Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water - Safe, Healthy and Happy

Good for business
Wellbeing at Work Award in Wales, 2017, Shortlisted
  • Increased employee engagement – 84% of colleagues feel proud to work at Welsh Water and 75% would recommend it as a place to work
  • Lower levels of absence – sickness levels are now below the company target of 3%
  • External recognition – successfully achieved a Gold in the Corporate Health Standard (2016), with progress towards the Platinum award

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is the sixth largest of ten water and sewerage companies in the UK. Welsh Water provides a safe and reliable supply of drinking water along with waste water and sewerage services to over 3 million people living in Wales and some parts of England, covering over 1,000 operational sites.

Safe, Healthy and Happy

As a vital utilities company, Welsh Water fully understands its commitment to operational health and safety and through the Safe, Healthy & Happy @ Welsh Water Programme, this commitment has been combined with supporting staff wellbeing. Related directly to the company’s values of being “safe at all times”, the programme puts wellbeing on an equal footing with statutory health and safety requirements and secures the buy-in of the Board.

The Safe, Healthy and Happy Programme promotes physical, mental and social wellbeing and touches on the lives of colleagues and their work environment, driving better levels of employee engagement and productivity. It takes a whole person and whole company approach, which is also promoted to supply chain companies and partners at annual Health, Safety & Wellbeing awards conferences. 

With a diverse range of roles within the company (customer service, technical, operational, managerial, logistics etc), Welsh Water’s programme had to be accessible and understood by everyone. This led the team responsible to provide a host of support initiatives and resources, but also proactively combined wellbeing with the already well-established commitment to occupational health and safety. By utilising the internal communication networks across Welsh Water, the Safe, Healthy and Happy team also made sure they were in touch with teams spread across the whole of Wales. 

By promoting better wellbeing the Programme also returned a better result for the company in their regular employee engagement surveys. The result of the wellbeing-focussed question in 2016 was 80% of respondents thought that Welsh Water did a good job of “promoting health and wellbeing”, up from 67% in 2011. Through the interventions provided through the Programme, absence levels fell below the 3% target and usage rates of the company’s Employee Assistance Programme went up. 

By putting wellbeing on a strategic footing alongside health and safety, Welsh Water has ensured that colleagues are able to access the support and resources they need, when they need them.

What Welsh Water’s HR Director said:

“Welsh Water recognises the need to ensure colleagues are safe, healthy and happy in their work. We are committed to a programme of development and education designed to promote the health and wellbeing of our colleagues. Welsh Water has effective health controls and support systems in place, and we recognise there is parity between colleague wellbeing and our normal, day to day, operational controls, support services and excellent customer service.”Linda Williams, HR Director, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water 

Good for the workforce
  • Increased awareness of wellbeing – 94% of colleagues have completed e-learning on mental health in the workplace
  • More line manager support – 330 line managers have received mental health first aid training from Mind Cymru
  • Relevant resources provided – over 800 counselling sessions were provided through the Employee Assistance Programme, supporting colleagues with their mental health