Well-being is an important topic for me, and all of us at Schneider Electric. Its importance over the last few years has soared, and it has given us many challenges and changes we have faced as individuals, teams, families, and societies. It’s inclusive in its nature, in that we all have a state of well-being which we are continually trying to manage, whether consciously or unconsciously. I believe that the more we are conscious of it, the more personal accountability we can take on the choices we make to improve our overall well-being.
Putting well-being at the heart of our teams
Let me tell you about the well-being project we organized in the Digital Energy team. The story begins in August, when our Vice President for Digital Energy (Europe) set his leadership team the challenge of bringing as many of the Digital Energy team members together for roadshows. The aim was to provide colleagues with the opportunity to reconnect in person as we were emerging from the pandemic. We got our thinking caps on and began organizing three events to take place in the North, Midlands, and South regions respectively.
However, the leadership team was not doing this in isolation. Coming off the back of our annual employee feedback, we have established a Digital Energy Engagement working group. It consists of department representatives who are passionate about engagement and well-being within their teams, and they wanted to support co-creating our engagement strategy. When designing the roadshows, we gained insights to help ensure employees were engaged and excited. These were the points we learned:
- If we are bringing people away from customer sites / their offices for a day, move away from PowerPoint for eight hours and give time and space for interaction, debate, and human connections.
- Let’s celebrate successes at the beginning of the day, not at the end.
- Have an event theme to anchor everything to. We focused on look after yourself, look out for each other and let’s grow together.
An inspiring experience
For the three days event we joined as a group of 100+ colleagues and encouraged others to join teams which they collaborate with on a regular basis. Within breakout sessions people could talk about the topics we were prompting, such as engagement and mental health.
We also had support around mental health from our partners at the Electrical Industries Charity. They were focusing on how we look after ourselves and how we can support our colleagues.
Additionally, special guests from the Lions Barber Collective. They are barbers trained in having mental health conversations with colleagues. There is research showing that people often open to their barbers/hairdressers more than to their family members or friends. Our colleagues could have a free haircut with a chance to have an open talk with the barbers.
Finally, we gave Schneider branded seed boxes as gifts for the participants. The aim was to support the theme of ‘growing’ together. In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to seeing them flourish.
The energy in the room during those three days was an inspiring experience. Over 400 colleagues, over 150 haircuts and open discussions, and countless new connections ensured all three events were a success.
Reflecting on balancing my own well-being
My biggest reflection was the importance of connections. Taking time to connect, physically or virtually, it is always worth it.
Finally, I realized the importance of taking time to look after yourself first and remembering to prioritize your own well-being.
Working in a busy job, being a husband and a parent of three young children, I look after my own well-being through exercise. I used to feel guilty about missing out time with the children until a colleague told me, “You need to look after yourself first to be your best for other people, whatever role you may be playing for them”. So, I went for a jog, cleared my head, and recharged my own energy levels, before I re-entered the chaos of bath and bed-time stories.
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About the Author
Tom Falshaw joined Schneider Electric in June 2022 in their UK and Ireland zone to partner with the Vice President, Digital Energy, as well as taking on responsibility for the HR Business Partnering team for the zone.
In this role, his mission is to focus on building and enabling a strong purpose-based culture with the leadership team and wider business unit, as well as developing capability pipelines for new skills that are emerging in the industry.
Tom lives in Stratford-upon-Avon with his partner Amy and their three young children. He is a keen sports fan who enjoys running and is a fan of Liverpool Football Club.