How a culture of wellbeing helps build an engaged workforce

How a culture of wellbeing helps build an engaged workforce

A culture of wellbeing

A case study published by People Management is a great example of how putting wellbeing at the heart of an organisation’s strategy, and employees at the front and centre of its development, improves employee engagement, which in turn improves customer satisfaction, turnover and talent retention/attraction.

Schneider Electric, a multinational energy management firm with 142,000 employees across 100 countries, recognise that its people need to feel able to perform at their best: “We know there’s a clear connection between employee wellbeing and company performance”, says Colleen McKnight, VP of HR for the UK & Ireland. “So when the company began work on its new five-year strategy back in 2015, we knew that wellbeing had to be front and centre.”

In order to do this, the organisation spent almost four months listening to employee’s individual needs across the globe in a ‘bottom up’ approach. The resultant programme was designed to be holistic, covering not just physical wellbeing but its mental, emotional and social aspects too.

At the programme’s core is a 90-minute training session covering topics such as nutrition, sleep and mindfulness. A further 71 sessions are available, including a neuroscience-based series on tackling stress; mindfulness training; and webinars on sleep, nutrition and exercise.

“The entire programme puts the individual at the centre and allows our people to take control of their wellbeing and look after their needs,” says McKnight. Employees are also being encouraged to use a Wellbeing Lab to implement local programmes – for example, yoga sessions and stand-up desks, and a team of more than 200 ‘champions’ take an active role in bringing wellbeing to life in their own communities.

“Although it’s early days, we’ve already seen a 10 per cent increase in our engagement, which has in turn improved customer satisfaction and turnover,” says McKnight. The company’s openness to flexibility is also helping it retain and attract talent. “Candidates are starting to be more open around their wellbeing and flexibility needs, whereas it’s been taboo in the past,” says Peter Hogg, talent mobility and acquisition manager for the UK & Ireland. “Through our job adverts and employer brand, we’re helping make those conversations more comfortable, and using flexibility to retain employees and attract new ones.”