Looking after employees’ mental health, Nationwide

Originally published in BSA Society Matters magazine.

By Nationwide Building Society.

Originally published in BSA Society Matters magazine.SMSPRING2020.jpg
By Nationwide Building Society.

Our mission at Nationwide Building Society is to empower our people to take care of their wellbeing, creating ways of working and a culture that enables our people to thrive and perform at their best, individually and collectively, for our mutual good. Achieving this needs a range of interventions and a holistic approach, appreciating that one size doesn’t fit all.

Over the past year, we’ve launched an exciting wellbeing programme – called Energise – focussing on five sources of energy – physical, social, mental, emotional and financial. We kicked this off by providing a platform for employees to share their experiences of struggle and loss with the rest of the Society, to help break the stigma by talking openly about mental health.

But it’s not something we just talk about. Our workplace design has wellbeing woven into it, with accessibility in mind, more collaboration spaces and innovative new quiet escapes away from everything else to relax and recharge or go to for support.

Wellbeing also shapes our people experience and employee policies. We’ve tailored our approach to recognition and enhanced our maternity and paternity leave, bereavement, and carers leave to better support our people through some of those moments that matter. We’ve introduced neonatal leave in line with our commitment to the Employers with Heart Charter.

What’s important is the difference this all makes for our people. We’ve seen positive impact through a behavioural science experiment called Team Talk, which encourages teams to get together and think about where they can make small improvements to their day at work. It has helped boost people’s sense of empowerment, support for one another and their own wellbeing. We are exploring how we can scale this further.

NW.pngIt’s great to see how much our people are supporting our commitment to wellbeing, championing conversations across the Society. Through creating space for what matters, we’ve seen our people lead on some great work. Our ‘Healthy Mind’ champions have made an impressive impact raising awareness of the importance of wellbeing. In-the-moment support offered by our mental first aiders has grown from a grassroots movement, and our Employee Networks are weaving wellbeing into creating a more inclusive environment where everyone can thrive, feel valued for who they are and the difference they can make.

These examples demonstrate how much more we can achieve together than we can alone. As well as leveraging the support of our people and our CEO, who has championed the wellbeing agenda from the day he started, we are exploring opportunities to build on how we support the wellbeing of our members, including partnering with external organisations. For example, supporting Public Health England and their Every Mind Matters campaign, and sponsoring the Million Minds Tour that brought together thousands of young people to talk about mental health.

We recognise that Nationwide is on a journey and we know we don’t have all the answers, but we are always learning and are committed to changing things for the better. We are proud of our history and our mutual values, which will continue to underpin how we do business as we evolve our culture and ways of working – building mutual benefit, mutual understanding and mutual respect. We are committed to supporting our people and our members to take care of their wellbeing. It will continue to be at the heart of what we do and how we do it.