the company’s tanker drivers workforce whose big risk was obesity. Get active campaigns have helped there, he said.

The financial case for wellbeing was “crystal clear”, he said with an £8 benefit for every £1 invested.

This video tutorial was recorded at the REBA Employee Wellbeing Congress 2017 which took place on 22 June.

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