Royal Mail Group - Feeling First Class

The Bupa Wellbeing at Work Award, Shortlisted, 2016

Royal Mail Group are working in partnership to improve employee wellbeing across their workforce of 143,000 employees, challenging mental health stigma and reducing days lost to sick leave.

Good for society

  • 12,000 employees have accessed health information and resources through Royal Mail's Feeling First Class website and over 8,000 employees have joined one of the company gyms.
  • Royal Mail are challenging mental health stigma through awareness campaigns with their large UK workforce, upskilling line managers and signposting all employees to support.

Good for business

  • In Royal Mail's staff survey the score against “my organisation cares about my wellbeing” increased from 50% to 56% in two years.
  • The company has achieved a reduction of more than 100,000 days of absence for sickness, representing a saving of £12.2m.

Royal Mail logo

In early 2014-15 Royal Mail was concerned to see a rise in absence due to sickness, particularly in cases of long-term sickness. Underpinned by strong leadership, Royal Mail developed an overall Health and Wellbeing Strategy, based on a partnership approach with the Trade Unions and internal and external partners. 

The company created a Feeling First Class website as a brand for the employee wellbeing programme,  featuring information, resources, self assessment tools, and promoting Royal Mail's 37 staff gyms.

It also ran interactive campaigns in partnership with Time to Change, the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Public Health England, and the Stroke Association, reaching its entire workforce through the use of Z-cards (small foldable guides) to share messages around sun-safety and mental health.

A specific Feeling First Class Mental Health initiative was created to respond to the fact that mental ill health is one of Royal Mail’s two leading causes of preventable absence and productivity loss. Royal Mail ran a pilot Mental Health First Aid course with 55 line managers, which received positive feedback, and is now being developed to roll out to more managers. 

Health and Wellbeing are reported at Board level and in 2015 Royal Mail achieved joint lead company status in the BITC Wellbeing Public Reporting Benchmark, including areas such as engagement, safety, sickness absence and wellbeing initiatives.

Feeling First Class is making a difference: in Royal Mail's staff survey the score against “my organisation cares about my wellbeing” increased from 50% to 56% in two years. The Feeling First Class website has over 12,000 members and Royal Mail's gyms over 8,000 members.

What Royal Mail Star Housing Group's CEO said:

“Creating a culture where all employees feel able to talk about their wellbeing, and where managers feel empowered to play a role in helping to support those around them, is vital for a competitive and sustainable business. One of the biggest responsibilities lies with leaders, who have a duty to promote the importance of wellbeing right from the very top and ensure that it is recognised as a critical issue by everyone. At Royal Mail, we understand the importance of giving our managers as much support as possible – not only to look after those around them but to ensure they can also maintain positive wellbeing themselves.” - Moya Greene, CEO, Royal Mail Group


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