Four ways to improve wellbeing at your workplace


‘The biggest asset your organisation has is its people. The biggest asset they have is their health and wellbeing – so it makes good business sense for you to look after it’, according to Investors in People. More than 140 million working days are lost to sickness absence each year, at a cost of £100 billion. Organisations investing in employee wellbeing quadrupled between 2006 and 2016, and yet more than half don’t have a coordinated wellbeing strategy.

At Moving Ahead, we believe wellbeing is a desired positive state in which an individual has the energy to realise their own potential, work productively across every aspect of their life and contribute positively to their family, organisation, community and society at large. Wellbeing is the outcome of a complex and dynamic mix of physical, psychological, social, environmental and financial factors that continually influence how an individual reacts and responds to the challenges, opportunities and stresses of everyday life.

We undertook a huge research study A well new world to find out how cross-sector business, schools, women's prisons, elite sport and the Armed Forces are revolutionsing their approach to wellbeing – and here’s what we found:-

1. Connect – on a human to human level

When two or more people are brought together in open, honest dialogue and mutual support, powerful things happen. Some of the most successful wellbeing interventions involve connection, most notably around psychological issues. Campaigns, networks and wellbeing champions put the responsibility for wellbeing back in the hands of employees. Stories and challenges are shared, and appropriate support offered over extended periods of time. This is how change truly happens. Delivery methods are evolving to reflect the messages they offer. The era of passively absorbing content is passing, making way for dynamic storytelling and conversation. Read more here.

2Learn from others

The military has brought wellbeing into daily operations – commanding officers are now responsible for the health and welfare of their soldiers, rather than just being mission-oriented.

A collegiate approach across a new culture of honesty and openness at a struggling school has led to a marked drop in stress levels.

In a women’s prison, staff and inmates share wellbeing activities together as a community to role model behaviors in wider society.

In sport, wellbeing is based on data which is used to generate insights that influence decisions about the training, recovery and rehabilitation of athletes.

Employers say Employee Assistance Programmes are the most favoured, but employees say they prefer free fruit. Read more here.

3. Create a truly inclusive culture

Organisations are working hard to improve diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing is a powerful outcome of an inclusive culture. By facilitating connections, we lay the foundations for both inclusivity and wellbeing, individually and at an organisational level, too. Mentoring sits at the heart of this approach, enabling and structuring these connections.

Mentoring also powers the learning and support networks so critically needed, not only to optimise talent, teams and organisations themselves, but for society to flourish. We believe mentoring is an as yet untapped resource within workplace wellbeing; one with the potential to drive inclusion and effect real cultural change. Read more here.

4. Integrate wellbeing into the DNA of your organisation

This is one of those times in business when ‘talking the talk’ will have significantly less impact than ‘walking the walk’. To truly reap the many and varied rewards of investing in wellbeing, organisations need to enable a culture in which wellbeing moves beyond the big bang events, employee benefits package and initiatives, and simply becomes, ‘The way we do things around here’. This is far more challenging, it will take longer, and it will require a different kind of effort, but, if you can get it right, it will outlast any initiative or campaign. It will become part of your organisational DNA. Read more here.


Moving Ahead, sponsored by Mizuho International, researched wellbeing in organisations ranging from business, to schools, to the Armed Forces and prisons. Our full findings are here. Research underpins Moving Ahead’s work – in the spirit of the growth mindset, we continually learn, adapt and present best practice so we can offer the most current, optimal services to the organisations we work with. We offer wellbeing strategy guidance, wellbeing toolkits and training for managers and leaders, wellbeing mentoring programmes and masterclasses, wellbeing networks design and support, storytelling, keynotes and impact evaluation. 


Notes to Editors  

Moving Ahead is a purpose-led, specialist development and diversity organisation. We believe in the power of mentoring programmes, masterclasses, and research to create positive change. The ‘why’ is simple - diversity of thought, experience, and teams leads to increased creativity, innovation, retention and better business performance. Moving Ahead works not just around the world but also across the spectrum of diversity, for more than 160 organisations including BT, Cisco, Google, Warner Music, Deloitte and Ricoh. We have supported nearly 10,000 mentors and mentees.

Women Ahead is Moving Ahead’s award-winning social enterprise arm with a focus on gender equality. It is where our story started – as a mentoring organisation founded with the belief that parity between men and women will benefit individuals, organisations and society as a whole. Our goals have evolved hugely since start-up in 2014.


About Mizuho International plc:

Mizuho International plc (Mizuho International) is the London based securities and investment banking arm of the Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.  With a primary focus on client based activities, its wide range of services includes sales and trading in both debt and equity securities, the underwriting of new issues and M&A advisory services.  Mizuho International is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is a member of the London Stock Exchange and LCH.Clearnet Limited.  Mizuho International also has offices in Frankfurt, Germany and Dubai, UAE.