Inside Track | Creating an inclusive health and wellbeing culture

“We have a collective responsibility to create an open, understanding and inclusive culture.”

Employee survey | Helping transform our health and wellbeing. March 2023

We’re preparing to launch the University’s first organisational-wide approach to workplace health and wellbeing. Hear from Patrick Craig, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Leeds, as he outlines why the plan is so important, reflects on how it’s been shaped by listening to our community and explains how you can get involved.

Following two years of consultation and engagement with colleagues from across the University, next month will see the publication of ‘Our Wellbeing Together’.

“Do we need another plan?” is perhaps a question many will have. The simple answer is “yes”. Whilst the University’s 10-year strategic vision sets out the overarching priorities and ambitions for building a collaborative and inclusive workplace environment, ‘Our Wellbeing Together’ responds to those high-level commitments by creating a detailed framework of the actions we’re taking to support the health and wellbeing needs of colleagues.

It’s estimated that the average person will spend one third of their lives at work. That’s a significant amount of time, which highlights just how important it is for the University to invest in staff wellbeing, provide clear guidance, effective systems and embed these consistently across all corners of the organisation.

What does it mean for me?

Research consistently shows the benefits to individuals of getting workplace health and wellbeing right. Employees who feel their organisation prioritises their psychological and physical health are more likely to feel valued, motivated and have higher wellbeing levels, both in work and beyond. 

Underpinning ‘Our Wellbeing Together’ is an organisational pledge: “Our commitment to you is that the health and wellbeing of our staff community is an ongoing priority at the University. We will continue to work together, to ensure we have the programmes and services in place to meet the workplace wellbeing needs of our people, leading to a better connected, healthy and happy workforce.”

This statement isn’t an abstract vision. Our plans to realise this pledge are action-focused, measurable and will evolve by seeking feedback from colleagues to understand what’s working and what’s not. 

Through the actions set out in our six-year plan, we aim to create an inclusive health and wellbeing culture that supports our diverse community. We believe this important work will help ensure Leeds is viewed by its people as a rewarding place to work, and by those in the local community as an employer of choice.

Listening to our community

Listening to our community is central to setting the direction of our activities. Our aim is to continue working in collaboration with colleagues to understand our strengths and identify where improvements are needed. The results of the 2023 Employee Engagement Survey have given us a clear insight into what matters most to colleagues, and is shaping where and how we focus our attention to drive meaningful, positive change.

The title ‘Our Wellbeing Together’ is an acknowledgement that key to its successful delivery will involve the support of everyone. We have a collective responsibility to create an open, understanding and inclusive culture, and we will work with our community to ensure they have the knowledge, support and resources to respond to their own wellbeing needs and of those around them.

Delivery through partnership and collaboration

Our plans are purposefully ambitious and have been created through critical partnership work across: Wellbeing, Safety and Health; the Equality and Inclusion Unit; the People and Culture Directorate; Student Support Service; Information Technology; and the Facilities Directorate. Involvement of these areas has been crucial to establish our work is aligned and complements, rather than duplicates, effort.   

Our other key partners are our staff members. The views of our community are instrumental in ensuring our approach moving forwards is fit for purpose and impactful.

Next steps

Launch week will take place in the week commencing 11 March, and we will be hosting information sessions – online and in person – for colleagues to learn more. We’d welcome you to come along to provide your feedback and ask any questions you may have. 

Please complete our online registration form and we’ll be in touch with further details.

Posted in: