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Published: 8 Jun 2022

Santander – Winner 2022, Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing

Santander has a holistic approach to the wellbeing of their staff, implementing a package of support that allows employees to thrive.  

A holistic approach   

A dashboard method is used to measure wellbeing metrics including absence, use of interventions and hits to the wellbeing hub, the status of which leads to action plans formulated by the HR leadership team. Interventions are mapped against four wellbeing pillars, mental, physical, social and financial with an appreciation that they will impact on each other. This helps identify gaps in support and data is collected on all interventions to monitor their success. 

Support available 

The Wellbeing Hub, launched in January 2020, consolidates support available and has had over 175,000 hits since its launch. A Mental Wellbeing Network with over 10% of Santander colleagues having signed up, has been implemented which helps champion mental wellbeing across the organisation through sharing stories and lived experience, yoga sessions, weekly tea and talk, guided meditation and hosting events with industry experts to actively change perceptions of mental health and wellbeing. A member of the Executive Committee is the sponsor for the network who helps create awareness and demonstrates mental health is on the agenda at the most senior level.  

National awareness days provide opportunities to put on events with wellbeing partners and provides the opportunity to share stories aligned to a theme or topic, such as male mental health. A wellbeing podcast interviews employees and external contributors on different topics of mental wellbeing, where senior employees have shared their experiences. 

The ability to work flexibly is seen as promoting good mental health. Adding working hours to email signatures, taking quiet hours, utilising leave and having conversations with managers about working patterns is encouraged to establish positive flexible working.  

Partnering with a range of wellbeing providers, Santander offers a range of support. Gympass enables employees to access gyms all over the UK, as well as free wellbeing apps and live classes. Employees can access Thrive, a mental wellbeing app which offers live chat with trained psychologists, as well as mindfulness, CBT training and wellbeing guides. Other apps available to employees offer nutrition advice, workouts, and budgeting support.  

A measure of success 

Santander seek out feedback from staff through a survey on wellbeing, disability, and flexible working. The results are used to create action plans for each directorate. The last results showed that 79% of colleagues think the organisation takes a genuine interest in their wellbeing and 89% agree that their manager supports them in having a good balance between their work and personal lives. 

This award was sponsored by Investors in People.

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