Starting an important conversation: Mental health and a cultural change at Lloyds Banking Group

Starting an important conversation: Mental health and a cultural change at Lloyds Banking Group

Tuesday, 26th of March

There is a cultural shift happening at Lloyds Banking Group to encourage greater mental health awareness in the workplace. They are removing the stigma around saying “I’m not ok” and giving people the tools to support themselves and colleagues when they see them struggling. Lloyds Banking Group are taking the same conversation to universities to talk to students, to take away two important points:

1. Everyone has mental health – just like we all have physical health

2. Everyone should be able to bring their full selves to work each day

Paul Dunn (Engineering Lead in Group Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group) has been driving conversations internally at Lloyds Banking Group for the past few years and believes passionately in the cultural shift that he’s seeing. MyKindaFuture worked with Paul and Lloyds Banking Group to bring these conversations onto campus for the first time, talking with students in an open and honest forum. Through Bright Futures Societies we’ve brought the conversation to Essex, Brunel and Leicester universities. Students had the opportunity to learn a bit more about Lloyds Banking Group, as well as open up the conversation about their own experiences.

“It’s been great taking the Mental Wellbeing & Resiliency [MW&R] conversation that I’ve been running in the Bank, outside the Bank and to see how well the message has landed with students we’ve been able to meet. The key element for me is that potential future colleagues of Lloyds Banking Group understand our cultural direction as an organization. MW&R and being your true self each day, underpins our entire cultural shift and from feedback I received after doing the events, people seemed excited and interested in considering LBG as a potential future employer. The Banks culture is key to the Banks success and future but most importantly how we will continue on our journey to Help Britain Prosper. “ Paul Dunn

What Lloyds are doing to support employees and communities:

  • £8m raised so far throughout 2017-2018
  • £350k raised climbing, cycling and running during the Fourtitude challenge
  • 31k colleagues completed mental health e-learning course
  • Over 8k volunteering hours spent supporting MHUK
  • Colleague fundraising launched first ever mental health and money advice service
  • £550k raised during walk the talk challenge by colleagues in the UK and China
  • Over 5m reached for the launch of mental health information guide in GP surgeries and universities
  • Lloyds Banking Group supports employees to have a flexible working approach through their agile working policy, offering: compressed fortnights; job shares and part time working; the opportunity to buy back holiday days. Over a third of the Lloyds Banking Group workforce already works in an agile way. Click here for more info.

Tying this all together are the conversations that people like Paul have been driving, to encourage Lloyds Banking Group employees to feel comfortable about bringing their whole selves to work even when times are tough. This open culture has seen a really positive shift in employees opening up and starting positive conversations to support each other.

Talking about mental health and resilience on campus

It is important to recognise that the conversations Lloyds Banking Group have brought to campus this term are ahead of the curve for employers and MyKindaFuture want to support Lloyds Banking Group and any other employers in having these open conversations with students. The feedback from the events really emphasises the importance of this topic:

“This is a difficult conversation for anyone to engage with but hugely positive to see big organisations like Lloyds being honest about it and allowing students a space to start talking about it.” Sabiha Barakat, Student Support and Welfare Officer, Brunel University

“The topic of conversation was very open and honest and my Interest in Lloyds has been improved.” Student at Essex University

“The content was great and the information and openness about mental health provided was also very useful.” Student at Brunel University

Mental health can be an uncomfortable and challenging topic of conversation for employers and students alike. However, it is great to let students know that Lloyds Banking Group is made up of supportive people that you can be open and honest with.

Having this message being championed by senior leaders within the bank (such as Paul) is incredibly important in progressing the cultural change that Lloyds Banking Group is already seeing. Bringing these conversations externally to students can only help to set the right tone for the next generation of talent.

If you are experiencing any problems with mental health at the moment, please contact Lloyd’s charity partner for 2019 Mental Health UK

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