Agricultural business Syngenta, which has 680 employees at its research and development campus in Bracknell, hosted a wellbeing week that highlighted the skills of its own employees.
The programme of events, which ran from 15 to 19 July 2019, saw one member of staff, a keen rambler, host a daily walking club which encouraged fellow employees to get out of the office. Two employees with a passion for Lego hosted a hands-on creative workshop, while another showcased their origami skills.
The organising committee, which comprised volunteers from across the organisation, took a pivotal role in setting up the wellbeing week. Tracy Millett, lead HR business partner at Syngenta, explains: “We have an organising committee on site who did this on top of their day job, which was amazing. They created an eclectic calendar of activities, deliberately designed to let people dip in and out, depending on what they were into.”
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To encourage employees to show off their creative flair, the organising committee ran an arts, craft and photography exhibition.
“We put a call out across the site and asked ‘what is your super power? What do you do when you’re not working?’,” says Millett.
“We had such a diverse range of entries, from sculpting, drawing and painting to knitting and lace making. We also had quilt making and clothes making, as well as photography and 3D art. We couldn’t believe what our people were doing in their spare time.”
Syngenta’s overarching wellbeing programme also played an integral part in the week, with talks from the organisation’s healthcare provider Axa PPP Healthcare, as well as mental health champions making discreet appearances at wellbeing seminars and quietly engaging with employees.
The wellbeing week proved to be a successful team bonding exercise, says Millett: “We discovered lots of new things about each other. I met someone in flower arranging that I’d never met before, and I wasn’t the only one. The Lego building attracted a huge range of men and women who hadn’t met before as well.”