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Wellbeing at HS2

At HS2, we really care about our people. We conducted a Workplace Wellness survey to make sure we work with our employees to seek feedback and opinions.

Whilst there are many issues raised in the survey, there are 3 strong themes that our people highlighted:

  • First, they wanted to make sure everyone can get the health and wellbeing support they need, when they need it
  • Second, they felt that that working in an uncertain, high pressure environment could have an impact on both physical and mental health. That includes the issue of stress and being able to talk about the things that are troubling you.
  • Third, they said that some of our processes and systems are hard to work with and this is making things more challenging.

The leadership are now looking to address these issues, as failing to do so will continue to have an impact on the wellbeing of our people, and that’s simply not good enough. This is an amazing project to be part of and we have a challenging year ahead of us as we begin the work to deliver Phase One and get agreement on Phase Two.

So, working with the Senior Leadership Team, we’ve already started to take action. We have simplified our Capability Programme. We’ve completed the organisation changes so we’re clear on our structure and to whom we are accountable. We’re also simplifying the changes we need to make to our business processes and systems, so we can focus on getting on with the job in hand. And we are targeting getting this work done by the end of the year.

However, dealing with these issues means more than fixing a few processes and systems. We have to take a hard look at the culture of our business. This means being clear on how we behave and interact as teammates and leaders, how we support each other in getting a sensible work life balance, how we tackle the ways of working that get in the way of our shared success and what support is available when things get difficult.

Over the coming months the leadership team will work with our people to start taking the local actions that will together result in a shift in how it feels to work at HS2. The Exec would encourage our staff to talk with their line managers and senior leaders to discuss their ideas for how we could improve things for us all. We are also working with the Workplace Forum to shape our responses.

One thing we can do immediately is make sure everyone is aware of the existing services for supporting health and wellbeing at HS2. We all need support at points in our working life, and you can learn more about what’s available on our intranet pages.

The Corporate Plan refers to one of our guiding principles being teamwork; tackling these survey results will require us to work across organisational boundaries, to challenge and collaborate with each other and not accept the status quo. We will be talking about this at our Exec Stand Ups in the coming weeks and we will report back to everyone in early autumn on how we are responding to this challenge. 

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