How BWB Consulting reduced stress and wellbeing sickness absence by 54%

Samuel Roberts

Wrote this on, April 10, 2024

Having achieved an incredible impact in the wellbeing space, we sat down with Sarah Walker, HR Director at BWB Consulting, to talk about their wellbeing approach and the story so far with Everymind at Work.  

  The key numbers:

  • Wellbeing programme supporting 355+ employees across the organisation
  • 12 Wellbeing Ambassadors supported by Everymind at Work
  • 35 Everymind Champions created
  • Driven a 54% reduction in sickness absence related to stress and wellbeing
For us, it wasn’t just about doing the wellbeing activities; it was about having a strategy and a true partner to support us.
– Sarah Walker, HR Director, BWB Consulting

Where the story began…

From early conversations, there were two main focus areas for BWB Consulting (BWB). The first was minimising the risks associated with an unsupported Mental Health First Aid or Champion network, known as Wellbeing Ambassadors for BWB. And secondly, they were looking for a partner that would drive an impactful wellbeing program across the organisation year-on-year, ensuring employees receive ongoing proactive support. Sarah comments, “in short, we developed a wellbeing strategy. We identified Everymind at Work as a partner. And they were head and shoulders above anyone else we contemplated working with, offering far more support to our employees and Ambassadors.”

Surrounding their Wellbeing Ambassadors, Sarah continues:

“When Ambassadors (or MHFAs/Champions) are trained and left unsupported, organisations are risking boundaries being overstepped. Those ambassadors are the unsung heroes, taking on very difficult situations and conversations, and so we have to ask the question; how are we making sure they’re okay? How can we protect them from overwhelm, burnout or being triggered by the conversations they’re having? I knew that not only was it important to regularly check-in with them, but also learn from the network as well, that way we can understand what’s going on in the workforce”.

It’s well known that many organisations struggle with Mental Health First Aiders and Champions following their initial training. The reality is that a 2-day training course without any support systems behind the network is not only risky but will drastically reduce the impact of the network. To be successful, they require ongoing training, structure and support to be effective and practice safely in their role. Continuing on, Sarah discussed how Everymind at Work’s Roadmap and wellbeing programme has a positive impact on their culture.

“I would also say the Everymind at Work platform makes life so much easier for both the HR team and the marketing and communication team because you provide us with the intelligence, the education, the support material, the posters, whatever it may be, whatever we want to raise awareness about and talk to our people. We often receive comments from our workforce that they can see how much we care about creating the right culture in a way that’s really genuine.”

For many organisations, running wellbeing initiatives can be very problematic, not only because driving engagement is difficult but there are often concerns around the advice shared, how credible the information is and also having the necessary resource to run these initiatives internally. The Everymind Roadmap solves this by delivering a consistent wellbeing programme that operates as a foundational layer for organisations to take a proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Establishing an effective wellbeing strategy and wellbeing programme:

  • Challenge: When Sarah joined BWB, there was no clear wellbeing strategy in place or consistent programme to drive proactive support to employees.

  • Outcome: BWB developed a comprehensive wellbeing strategy and partnered with Everymind at Work. The Roadmap became their way of delivering ongoing proactive support to employees, tackling mental health stigma and further embedding a culture of wellbeing. Additionally, the introduction of the Everymind Champion Course was hugely successful as a starting point with 140 individuals enrolled to create a knowledgeable and well-supported culture.

Decreasing the risk of an unsupported Ambassador network:

  • Challenge: Sarah knew the concerns and risks of Ambassadors overstepping boundaries or potentially reaching burnout, particularly when left unsupported.

  • Outcome: Everymind at Work provided the necessary support systems to protect the Ambassadors, actively checking in with them through supervision and ongoing support. These systems along with ongoing training ensure the network is continually upskilled and supported to reduce the risk of burnout, stress or vicarious trauma. This approach also meant Ambassadors were able to deliver better outcomes for employees by being able to signpost and participate in their role in an effective way.

A proactive approach to wellbeing embedded within the organisation:

  • Challenge: BWB had mental health provisions in place however a number of these were reactive, they were looking to switch to a proactive approach to improve mental health outcomes for employees.
  • Outcome: The development and upskilling of the Ambassador network allows BWB to signpost individuals to the right support earlier rather than later. Alongside this,  regular check-ins and data captured through the Everymind Platform helps BWB identify trends, understand the workforce better, and tailor their wellbeing strategy accordingly. This proactive approach contributed to a significant reduction in absenteeism in association with mental health and wellbeing.

    We’re so pleased with the story so far and all of the efforts BWB have taken to improve the wellbeing of their workforce. From day one it was about bringing it back to what works, taking a proactive approach, creating supportive measures that meaningfully impact employees. To conclude the impact we’ve driven together, Sarah said:

    “We’ve absolutely seen absenteeism in relation to mental health challenges dramatically reduce, in fact we’ve seen a 54% reduction in sickness absence related to stress and wellbeing. We’re being far more proactive and able to support individuals before they have to contemplate or take time out of the workplace which is incredibly positive.”

    We’re truly proud to be partnered with BWB Consulting and look forward to continuing to drive better outcomes for all employees. A huge thank you to Sarah and the whole team for their support and we look forward to seeing our partnership evolve further!

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