Toyota GB’s wellbeing pledge by Carla Henson, Senior Manager, HR Business Partnering & Experience at Toyota GB PLC

In my role I lead the business partnering team at Toyota (GB) PLC, alongside developing our HR offer to create an exceptional employee experience.

This includes working to deliver projects which innovate and improve the employee experience, including ‘enabling employees to be their best’, focused on performance management and reward and the area of ‘looking after you’ which covers benefits and our wellbeing strategy which I cover in more detail below.  

At Toyota GB. we want everyone to feel like they are supported to be the best they can be. That’s why we pledge to support all of our employees physical, financial and mental wellbeing, to create a happy and healthy workplace.  

I have been lucky enough to lead the wellbeing agenda at TGB, designing and launching a comprehensive ‘It’s Okay to Talk’ wellbeing strategy in 2019, covering mental, financial and physical wellness.  This was building upon strong foundations encouraging open, honest and transparent conversations across the business.  

Our starting point was to launch our wellbeing pledge, which was fully supported by our MD and Directors as our commitment to our employees.  We then wanted to make sure that we really understood our people, by carrying out a comprehensive wellbeing audit of our data and holding focus groups across the company. This identified a number of areas, focusing on additional support for managers and employees to reach their optimum wellness with a need for better awareness and understanding of mental health and the opportunity for honest conversations about their wellbeing.

We used this as a basis to introduce a number of new wellness initiatives. This started with the rollout of Mindful Manager and Talking Wellbeing training, which has been offered to all employees focused on mental health awareness, helping to spotting the symptoms, how to create the right work environment and providing practical tools and support frameworks.  

We also trained a group of 17 Mental Health First Aiders, volunteers who are passionate about normalising conversations about wellbeing and mental health and are available to all employees to listen and signpost to the appropriate support.  

This has been underpinned through our Wellbeing Hub which provides an overview of everything employees need to know about Wellbeing with a direct link to our free Employee Assistance Portal and an overview of our financial and physical wellbeing support, including a lunchtime running club, onsite gym, osteopathy, massage and face to face counselling.  

We were delighted to see that this has all made a real difference to our people, seeing an increase in our wellbeing data in the 2019/20 Best Companies survey, which had previously remained static for the past two years.  

This has been a fantastic opportunity to lead a project which makes a real difference to our people, driving culture change which is more open, honest and supports the optimum wellness of our people. Work will continue in this area, all new starters and managers will attend these programmes and there is publicity around the building to enable employees to find the right support when they need it.  In addition, we have been working on providing new spaces in our building for individuals to work in different ways and will shortly launch a new food offer focused on healthy eating and giving individuals a wider range of choices at different times during the day to suit their working pattern.  

This, alongside our approach to flexible working, is ensuring a focused approach to wellbeing going forward.

Toyota GB wellbeing pledge

Article by Carla Henson, Senior Manager, HR Business Partnering & Experience at Toyota GB PLC

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