Anglian Water

Building a programme for a diverse, field-based organisation

Anglian Water is a water company operating in the East of England across multiple sites, employing over 5,000 people.   They have a range of initiatives and resources in place to support well-being for all employees through their LIFE programme. Anglian’s award-winning approach has placed a commitment to health and wellbeing at the heart of their culture. They were named Employer of the Year at the 2020 Utility Week Awards. 

The Issue

Mental Health at Work began working with Anglian Water in 2018. At that time the company had a number of initiatives in place around individual signposting and support for mental health, including mindfulness, but had an identified need for a more customised  approach. They wanted to support line managers to feel more confident to have open conversations about mental health with their teams, to tackle stigma and to raise awareness of the supports on offer at the company. Anglian knew that to have impact, any programme delivered needed to be relatable to their diverse working environments. Something for lone-workers, those on shift as well as those in office-based roles.

The answer

Mental Health at Work developed a customised programme for Anglian Water, beginning with front line managers and then extending across the business, linking with their LIFE programme and complementing the broader health and wellbeing provision across the company.

The solution

Since 2018, over 650 Managers and Well Being Ambassadors have been through a tailored face to face or virtual full day Manage workshop. Before establishing this programme Mental Health at Work conducted a number of scoping sessions and piloted the programme to ensure that the specific needs of this target audience could be met. Programme content has continued to evolve in response to the changing workplace and external environments. This has included individually designed workshops for the Occupational Health Team,  building their knowledge around workplace mental health to help them in their very specific role within the business. 

Anglian Water has a number of employees who are lone workers and are consequently at risk of being isolated. To address the needs of these staff, Mental Health at Work has run tailored short Understand Mental Health sessions where employees could come together at hotel locations and benefit from some time away from their day to day role to consider mental health. We have also been part of a wider learning initiative called ‘Stand Down’ days,  where employees who might ordinarily be out on site/location or delivering equipment have met together and attended workshops to highlight the importance of taking care of their own mental health and well-being. This has given both the opportunity to meet with colleagues from across the business and given an ideal opportunity to remind staff of the supports that Anglian Water has in place to access further help. Mental Health  Work were able to reach 1200 front line staff over 6 dates through these Stand Down events.

Since July 2020 we have been running virtual Understand Mental Health workshops, available for any front-line staff member to book onto. We have reached over 300 employees so far through this part of our programme.

In response to the second lockdown in Spring 2021, Anglian Water ran a series of Webinar sessions to support well-being.  Mental Health at Work were invited to deliver a live Understand Mental Health webinar and made a recording available to be watched over the following month, reaching over 700 employees. 

The impact

This rolling programme has continued to evolve and is an embedded part of the overall mental health and wellbeing offer at Anglian Water.

For the remainder of 2021 we will continue to deliver virtual workshops and rephase face to face sessions. Considering new ways to reach isolated or lone workers in the transportation division and continuing to deliver to a suite of learning outcomes that build awareness, confidence and skills to understand and manage mental health across the business.

The proof

“Mental Health at Work have designed and delivered programmes around workplace mental health which meet the very specific needs of our business.  These continue to evolve and build as we understand more about how to support our broad workforce in the most effective and engaging way”

Sarah Barton, OH Performance & Systems Manager, Anglian Water

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