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Oliver Wyman: creating local office wellbeing committees to facilitate a global mental health & wellbeing strategy

Oliver Wyman: creating local office wellbeing committees to facilitate a global mental health & wellbeing strategy
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Gemma Porter, Global Wellness Manager at Oliver Wyman, shares how the firm's local mental health & wellbeing committees are a key part of its global mental health and wellbeing strategy.

In 2019 Oliver Wyman announced the formation of a dedicated wellbeing team and global mental health strategy with Executive Committee sponsorship. Prior to this, the firm had in place wellbeing committees in some markets, as well as other organic initiatives in place. These grassroots efforts had been successful in raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst colleagues.

As part of an overall approach to wellbeing at work, the role that mental health & wellbeing committees play is key to helping raise awareness, enhancing literacy and opening the dialogue. We called for volunteers to form committees in their local office. Within days, we had volunteers from 20 offices who wanted to establish mental health and wellbeing committees in their local offices. The firm now has wellbeing committees in over 25 countries.

What do our wellbeing committees do?

The firm sees its wellbeing strategy as something that every colleague is accountable to. We believe we can all help and support one another. One of the primary objectives of the committees is to help open the dialogue, break down the stigma, and raise awareness of Oliver Wyman’s wellbeing initiatives.

The committees are able to provide insight into the local offices in terms of wellbeing and guidance on what is needed to enhance the wellbeing of their office. We use the committees as sounding boards when we are rolling out global initiatives to ensure that we position them in the best way for them to be received positively by each market. As part of this, the committees provide insight into the diversity of our offices and the differing needs we have. One way the committees do this is by collaborating with the firm’s other employee resource groups and try to encourage all different community groups and levels of the organisation to be involved with the committee and engage with the events.

Lastly, our wellbeing committees are also ambassadors for role modelling wellbeing at work, both in a preventative way, but also being able to show vulnerability when things aren’t going so well. This is a key part of the cultural change we want to see across the whole organisation.

How successful have our wellbeing committees been at helping to activate our vision?

The wellbeing team has also found it incredibly useful to have wellbeing committees providing a pulse on local themes and issues to ensure that what we are rolling out on a global level is as impactful and relevant as possible. We have also found the committees have facilitated a fantastic ambassador network of people who know and understand our wellbeing strategy and therefore are able to distil this within their communities and teams.  All of this is helping us to create a culture where people feel their mental health is supported and that they can seek help when needed.