Gentoo - Employee Wellbeing: Happy, Healthy and Here (HHH)

Social impacts
  • 39 staff Health Champions trained by public health professionals offer help, advice and information throughout the business. 73% of staff have accessed health and wellbeing services in the convenience of their workplace
  • Communities have benefitted from more than 2,400 hours of volunteering, addressing issues such as social isolation. There have been 5649 engagements with members of the local community. Gentoo staff have raised £37,072 for a number of charities in 2013.
  • Gentoo are number one in Stonewall’s UK Workplace Equality Index in 2014.
Bupa Workwell Engagement and Wellbeing Award 2014, Big Tick, Winner, Reaccredited 2015

Gentoo Group encourages staff to live the values at work and at home. It believes that leading a healthy lifestyle and caring about one’s wellbeing is linked to every one of them.

Our workforce is our biggest and most important asset, so it’s vital we invest our time and effort to safeguard wellbeing. This goes on to significantly benefit our customers. We aim to engage everyone across our business, regardless of roles or titles to enjoy activities and events relating to health which can be shared at home with family and friends. These benefits have a far reaching impact into the wider community, increasing the influence of the programme.
I am immensely proud of Happy, Healthy and Here. It has created momentum for those with common goals, generating positive change and improving the Art of Living.

- Peter Walls,
Group Chief Executive, Gentoo Group
In 2011, Gentoo took the decision to be more proactive in terms of wellbeing. Previously it had taken only reactive measures, but recognised the need to engage staff with proactive health information and awareness-raising rather than just reacting during an absence or because of an accident. This went beyond simply educating the company’s people in health matters and became a corporate vision of a company where health and wellbeing were fully embedded. Happy, Healthy and Here, the company’s holistic wellbeing programme to support this vision was launched in January 2012.

The programme raises awareness, educates and signposts staff to a wide range of services and programmes. It embraces physical and mental health, and addresses social factors such as domestic violence which influence health and wellbeing. Its purpose is to enable staff to be happier, healthier and more engaged in life by:

  • looking after them as individuals and as a ‘whole’ person, including mental, physical and social health

  • increasing health awareness in the workplace to educate and inform them of healthy living and services to enhance their wellbeing

  • offering a wide range of health and social activities to bring staff together in a dispersed workplace, enhancing one of Gentoo’s values of ‘Living Authentic Relationships’

Gentoo has worked with 42 external stakeholders to shape and deliver the programme, including local and national organisations. This has enabled it to deliver a great deal on a very small budget.  Internally, it has established a Health Champion’s network, made up of 39 staff, to help it respond to staff suggestions.

Activities have ranged from a Gentoo Olympics in 2012 - where 426 staff took part in a wide range of sporting activities - to free health checks, massages and other holistic therapies, alcohol awareness sessions, money advice, and sessions to raise awareness of health issues such as dementia, breast cancer and bowel cancer.

Following introduction of the programme, 90% of staff either strongly agree or agree that they ‘have a safe and healthy working environment’; 85% of staff felt more aware of local services available in relation to wellbeing, and 89% of staff felt they were now more informed about the importance of their health and wellbeing.

Employee volunteers gave more than 2,400 hours to community projects, benefiting 630 people, and raised more than £37,000 for charities.

The programme has been externally recognised, with Gentoo included in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index and the Sunday Times Best Companies List.

Judge's quote:

“It was hugely inspiring. A fantastic example of how CEO engagement and passion can drive amazing impact on health and wellbeing for employees and the communities in which they work”. - Patrick Watt, Director of Corporate, Bupa Health and Wellbeing, Bupa UK


Business impacts
  • Staff are happier, healthier and bring their ‘whole self’ to work, resulting in more motivation and commitment and a reduction in absences: 87% of staff are able to be themselves at work an increase of 5% since the programme was introduced.
  • 130 fewer days sickness absence and reduced accident rates between April and September 2013, compared with the same period in 2012
  • Improving customers’ experience of the Group, as happier staff provide more efficient, consistent services that enable customers to achieve their ‘Art of Living’.
  • Gentoo have a higher net promoter score (68%) than Apple (67%).