How the City of London is developing a comprehensive wellbeing programme

Last year the City of London Corporation took part in the Healthy Workplace Charter achieving a silver award. The work highlighted that whilst many wellbeing initiatives had already been established at the City, they were not joined up under a comprehensive wellbeing programme.

In response to this, the City has now added wellbeing to the Human Resources strategy 2014-2017 and the Charter has inspired us to review what is offered to all staff. All aspects of the corporate offer have been under scrutiny; policy, management training, healthcare services and leisure facilities.

By gathering data from our wellbeing survey and staff focus groups, our aim is to establish a proactive and preventative approach which gets to the heart of what really matters to Corporation staff.

We have an extremely diverse workforce at the City, with staff working in a wide variety of professions and locations, some of which span out further than London. For this project to be effective, it has been essential for us to engage and work together with staff across the organisation; listening to their views, sharing our ideas and pulling our resources.

The opportunity for staff to actively participate and shape such a project, through surveys and research groups is unique. As a result, we have achieved an extremely high response rate from our wellbeing survey, with 38% of Corporation staff engaging. Employees were represented from across all 17 departments – from those based at Guildhall, to those working in our Open Spaces, the Ports, the Barbican and City Police just to name a few.

Since most of the Corporation’s employees spend a large proportion of their time in the workplace, we believe it is the ideal environment to encourage healthy changes and influence positive behaviours. Traditionally health and wellbeing in the workplace have been focused on supporting employees who have become unwell. However, employers are increasingly taking a more holistic approach and drawing their attention to preventative measures to promote health and wellbeing.

Our ambition is to build a strong health and wellbeing programme, which continues to develop over time. Wellbeing will be carefully integrated into our policies and training, as well as being woven into the culture at the City of London Corporation. We hope to foster a culture which ensures that all staff feel supported, providing greater opportunities to develop, through learning and volunteering initiatives and encouraging staff to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours. Our aim is to build a resilient and productive workforce, who feel motivated and we hope to incorporate physical activity wherever possible, not just to benefit our physical health, but also our mental wellbeing.

Read more about how the City of London Corporation can help your business with the Workplace Charter, or advise on specific workplace health issues here.

Rebecca Abrahams

Wellbeing Project Officer HR @Rebeccabrahams