At MAD-HR, we make no apology for celebrating the good work of businesses which grasp the importance of wellbeing strategies in the workplace.

We’re fortunate to work with a number of organisations who have really proven themselves to be shining examples of how to support employees and to make wellbeing a key part of the organisational culture.

In part one of our wellbeing series, we chat to Ian White, CEO of Beckett Investment Management Group Ltd.

Name: Ian White – CEO

Business: Beckett Investment Management Group Ltd

Core Business Function: Beckett Investment Management Group provides peace of mind to its clients through independent financial planning and employee benefit consultancy.

Location: Offices in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich in Norwich

Total Staff: 104

“Highly recommended”

“Extremely helpful, Gave great advice, Quick on responding to any questions.” Read the full review

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Do your staff work on-site, multiple sites, a hybrid fashion (or a combination)?

All staff work in a hybrid fashion, with office-based staff spending three days in the office and two working from home.

The days in the office are arranged to ensure that all members of one team are in the office at one time

How significant is your approach to employee wellbeing within your business, and how is this demonstrated?

Becketts set out on a journey to be an Employer of Choice nearly 10 years ago, when phrases such as wellbeing and engagement were rarely used.

The growth of Becketts is entirely due to the strength of the team and how, as individuals, they have grown to maximise their potential.

Taking care of the team is part of the DNA of Becketts and will always be so.

Was there a particular time or significant event which sparked your desire to address wellbeing in a different or improved way?

No specific event – but a realisation that wellbeing is based on the foundations of trust.

It is something often talked about, but rarely achieved on a long term basis.

Creating the right culture where individuals are truly valued, will create an environment where employee wellbeing is just part of everyday life within an organisation.

How did you go about implementing your approach and policies toward wellbeing? Who was involved? How long did it take?

The foundation of our wellbeing strategy is to help individuals understand about their own physical and emotional health.

Everyone will be aware of the physical need for sleep, food and drink, and movement.

However, we have nine emotional needs as well.

All members of staff have attended an introductory half day training session with Suffolk Mind to understand these emotional needs.

This is nothing to do with work, but having a better understanding of the component of good emotional health is a great starting point for wellbeing at work.

At work, Becketts try and treat everyone as an individual to help them achieve their own potential.

The starting point is for there to be a high level of trust amongst individuals.

This does not involve extravagant budgets, but a good starting point is for an employee to trust their manager.

To achieve this, the manager has to build positive relationships, communicate and be a role model to others.

It doesn’t seem anything particularly remarkable…but how many managers actually deliver this on a consistent basis?

What challenges did you find, and were you able to overcome them with ease, or with some degree of debate and discussion?

As the company grows, maintaining the culture becomes more challenging.

Sticking to our core values of trust and integrity become more important.

Consistent communication and ensuring that employees are listened to are vital.

We’ve also found that tools such as employee surveys can be very useful in this respect, but only if the areas identified for improvement are acted upon.

How important do you think your approach to wellbeing has become in terms of recruitment and retention for your business?

Wellbeing is vital in terms of both recruitment and retention.

Over half of our new recruits come from personal recommendations – something that would not happen if the existing team didn’t feel that they were being looked after

How frequently do you reassess your approach to wellbeing, and are there particular amends or changes you intend to bring in in the coming months?

It’s continually assessed – particularly with respect to ensuring that personal development plans are in place and evolving to meet the needs of the individuals and the business.

It is also vital to keep reviewing the overall employee benefit package.

Innovation in the marketplace now enables the smallest of firms to offer a range of cost-effective benefits.

Has your approach changed – or will it – given the current situation concerning the cost of living?

We have recognised that everyone is being affected.

In November, we will be giving a one-off payment to offset some of the additional expenses at Christmas.

Staff can also come into the office rather than working from home, to reduce their heating bills.

What would your recommendations be for any leader or business owner looking at developing a new or improved strategy toward wellbeing?

Developing and implementing a successful long term wellbeing strategy will be entirely dependent on building the right culture.

Wellbeing can mean different things to different companies.

Building a high level of trust and truly caring about employees will mean that whatever strategy is adopted, it will have a high chance of success.

Sum up your business’s attitude toward employee wellbeing in no more than five words:

Essential for long-term growth