Investing in and reporting on mental health at BT Group

Business in the Community Workwell Framework
Working well: Positioning employee wellbeing as a strategic boardroom issue linked to securing business objectives. Creating a culture of wellbeing where employees feel trusted and respected, with a proactive approach to wellbeing, underpinned by strong governance and reporting arrangements.

BT have been investing in a strategic approach to the wellbeing of their people for more than ten years, not only for the good of the people, the organisation but the communities in which they serve.

At BT, we invest in our people so they can thrive and contribute to our business and the communities in which we work and live, create better products and improve the way we serve our customers. We’ve been investing in a strategic approach to supporting employee wellbeing for more than 10 years. Our health promotion programme, Workfit supports our people to improve their physical and mental health, which helps us to embed an approach where people understand there is a continuum of mental health and that this can shift regularly – just like our own physical health.

It is important for us to invest in support for our line managers, so that they have the capabilities to look after their own health, whilst supporting those they line manage when they experience a mental health condition. Our managing mental health course and resilience training for people managers is designed to equip line managers to recognise signs of mental health difficulties and take action to support people effectively.

We do not expect our people to act as health professionals, but we do provide all managers with guidance on health and wellbeing support, and this includes specific material for managers of people who are affected by mental health issues. This guidance focuses on re-enforcing overall good line-management practices, preventative and early warning approaches, and how to refer and support those who are in need of specialist support.

We are committed to measuring and reporting on wellbeing, to ensure that our investment is making an impact. We consult regularly with our people, through a range of face-to-face and digital communication channels, including quarterly employee surveys and a range of forums including employee groups, to ensure that we are identifying health and wellbeing issues that may be affecting certain population groups within our wider employee base. Our dedicated Wellbeing, Inclusion, Safety and Health team analyses this data, and works with management to identify any emerging trends, so that we can develop appropriate responses.

Using a range of feedback mechanisms allows us understand and explore further the merits of our wellbeing approach – ranging from our employee volunteering levels and employee network participation to formal indicators, like our overall Wellbeing Index score, absence rates and work-related ill-health indicators. We’re proud that our scores are high and mostly improving, and we will continue to set challenging targets to ensure we are working to improve the experience of our people. We look forward to building on our mental health provision through ongoing engagement with our line managers and the wider BT population.

 

Alister Scott
Head of Health and Deputy Chief Medical Officer
BT Group