Leadership BITES

Andy Holmes, Global Head of Wellbeing at reckitt

April 06, 2021 Guy Bloom Season 1 Episode 49
Leadership BITES
Andy Holmes, Global Head of Wellbeing at reckitt
Show Notes Transcript

Andy Holmes is the Global Head of Welbeing at reckitt and he has has one of those roles that seems easy to say. However is laden with the complexities of understanding the nuances of the 'wellbeing' agenda in different countries and contexts.

How do you actually make wellbeing resonate for people?

As the Global Head of Wellbeing at reckitt, Andy has a role that spans many truths and his role is to help leaders make sense of it for themselves and others.

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beautiful can you hear me all right and everything i can m more calling awesome i can uh i can i can hear you uh absolutely fine so listen andy um great to have you on this episode of leadership bites welcome thank you very much good to meet you again guy and uh yeah good to have a little giggle about only fools and horses as well what a refreshing start to a friday i i know i've been laughing myself silly over it just just watching it again so just uh so many moments in it and uh yeah i always did wonder actually if you translate it to other people that weren't of an age or an era or even from this country you know like faulty you know people in japan watch it and go i don't know why they think that's funny or is it well well i've got an interlude on that being a geordie who loved only fools and horses then moving to australia didn't land so you know not australia but you know maybe other countries let's leave it open it's well there we go anyway so that's the word that's me binging netflix that are ridiculous [Laughter] so listen andy i know who you are um by definition i've invited you on so of course i know who you are but it'd be just great for you to introduce yourself say what you do right now and then we'll get into that whole focus that you have in life no that's awesome guy and that you know it's it's a pleasure to uh to join you know i've listened to a a few of these and you know i love the organic nature of them so it's a real pleasure to be here but yeah my name's andy holmes so i'm the global head of wellbeing for rb um which is the company behind dettol which a lot of us have become very familiar with but also brands like you know eurofen gaviscon strep tools et cetera et cetera so it's fully uh you know global uh health and hygiene company um and yeah an incredibly big but uh exciting challenge ahead and is it now just rb because i'll be i'm saying this wrong wreck it ben beckham houser ben kieza yeah it used to be wreck it ben keys and we are now rb just rb okay because that's obviously okay good so in terms of the role that you inhabit um it's a it's a role that almost uh well it's it's it's no it's a new role in it it is yeah so you know the way the world looks at what might be of value in an organization so what's it uh what's the what's the span of that role and what what's its meaning in in an organization regardless of the one that you happen to be in yeah i think it you know it's a good question and it's you know when i when i announced obviously on linkedin there was there was an incredible wave of support which was for me was something i wasn't expecting you know not not because of me personally but more so that you know the the the community really seemed to value that a company like rb had taken the step of making a formal appointment in this space um and i think it was as much as anything with the you know the pandemic there's a real need for um you know people to believe in in the statements that organizations are making and certainly during the course of 2020 i saw a lot of organizations making a lot of statements and a lot of pledges around well-being and around what we were doing etc etc but without really putting a lot of skin in the game you know the yoga classes that kind of stuff is great but it has to be something that's much more deep rooted within an organization it has to be genuine it has to be believable and it has to in in essence be organic you know some of this has to be for the people by the people it can't just be a deployment um so i think that's the the first big thing i would say the the second thing is the role in itself is whatever it needs to be you know i think as covert has taught us you know if we put this role in place 18 months ago the the agenda and the scope of a role like this would be potentially very different to that which it is now obviously you see that the mental health and well-being side of things really coming through strong you look at you know diversity and all the other issues that you know the more social and global issues that exist and all of these have you know tentacles into well-being they all have an influence on the way that we feel um the way that we sustain ourselves and and and how we you know how we exist so i think certainly within our organization we're trying to look at it very much as a whole person picture so it's not about work or life balance it's not about work-life balance it's one person you know a person is a person everyone has an individual journey around well-being and everyone has their own needs which are influenced by their own unique set of circumstances so this role rb is about raising awareness it's about you know rallying the people to to really come around it's about changing the narrative of well-being and about how well-being is our way of sustainably thriving in an organization like rb but ultimately our well-being will dictate what we can deliver in terms of goods and services and products to our customers and consumers um so it's absolutely imperative that we are our best selves as much of the time as we can be in order that we can you know fulfill our promise and our fight to our customers consumers outside of that so if i've heard that correctly there's this overarching concept of what well-being might need to be but understanding that even though some things are probably inherently true your relationship with it will be your own yeah exactly you know for you it might be for one person it's going for a run that could be an anathema to somebody else but what i like to do is just that just means having some space just to think whatever it is absolutely no i did you know a guy you've absolutely hit it on the head and i think um one of the challenges has been that i would say over the last sort of you know three or four years corporates have really jumped on you know the gym sessions the you know the access passes to gyms yoga sessions you know eating initiatives you know weight loss steps challenges all this sort of stuff and they're all great enablers and great momentum builders but quite often they can be quite um exclusive um they can they can mean that a lot of people you know arguably the 60 70 percent of people in the middle who don't perceive they have a challenge or a problem or or a need or don't feel they can or have the capacity to just won't access it and i think you know that's the challenge you know well-being is about it's about the organic nature of a community coming together and providing you know interpersonal support for each other in order to you know you know get to those those sort of better levels where we're enjoying life um i think as you've alluded to one of the challenges that covet has brought us is that it's not necessarily that everyone has a mental health problem or everyone has a physical health problem or an underlying general health problem it's just that a lot of people yes there are those people but a lot of people are just not really thriving they're not enjoying what they do on a daily basis they're not their best version of themselves and i think during covert we've put a lot of coping mechanisms individually honest corporates into place to try and mitigate against some of the impact of covid and we haven't necessarily updated those so so we're left with routines that aren't necessarily particularly fulfilling we're left with daily cadences that don't really make us thrive or don't really give us that essence of thrive and some about well-being is really changing the narrative to have the conversation to say is what we're doing right is it actually making us happy is it bringing our best self and if not how do we start to make the small changes across a lot of different areas rather than trying to search for the big lever that's going to change everything for everyone straight at once yeah that's a big um that's a big packet to unpack in some respects it is yeah people's relationships with their own inner voice their relationships with their own sense of physical self their etc etc you know we could know that gone on that one for quite some time so and of course it's it's where we have a responsibility which might be different to where we have a duty of care and and what's personal and then of your flipping business yeah there's a whole set of things there that where is it invasive or where is it a helping hand where so i imagine there's a lot um especially when you've got a very large diverse and globally placed workforce um are there different relationships with well-being in different parts of the world as in it's absolutely i think you know every every culture every region will have a slightly different a a different predisposed set of you know health factors um certain areas of the world be very heavy on diabetes other areas of the world be very heavy on you know whether it's malnutrition or you know time zone challenges which means people don't sleep or certain you know trends in terms of socialization that people have but i think the the other side of things is that um you know there there's a big gap at the moment that's the one thing is access to so we have a big thing at rb about you know access it to to the world you know the world's best health and well-being is not you know it's not a a privilege it's a right um so that's a really key part of what we do so access is one thing and a real fight around that but the second thing is matching up responsibility and capability so you know in a lot of instances you might say well a lot of managers said deloitte have done a paper on this where a lot of managers about three-quarters of managers feel it's their responsibility to care for someone and be there to support someone's mental health for example less than 20 actually feel they have the capability or the tools or the resources to do so so it's about identifying where are the pressure points where are the acute things that we need to address with a matter of urgency um but then on top of that where we identify those how do we identify the person who should be responsible and ensure that they have the capabilities to match their responsibility but the other thing is making sure that where we shouldn't be responsible where we're not qualified where people should be being referred to or supported into a different type of care that that is happening as well rather than people kind of getting stuck halfway between um as i said before the big bulk of things is the 60 in the middle who aren't elite athletes they're not doing triathlons or ironmans every day but the bulk of people who sit in an organization who just aren't maybe you know thriving and and buzzing on what they do quite in the same way that they used to because those are the people who over a duration an enduring period of time those behaviors those traits may become chronic and that's when you start to have you know the challenges start to come through and listen when you're top of when you're top of the tree right it's it's self-motivating the targets are there the financial outcomes can be greater so there's a whole set of things that are more geared towards somebody being on point in some respects because of but when you're in that space of you know my job is what it is yeah and it and there's nothing wrong with that i want to come and do a bloody good day's work it doesn't have those inherent shifts or changes or just leaving the office or going places no i said desk in that space and that's where i have to be ninety percent of the titles it's got those inherent chances i'm i'm interested in um and you know course correct me here if i say something new you know you know because guys world isn't obviously everybody else's but when you think about um stepping out of rb really and just inherently your view on the world i've got this thing around i hear corporate social responsibility and in that i and i've mentioned this a few times on other episodes i have this sense of yes we've we've we've got a gym or we we let you go and help the local school one day yeah like that so it's almost the over marketing tool of yeah yeah what it is and i always think you know take off the word corporate and just call it social responsibility and what i hear in what you're saying is no if we if we're putting the right people in the right jobs if we're maybe you know we talk about giving somebody feedback skills because it's what job requires but actually if that means they can go home and they can have better conversations at home because they're good at listening and yeah receiving feedback and giving feedback on the course they learn not to interrupt and that means when they go home the other person feels listened to yeah then doesn't that affect the quality of their lives at home which affects society which affects their quality of life and their kind of foundational strength absolutely i'm sure he does but yeah no no no absolutely i think there's there's a couple of bits i would pick up on i think um the the point about sort of the the very most senior leaders you know the sort of the incentives and and the focus being there um i think one of the challenges is that those people whilst those things are there um there's almost um i think when people look upwards at them there's there's a perception that it's okay for you to take time out or for you to fail or for you to step back or for you to you know make a pledge or whatever else but i think when you actually talk to people in these positions and this isn't just rb i mean they're saying yesterday i did a panel on this and one of the things that that becomes very apparent is that those individuals themselves have their own own unique set of challenges their own unique set of pressures that they put on themselves and whilst they might not externalize a lot of those emotions or beliefs or feelings they internalize a lot of it so you know sometimes you have someone who's almost locked themselves in their own pressure cooker because they believe that they have to be that person um you know so they don't have those those outlets so i think you know certainly at rb but my belief as well is that regardless of hierarchy we should be treating everyone in exactly the same you know in the same way with the same the same sort of um you know the same attitude or the same agenda um i think the pete the the comment you make about you know if we if we train people who give people right companies and skills inside inside work it benefits the society outside of work absolutely um i think where where my thinking is at with the well-being space is that one of the biggest things is that you can give someone the competency and skills but if you don't enable them with the capacity to do it or the energy to be able to deliver upon that you look we we can all have the right intent but you know as well as i do we wake up in a bad mood if you skip skip a meal because of a lunch meeting you're not going to be that that that ideal person giving you know communicating in the right way listening in the right way so you know i'm a firm believer in that the environment that we create has to be such that it enables an individual or employee to sustain themselves in the right way if you achieve that then moods and emotions become more predictable you do that then behavior becomes more consistent behavior becomes culture behavior becomes the impact on others so you know i think quite often you know i see in organizations we work a lot on the behaviors you know leadership competencies etc etc but we don't really take the time to consider well what's influencing that behavior it's not just the interaction with that person that's influenced the behavior it's the moods and emotions that you're not rationalizing that are really kind of putting you in a bit of a funk that shifts the type of person you are you know if uh you know if you come on this call and you you'd had an awful night's sleep and you'd spend you know three hours on the phone with the inland revenue you probably wouldn't be bubbly happily guy talking about only only fools and horses you know so i think our duty of care is the environment but also the the way that we energize and the way that we provide that sustenance or enable sustenance especially in a remote world so you know it's become one of the big challenges you know people have started to you know sacrifice without realizing the things that they the basics that they need to you know to be a good person in the world um you know we we've heard a lot about people working ridiculous hours at their desks you know spending all of their time on zoom calls and you know the the science shows us that this is massively fatiguing um you know so some of the things we're looking at is how do we start to change the blend in the mix of those meetings those calls those conversations so that you know we give our brains that chance to sort of you know just decompress a bit so we can be that consistent leader or or colleague so there's something there about the um the structural setup of an organization that allows certain things to be true like i've just noticed i'm getting eye strain because flipping your eyes are getting worse i said to my wife the other day i'm saying i'm a bit worried like i feel like my eyes you know really not good i know i've got i've just been playing with the light i've got to get the lighting i may have to put so i've got to do something that because i'm on a monitor all day you know and yeah so yeah there's something about organizations okay fine yeah we can make sure people got monitors but there's something again about that that's that structure of a person's life and their role this is actually mandating it's a computer and it's a zoom call all day somebody said to me you know as much as i love being home in some respects but for some people of course they don't have a five-bedroom detached house yeah yeah yeah there's me there's the one living room we're both in it and my real one person said to me my relationship was pretty well dependent on the fact that we both went to work as in we love each other but this is you know waking up with that person and going to bed with that person yeah in that same environment so i know a company can't necessarily dictate for that but recognizing that and that triggered me off because one one very senior person has said to me i can't see why anybody would want to go back to work guy i think yeah because you live in a five-bed detached property it's a great shower and i think this is where part of the challenge comes and you know we've had these conversations internally where you can mandate certain things you can say you know no meetings after six o'clock you can block lunch hours et cetera et cetera but you know we've got close to 40 000 people in our organization across 72 countries so you know booking a lunch hour ain't really gonna work because everyone's in a different time zone et cetera et cetera so that becomes a challenge um the other side of things is that if you mandate something very quickly you're gonna you know you're gonna tread on someone's toes you're gonna compromise one person's daily cadence to benefit someone else's so i think this is where part of the challenge comes in that you can control certain things but arguably the better thing to do is to influence the way that people think about well-being the way that they are self-aware of their own well-being their ability to self-care but also care for others and by doing that they will adjust their behaviors and their patterns to to the benefit of themselves and others as well so that you get almost an organic kind of what's better for the group kind of view rather than the organization does this because let's be honest if we say no means after six o'clock it doesn't take a rocket science to work your way around that well there's a couple of things isn't it number one is depending on what i'm trying to achieve in my career if i'm of a certain age and i just want to go for gold for two years in my career then i might want to work all the hours and that's my career rhythm other people except so you're right you can't mandate for an individual because by definition especially when you've got 40 000 people but i think and again please correct me here but i have this kind of image of the fact that we talk about psychological safety in the workplace and people that means that people offer their thoughts etc fine but actually i sometimes think that organizations have gone down the path of we need to be so safe that people can offer anything they want and we'll try and adjust accordingly to help them yeah as opposed to well actually why don't we educate why don't we give people permissions why don't we actually say actually the accountability and the responsibility for your own well-being does sit with you doing something structurally or behaviorally that is an anathema to that and it's destructive or sabotages you not just because you have a you only want to work an hour a day yeah but if we have a way of doing things that is fundamentally flawed or a manager that's behaving in a certain way because to own the well-being of your entire workforce at an ownership level is probably a route to failure but to take on board the the space for people to offer if there's a problem and to educate them so they own and i i like to go for a swim uh first thing in the morning at five o'clock oh my god really no that's the way i like to do it versus yeah it almost doesn't matter so i'm hearing you saying that it's about the individual having a relationship with their own need and if we get away as a company and it's not just you're the only one but in essence we're creating a problem then there's the psychological safety then to offer that in yeah no absolutely absolutely because you know we've got to recognize that you know at the moment in the majority of countries everywhere that individuals look outside of themselves you know people are losing jobs losing financial security losing loved ones losing freedom to you know go about their lives in the way that they want to that kind of thing so you know i think even if we were doing things as an organization to say you can and can't do this all we're doing is compounding the problem you know we're going to put restrictions on someone by trying to do the right for someone else so you know i think we're trying to be light on the the mandatory things or the the rules or the formality of things that we do and really approach them from yeah from a self-awareness point of view own your own well-being we will provide you with the resources and that access to specialists and this is not resources as in you know gym memberships and all the rest of it although most of a lot of our countries do have that sort of thing but it's more around resources is to you know take it and run with it in the way that works for you so i personally don't care if we've got you know a thousand pockets of three people who are doing something together that works for them that enables them that allows them to to be at their best more of the time in work and life and play everything else or whether we've got you know three regions who are all mandated doing the same thing i really don't care it's about us leading the narrative the ethos and the the believable authenticity of this within our within our organization so it's got to be visible it's got to be genuine and it has to be consistent so we're moving away from awareness days for example we could have an awareness day every day of the week it doesn't it isn't necessarily going to change anything it just becomes noise so we're moving away from that so it's about a consistent believable authentic narrative accompanied by activities and actions and communities that form and you know that really is is what we're what we're angling at the other thing is that we've got to think from an organization point of view how do we start to learn from the science so things like daily cadences circadian rhythms cortisol profiles that kind of thing the science tells there are times in the day where it is better to do certain types of meetings there's a a post-brand you'll slump after lunch where you ain't going to get the best collaboration out of people so why wouldn't we pay attention to that science not tell people what they do at what time in the day but just educate them around it so they can start to say to someone you know what guy i don't work so well early afternoon in terms of this type of thing so why don't we do this first in the morning let's do it as a walk and talk and that's that's kind of where we want things to go we want people to create their own best way of working but do so in a self-aware way so that it's done collaboratively rather than for me and isn't this interesting can i go into that zoom meeting i mean pre-code the answer would have been probably are you crackers i don't know i don't know what's coming here guys you better finish the sentence with cobid and this familiarity with video medium there's a meeting at nine o'clock i'm going to walk the dog i'm going to have my headphones in and uh i'm going to be absolutely in that meeting yeah you know um but i'm at bit of one hour walk uh and it's a one-hour meeting and probably not if i'm the key presenter but you know but i can i not contribute and i'll be on the video and i'll you know maybe i'll i'll go i'm just walking i am here and i'm listening and i click it i don't know whatever it is and that's no good guy this is this is this is absolutely it and it's it's it's about trust you know a lot of this comes down to trust psychological safety is a product of being trusted let's be let's be frank about it um i've literally just before this call i did a one-hour zoom meeting with uh my broader team i was on a turbo trainer in the garden can't i be on my water brother i was on a turbo trainer i did 30ks in an hour um i contributed just as everyone else did it provided i like doing a little bit of inspiration people saying i'm going to do that next time i'm going to go for a walk while we do this and you know i think this is part of it it's you know communicate with people look if we need to be on and we all need to be reviewing a document that's one thing yeah but there are a lot of meetings where we don't need to be staring at a powerpoint we can have a conversation the other thing we sort of started to do is say well a we've shortened our meetings so that they're they're they're shorter in duration which raises the intensity a little bit you know you can play with that for yourself but also there's forced breaks in between but the other thing is you know start a meeting and man you know commit to yourself excuse me that i'm going to finish my meeting six minutes early not ten minutes six minutes and then when you finish six minutes early explain to people why you finished six minutes early because it gives them the breather and they can't book anything in that six minutes because outlook doesn't really by default let you book for six minutes so you know things like that make a big difference but it is about you know communication be you know be inventive with things um little things like out of offices you know i took yesterday afternoon off to hang out with my little boy um and on my out of office it said you know i won't be answering emails because i'm gonna be hunting dinosaurs or playing football and what that means is that when someone gets that out of office they won't ping me that email because they'll think all right okay i don't want to infringe on that but also when they do connect with them they'll say did you find any and it's a different conversation it perpetuates this conversation about well-being about being present when you're not in the office and those little things make massive differences to the narratives that perpetuate through an organization yes there's a difference isn't that between it being allowed and tolerated yeah no that that's our narrative that that is who and what we are and many many moons ago i read a book richard semmler's book um the seven day weekend so we i've read which was maverick and seven day weekend and he kind of started i might be absolutely butchering this but i seem to remember he said you know if i open up a powerpoint presentation on a sunday at two o'clock and work for two hours why can't i take my kids to the cinema on a wednesday after lunch because really the reality is and this was i don't know 15 years ago i read this but i think you know we weren't using all these words that we're using now but i think what he was trying to say was this i'm paid to get a job done and you know the the caricature of me being present and suited and booted and presenting myself in that particular way do we really have to do that and and i think that's how adults how perfect in fact are we professional enough to not have to be to not have to utilize the veneer of professionalism yeah yeah i i look i i completely you know i agree with that and i think you know our first line would always be you know i think it and it's it's part of who we are you know if we we talk about the freedom to succeed it's a big you know part of of who we are in in rb and you know the freedom to succeed would would be that you know if you said that to me i spent two hours on my powerpoint you know i would actively be sort of saying you know did you need to do that like you know did you get it done and i'd want to make sure that you weren't feeling like you needed to or you should because as an organization we would never want people to be working out of ours we look we we understand that but if i wanted to because it suited my yeah freedom of ah i've got oh blimey i want to but it's okay because i know the permission is there that yeah well don't worry yeah well i'm hunting dinosaurs on wednesday after two so don't worry about me and look you know we've been looking for that right yeah yeah we would never you know expect an individual to say is it okay if i take two hours back because i've done this but for the same token if other people in the office or in in the work day are expecting to be able to communicate with them all we'd sort of say just make sure that people who might be expecting to contact you know that you're not there kind of thing so that things don't stagger but you know i like to think that we we have that that quite an acute level of self-accountability in that space so people you know would naturally sort of inform people if they're not going to be around kind of thing but i think the the big shift certainly through covert is how do you start to bring the whole person conversation into work so rather than only talking about work at work why can't you bring personal into work we we sacrifice a lot of personal time for work so why can't we bring a bit of our humanness into the workspace as well um and i think you know one of the big things that uh you know i was working with a guy yesterday nick hollis who's a everest explorer and all the rest of it but he had this phrase and he said you know the the business world is so much more so much tougher endurance business is so much more tougher than endurance adventuring because in endurance adventuring you get rest days and he said the one thing you need to consider in the business world is when do you get strong and what he meant by that was that when you train when you do anything you know athletics or whatever you build your strength when you're covering right and and it was it was just one phrase when do you get strong and i thought you know what how many businesses have almost strength building periods in where you back off to allow people to re-energize recoup before they go again that is really interesting one of the things i always say to an executive group at some point is how important is your own development and everybody goes very important you know you go great um how what what does that look like now some people will go i'm an active reader some people will go i do take the time the majority actually haven't read a book in a long time haven't gone haven't taken a week a day out just to go and reflect haven't yeah you know et cetera and the relationship with learning is it's either a course or you know there's been mandate but if learning is is i've learned to recover i've learned that it's okay to take time and space to reflect and and not seeing that as not being an output because actually it's your recovery to be strong to go back into the fray and do it all again yeah and you know like and again you know the science is there like my background i've got a physiology degree a human physiology degree but you know all the science is there in that you know if you don't do that then your cognitive function function is impaired so you know one of the the the partners that we're working with they're very sort of heavily into this and looking at how we cadence the day to ensure that we are with that we're not making strategic decisions when we're cognitively very you know very down on energy levels um you know so that sort of thing is really really important and i think i've always been an advocate of the fact that you know whether you say it's you know well-being has to have teeth or we've got to have well-being skin in the game but you know well-being i think pre-covered was very much or in a lot of senses was a nice to have it was that almost that corporate social responsibility piece that you referred to before you know that organizations of a certain size should do this because they have a duty of care and i think that's great but in order for it really to fly at some point well-being is going to come up against the p l and organizations are going to look you know i'm just being frank organizations are going to say well i'm going to second how does this fit and so i think there's there's two lenses to well-being one is the underlying um experience that people have of life whilst working with a certain company with a company um what they take home energy-wise personality-wise skills-wise you know contribution to society all that stuff but the other side of things is um what is the the the performance impact of of well-being and the consistency and the sustainability you know so i think where where i'm looking at it is how do you start to look at well-being or or your your human capacity as i call it versus your your demands in terms of business requirement and then what if you could then start to match human capacity to business demand and you do that impulses as you go through the year so that we're preparing we're peaking and then we're recovering as we go through the year and we manage the cadence of the business along with the human capacity or vice versa you know you can intervene or you can implement things ahead of time to ensure that we deliver a continual flow of tasks that are just rather than just foot on the gas three six five yeah that's me say well let's let's peek here let's take up what's off that gas yeah to give that group maybe it's not everybody at the same time but to give that project group you know that just spent a year and a half implementing the biggest i.t change we've yeah give up it's critical yeah but would it matter if it was 12 months or 13 and if it was 13 months then that would just give them a little bit of time in between you know these are the little yeah aren't they but i think you know again it you know it comes back to as well how we how we measure well-being how we measure well-being in human capacity you know so often corporates and again you've been to panels where you hear the big companies talking about this and it's amazing how quickly the positive intent of a well-being program in in a corporate becomes about reportable metrics not necessarily impact metrics but reportable metrics to say we've demonstrated a shift that our people are more active therefore the risk to health is less and for me it's not about that it's about saying well if you think about well-being the output of being well or feeling well is more consistency and more contentment you know so you're more balanced as a human being as an individual euphoric happiness is not really realistic that's you're going to come down at some point so you know contentment and and consistency but then that translates to engagement because if you're in a balanced space you can make informed choices about what you engage in where you invest yourself so when we think about well-being there's lots of things you can measure sleep activity steps etc etc nutrition whatever else but there needs to be a simple measure of how do we know that our people are in general more well and closer to their best more of the time so i think you know there is a challenge about the need to need to report and retrospectively justify or demonstrate value versus accepting that well-being is a human thing it's a human being thing and it's a choice not everyone's going to engage not everyone's going to go into it for the same degree but you can you can aim for a general trend or a general shift in someone's ability to apply themselves or choose where they invest themselves and this is where it becomes interesting because you know when we when you talked about cutting down on the well-being days it's like well do you do you understand that having a good night's sleep helps you yeah do you understand that eating rubbish food doesn't help you yet i mean most people know yeah it's not yet most people know that stuff yeah customer service trained you know that that means just like be nice to the other person yeah okay as in it's not in itself complex but how many overweight people do i see you know how many et cetera et cetera et cetera so yeah it's a very fine line isn't it between it becoming i suppose from the commercial driver the and i don't mean the fd but from that commercial imperative at what point is this something we should be doing to something that actually might even be getting in the way and you run that risk sometimes of well this is impacting on my well-being and if that becomes a stick to hit the company with then actually it becomes its own problem and i am working with an organization right now where they've already gone too far and that if they if they go well this is this impacts on my resilience this impacts on my well-being they've got to get out of jail free card for pretty well doing anything they want yeah yeah and these and maybe because it's still in its infancy we haven't found our balance with it we haven't necessarily found the indicators or the measures or the um and was that we're still trying to make sense of what that would mean yeah how far it goes and i mean i think you know there's a there's a as i said before i think there's a there's a real sort of honesty and authenticity side to these things and and i think you know where i said before well-being needs to have skin in the game or needs to have teeth or whatever else like you know we we're a corporate organization you know we're not we're not a charity we are there to deliver shareholder returns we're there to better the lives of our consumers and customers but we are a business um and people make choices about where they go to work where they're employed et cetera et cetera and you know i think you need to to some degree put your faith and trust the fact that people have joined your organization for a reason and you hope that that's for the right reason and unless you have professed your organization to be something that it's not there shouldn't be any surprises there i think there's a challenge there because i think a lot of organizations externally paint themselves to be one thing and then internally or something else so i think that's one thing i think the second thing is that when we talk about well-being we're not saying you know you know what guy take three hours out three times a week because you know that that's not realistic the business would stall the business would stop what we are saying is that we will give you the tools and allow you the flexibility and empower you with the freedom to be you know freedom to succeed freedom to do what you need to do but what we're encouraging you to do is the way that we're approaching well-being is make small adjustments in five or six areas not one massive adjustment in one you know the usual thing people want to lose weight so they diet um the problem with dieting is that there are knock-on effects all over the rest of your life in terms of energy in terms of mood in terms of et cetera et cetera enjoyment whatever else it might be the same exists for well-being so if we were to say to people right if you feel like you're working too many hours stop working so many hours the problem is that other people are going to need to work those hours want to work those hours that cadence might work for them so it's about smaller adjustments in more areas on a more consistent basis so that progressively and organically we start to raise the human capacity of the organization we start to adjust the cadence of the organization rather than putting an event intervention in place that says right from this day forward everything changes because i don't think that's realistic and it's not going to be sustainable are there any organizations out there that you look to with an admiration for their their approach to this and maybe the way that you go that actually is the place to head for i think the um the challenge is that there are lots of organizations out there who do elements of it well um i don't think there are a lot of organizations who get the whole thing right certainly when you look at big corporates you know that's you know ftse or whatever it's difficult because you've got so many people and there's pressures around how you what you do on a daily basis um i think the other challenge is that there are a lot of organizations that are perceived to be very good in a certain space obviously i won't name them but then when you speak to people who are engaged or involved within them it's very different and i think in some ways that's the most damaging piece because you know you mentioned psychological safety earlier in the piece if you're stuck somewhere where everyone else thinks that it's fine but it's a nightmare but you can't talk about it that's not that's not going to be a good place for you to stay for very long and i don't know this as a personal fact but i had read that there are places like a microsoft etc where if you're not on the proverbial happy clappy bus then you're to be penalized now that could be one person's social media outburst so i wouldn't want to comment on it but i think it's indicative of you hear these stories of these large organizations where there is this probable not even a veneer where i actually believe that the most senior players believe that that is the environment that they have underneath them but a little bit like the queen thinking that the world smells of paint because there's somebody in front of a major right they're being faced up to with maybe a set of truths that aren't actually the experience of the poor bugger six levels down yeah yeah driven in a certain way so i don't actually often think that the people at the top are i mean some may be consciously you know aware of it but i actually don't think a lot of them believe it's a problem or they think they're on it because they're being told of these programs that are running and we have these things going on in their organization and it's almost as if but what you haven't done is you due diligence of really going into your people to find out yeah and i think this is this is you know it's absolutely on the on the mark and i think this is where going back to the point i made before about be careful about the metrics that you use to measure this because you know a senior leader could sit there and say well we've got you know assistance programs in all these markets we've got gym gym memberships we've got this we've got that we've got that so we've ticked all the boxes and no one's telling me that there's a problem but you know for example with us you know we might look at engagement engagement will very quickly tell you if there's an issue it won't allow you to pinpoint it but it will tell you that there's something not right and i think that is important to really sort of take a step back and think right this is an engagement is a choice engagement is about capacity engagement is about safety engagement is about belief in where someone is um and i think you know that sort of thing is really really key so you know yes sometimes senior leads aren't getting the feedback but also sometimes we're guilty of measuring the things that we want to see not necessarily being prepared to measure things that might tell us something we don't want to hear i've been working with their organization the last couple of years and when i first started working with them they had an employee engagement pulse survey whatever you want to call it and uh yeah look look at how people love working here yeah but how many what's the uptake on it oh it's about twenty percent well okay yeah twenty percent that lie working here who understand or maybe wanna play the game have contributed but there's eighty percent of your workforce that don't see any point cause he said well some of them see the value in it no no they don't see the point in protesting yeah yeah no it's yeah no we and we've you know we we've been on journey with engagement surveys over the years as well you know a lot of the organizations that i've i've got connections with have had a similar thing um and sometimes you know there's a there's an automatic reaction about the frequency of them or justification as to why you know we've got low you know low uptake or whatever um i think honestly the biggest shift that i've seen is that participation in surveys like that is a massive um reflection on the faith that people have in that something's going to happen as a result um yes there's a psychological safety am i going to put this in can they identify me will i will it be collateral because of that but i think the other side to it is if i don't think anything's going to change if i import whether i don't why would i i mean you know who cares um but i think you know now more than ever um people and because of you know some of the generational shifts as well people want to be part of change they want to be part of shaping the environment and the future and the cultures of where they are you know people care about that stuff it's it's no longer sort of you know job for life where i turn up i sign up when i'm 18 and i'm going to be leaving i'm 65. you know people have a lot of choice a lot of arguably not as much now but in a lot of areas a lot more choice a lot more freedom um and therefore you know i think as organizations we need to be really cognizant and really conscious of the fact that people don't need to be here anymore you know and i think one thing that with rb is that we know that the people who are with us are really invested in in making it a place and shaping it to be a place that they want to be part of um more so than other companies other big corporates i've i've been part of where you know you feel like you're just a number um i know it sounds cheesy but i think people are rb there's a believability to what we stand for in the direction we're going in i might step away from because i don't know anything about rb other than it's called rb and well yeah but what i notice is these two things one of the some of the things around well-being i think don't cost money is what i'm hearing you know i mean something does because it's a program or it's a process but just letting people listening to people properly you know i i think you know people don't necessarily expect to get what they want but they want to feel as if they've been you know i call it giving somebody a damn good listening to that idea about that is because i had a boss who you know probably i don't know four or five times out of ten i'd ask for something i get it four or five times out of ten i'd be told no and i never felt worse about the nose and i did the or better about the yeses than i did the nose because it gave me a damn good listening too and that made me feel felt of value which etc etc etc so i think some of these things yeah there might be a program a process an education piece but some of it is a you know if i'm going to treat you like a human being then that could go a long way so it's it's interesting about what is going to cost money but what is about a a way a way of us doing things around here yeah that's how human beings respond i guess yeah no it's i i always i always call it the why behind the what but you know quite often you know for anyone who knows the sort of triune brain theory but you know our executive brains will splurge out um you know phrases words buzz you know buzz topics that we know are socially acceptable and will resonate with other people without having to really divulge too much more the why behind the what is you know why is that person saying it why does it matter why do they feel that way and why they're communicating in that way about this and i think that is you know it's the equivalent it's the you know the the the buzz you know the sort of the the buzz topic or the buzz focus of the last couple of years is you know how do we dial up eq um and it is it's it's about being more human i think you know we're on the crest of a wave right now where covid has made a lot of us a lot more human than we used to be yeah and so i think what we're trying to do is really embrace that you know take the fact that people have an intent to support each other be there for each other to pull together and how do we how do we encourage that rather than training people to do it i also like this coding thing and some of them i mean i hate the video in the concert but i saw this meme which said you know that job that you've been told for 30 years you can't do from home yeah it turns out and i think that humor is a kind of a kind of window into the [ __ ] that people always knew you know actually instead of spending the last 10 or 20 years creating a trusted workforce who actually had their home life you know as part of their working life you you've never done that you've never allowed us as culturally or because you're so driven by your needs you want me present you want me there and your fears and i think people are very suddenly alert to hmm it's all still moving on isn't it so i'm always suspicious when people say it's a new future i go well yeah i mean one of the issues of course that it all snaps back into place and then you've got an even greater disenfranchised group of people because this this is gonna be this is gonna be the big thing isn't it you know i i tasted freedom no well but you hear these you know hear these these phrases and these surveys you know the new normal and you know it's not new normal you know it's it's it's the future it's it's right now and it's the future that's it you know as soon as you say normal then i think it conjures up pictures of people thinking oh well it's back to normal and that's you know it's absolutely not the case i think we've we've come so far that some of this is going to be a fundamental shift that isn't going to go back um there will be an element of elasticity to it but i think the biggest thing that we can do moving forward certainly from a well-being from a leadership perspective is just dial up the human you know don't don't rush to measure it don't mess it try and quantify it it's about you know allow it to grow allow it to grow legs allow it to perpetuate and just try and sense what's happening rather than measuring everything because right now is not about control right now is about being present it's about being in the moment but being good to each other and just you know dial up the iq listen listen for the why behind the what and and act you know be close to your feelings and emotions you know it's the best thing we can do for each other maybe there's a thing there just let it become something well what don't know but as long as it's positive as long as it's adding value let's maybe surprise ourselves as an organization absolutely absolutely and and be happy with the unknown as long as it's going in a positive way yeah you don't necessarily have to give it maybe next year maybe a year from now we have to start to go okay now it's leveled a bit let's understand the value yeah let's not kill it by measuring it right yes as soon as you measure it you start to constrict it you start to set it in stone and very quickly once you've done that the environment will continue to shift and it will be out of date so i think you know let's let's accept that things are a little bit fluid for now let's focus on the things that we can control which is the understanding of ourselves the decisions we make around ourselves um and then you know let's be at our best a bit more of the time and that impact will hopefully resonate with others who will then you know so follow suit and take the conversation forwards as well so you know i think it's it's not rocket science um the the challenge in all of this is about resisting the temptation to react um but being much more balanced and consistent in terms of how we act yeah and to over validate yeah yeah absolutely yeah yeah okay well listen andy um i'm i'm alert to time uh because i've just had to oh my gosh oh my god i've got something else happening and you've probably got something happening as well but i've stolen your time you said this i'm going to press the the stop button i'll speak to you for a few minutes afterwards but just on a personal note i'm sure for for those listening as well um you know you we're not often solving things on these episodes but i think it's two people talk about the topic is is a catalyst for others to have a frame of reference or maybe to be interested in absolutely it's about so just from me to you thank you so much for making the time no not at all guys it's been it's been an absolute pleasure if anyone wants to yeah connect on linkedin or insta or anything like that obviously i'll give you my details but i think you know one of the incredibly cathartic things for me in this space is the conversations you know if anyone wants to connect have the conversation be part of you know a bigger network then my door is always open okay i'll make sure the link's in the description all right it's been a pleasure guys thank you sir take care bye you