The wellbeing support programme introduced by Jessica Badley and Blood Cancer UK is a fantastic example of what can be achieved within a large charity, despite having a limited budget.
The judges were impressed with the creativity and hard work shown to overcome the organisation's lack of resources and provide top-class wellbeing support, and were thrilled to name Jessica Badley the 2021 Culture Pioneer of Wellbeing.
Blood Cancer UK is not only on a mission to beat blood cancer within a generation, the charity also aspires to provide world-class wellbeing support for its people – and it is doing just that.
Since November 2019, Jessica Badley, Head of HR and OD, and the team have been running a culture change project that enables colleagues to speak up, take risks and fail fast, to help achieve their goal of beating blood cancer. Lying at the heart of this project has been a laser focus on improving employee wellbeing. “The objectives for our wellbeing strategy were to ensure that wellbeing became embedded into our organisation, rather than a ‘nice to have’ or an ‘add on’,” says Jessica.
Like with most charities, Blood Cancer UK’s budget was small and the team had to get really creative to better support their people. The HR team created a wellbeing strategy based on evidence and best practice, which they then took to various employee networks to feed back on and help refine.
The outcome is a holistic strategy that is built upon four key strands.
Providing opportunities for senior leaders to talk about wellbeing and mental health often, to support culture change from the top
Offering face-to-face virtual support for the team – and providing wellbeing training for line managers
Providing dedicated resources which are easy to access
Setting expectations right from the start, with candidates and new hires being made aware of the emphasis placed on wellbeing at the charity
Badley and her team have also introduced a continuous improvement model within their management system. This has encouraged employees to provide feedback and raise concerns, with the knowledge that it will actually result in action. Employees were given agency over the type of wellbeing session they would like, as well as their suggestions forming part of the wellbeing inclusion framework.
What our judges thought
“Blood Cancer UK is a great example of how to commit to employee wellbeing with limited resources and see huge impact. Their approach hasn't just benefitted the charity, but society as a whole, which is why we selected Jessica Badley as the winner of the 2021 Culture Pioneer of Wellbeing Award.”
Gethin Nadin, Culture Pioneers Judge and Employee Wellbeing Specialist
"Blood Cancer UK diversified their business at the same time as people working in traumatic conditions and uncertainty. It's so nice to see people taking wellbeing beyond tokenistic perks and into real care, real congruence and real leadership."
Perry Timms, Culture Pioneers Judge and Founder & Chief Energy Officer of People and Transformational HR