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Published: 27 May 2021

Santander – Winner 2021, Best for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Santander’s response to Covid-19 highlights its position as an industry leader in mental health and wellbeing for staff members.

New interventions were added to an already comprehensive package of support, including live coaching with trained psychologists via the organisation’s mental wellbeing app. Staff benefit from an early intervention scheme for mental health, paid time off for caring responsibilities and online fitness classes and personal training advice. Access to wellbeing apps such as ‘Calm’, webinars, virtual tea and talks and guided meditations support staff wellbeing.

The organisation addresses four pillars of wellbeing, including mental, physical, social and financial.

Making use of technological solutions has been crucial to Santander’s support for colleagues. An internal ‘wellbeing hub’ brings together all information and services available to staff members. It is regularly updated and accounts for almost a quarter of the internal HR site’s overall traffic.

Almost 2,500 employees make use of a resource group providing events such as mental wellbeing webinars led by experts, yoga, and guided meditation. More than 850 people had time with a psychologist during the pandemic.

Santander’s culture of wellbeing is evident with time off or flexible working arrangements available for colleagues to attend counselling sessions, extra training for line managers and a dedicated mental health champion. Support and regular communication from the Executive Committee and senior leaders has set the tone for prioritising mental wellbeing throughout the organisation. Their approach is shared externally with the aim of encouraging other companies to mirror Santander’s work in this area.

An appointed Director of Resilience has led the way with Santander’s ‘Tea and Talk’ sessions. The organisation also supports Mental Health Awareness Week, World Mental Health Day, Men’s Health Week and Suicide Prevention Day.

An employee survey found a score of 81% from staff for wellbeing and 86% for their response to the pandemic. An 11% decrease in absences linked to mental health also points towards an increasingly effective wellbeing strategy.

Award sponsored by Hill Dickinson LLP

Find out what the judges and sponsor had to say about Santander – winner of the Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing Award 2021.