This week I attended a meeting hosted by PwC where the purpose was to explain the Wellbeing in the City project, report on the experience of its pre-launch with PwC and give attendees the chance to use the learning resources for wellbeing and listening skills. I wrote on this topic in my blog ‘Building a Better City for All’ on 10th
December, 2017. [i]
Rosie Grissell, Project Manager in the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Office explained that the Wellbeing in the City project was launched at a ‘This is Me’ meeting on 9th
February. As a result over 50 organisations have expressed interest in participating. This includes firms of various sizes ranging from large banks like Barclays, law firms like Clifford Chance; public sector organisations like the City of London Corporation and charities like Cancer Research UK.
Lucia Capobianco of the Samaritans told us that 14% of all employees have experienced suicidal feelings at some time. 60% experience some degree of mental ill health. 15.8 million work days are lost to mental health problems each year in the UK. In other words there is a strong business case for employers to seek to help their workforce identify and deal with these problems.
The project is designed to empower City based workers and give them transferable skills.
The project has been developed with considerable support from PwC, both financial and in terms of time. Focus groups were held with a cross section of employees from all levels in the organisation. These showed that employees were very interested and wanted to see authentic materials produced with real case studies. These are relevant to staff in a range of roles and are flexible to deploy.
The tools are designed to enable “bite-sized” learning, consisting of
Video learning tool
Listening skills e-learning
Interactive tool kit (pdf)
They have been tailored to the City, are high quality, interactive and engaging, and will help people to think about their emotional wellbeing. The tools will go on general release on 9th April, though pre-registration is open now. They will be available free of charge to any individual. There are various ways in which organisations can get involved:
Adopt the tools
Take part in fund-raising and awareness building
Sally Evans of PwC stated that while PwC already lists “caring” as one of its global values voted on by thousands of employees, this nevertheless represented a new departure for them and so it was being launched with a new brand “Be Well, Work Well.” This had been identified as a global priority. This programme consisted of:
Promoting mental health
Providing the right support
Destigmatising mental illness
Ben Higgin, a partner in PwC and also a Samaritan volunteer, said that bringing in the Samaritans has introduced emotion to their work with employees. It has provided a mechanism in helping leaders deal with issues of mental health. Prior to introducing this programme less than 15% of those employed had received any training in this area and PwC has a huge programme of training. After this training over 90% said they felt confident in dealing with such issues and 100% would be able to talk about themselves if there was the need.
Ben said the UK Chairman Kevin Ellis was fully behind the programme and driving it from the top. That will obviously help enormously but I think as long as there is a senior person in the organisation who will champion this and make it happen it will be enough. It does not have to be the top man.
To me the materials appeared well designed, simple to understand and to use. For more information go to https://www.samaritans.org/for-business/wellbeing-city
I hope that maybe some readers of this blog will be interested in introducing this programme to their own organisations or to other organisations with