Strategy & LeadershipHR StrategyWellbeing at the heart of your people strategy

Wellbeing at the heart of your people strategy

Tim Munden, Chief Learning Officer at Unilever spoke to HRD Connect about the vital importance of having a wellbeing strategy that helps everyone within the business.

For Tim, an impactful wellbeing program doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. He strongly believes that whatever you put into developing and supporting your people, you will see as a huge investment. “Wellbeing unleashes the energy in our people to drive sustainable performance; wellbeing is the fuel for the energy we need to run our company. It’s also just the right to do – to care for people,” he said.

Tim Munden, Chief Learning Officer, Unilever

Tim went on to explain that Unilever has an holistic approach to wellbeing, which has deep origins, starting with their founder William Hesketh Lever who wanted to create products that “made cleanliness commonplace; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products”.

Mentally equipping your people 

Tim wants to encourage other business leaders to prioritise wellbeing as a core element of their HR strategy.

“A commitment to wellbeing has to flow throughout the entire organisation, this means the length and breadth of the business.”

Tim then spoke about a Unilever workshop called Thrive, which allows individuals to reflect on their own personal wellbeing as a team team. “Done by our own people, for our own people. People want to hear from our leaders, creating a safe space, and signalling that wellbeing is a conversation we’re going to have within the workplace,” Tim explained. Over 50,000 Unilever people worldwide have attended the Thrive workshop.

Tim challenges leaders to question what their purpose is, and how they’ll achieve it. He said: “Leaders should be clear on their purpose, how that purpose drives their leadership and connects to their work. You don’t need to spend a lot on consulting – we have created workshops to work through this and put purpose at the hear of our people system. Bring your purpose to work; when this happens, magic happens.”

A crucial element of any wellbeing program covers mental health. Another commitment at Unilever is ‘1chat, 1call, 1click’ to ensure that employees are never far away from the help and support they need.  This has been put in place for employees to access help and support be it in person, on the phone or online. Tim discussed how most mental health issues aren’t generated at work, but can often impact work. Getting support quickly is crucial to keeping people in work, which has been shown to aid eventual recovery. “Together we need to end the stigma around mental health, otherwise people will not access the help they need and there’ll be no improvement in this growing area of need in our society,” he said.

Make time to talk

Tim spoke about the ‘Time to Change’ pledge through which employers make a public pledge to end stigma around mental health, and simply involves formulating a plan to put support in place in their workplace. “The pledge really makes a difference, signalling to your people and your stakeholders that you are committed to end stigma in your workplace. And the good news is that there are easy to use resources to help which come at low or no cost; huge progress is possible and the payoff is great.”

Tim ended his presentation with a key message: “A commitment to wellbeing has to flow throughout the entire organisation, this means the length and breadth of the business.”

To watch Tim’s exclusive interview with HRD Connect, click here:

 

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