Good mental health and wellbeing mean different things to different people, and at Capita we want to make sure our employees have the support they need to figure out what it means to them.
We spoke to our Head of Wellbeing and marathon-enthusiast Mark Campion, about his role and how we’re helping our colleagues feel empowered to lead healthier and happier lives.
So, who’s Mark Campion? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
“I’m an extremely passionate wellbeing professional and I like to lead by example. I’ve always been invested in my own health and wellbeing – I enjoy running, cycling and I’m at the gym pretty much every day. I’ve run over 65 marathons including every London Marathon since 2003 and a few big city marathons such as New York, Boston, Toronto and many across Europe. I’m half Maltese from my mother’s side, I live in Hampshire and I love travelling with my wife Kirsty.”
Give us a little insight into your background and how you came to be in this role.
“I joined Capita in February, and before then I was the Health and Wellbeing Lead at a utility company for around seven years. The role was similar in that the organisation had a very large number of employees with many different business types and varying roles. Before that, I worked in change management, where I focused mostly on the people aspects of change. I’ve always had a huge passion for health and fitness so I started to combine my work to include understanding people’s behaviours and wellbeing. I realised pretty quickly this is what I wanted to do so I developed my career path along these lines and have never looked backed since.”
What is Capita’s aim by bringing you onto this brand new role?
“It’s great that Jon (Jon Lewis, CEO) recognises the significance of employee wellbeing and gives it the priority status it needs. The aim is simple, to help improve the individual wellbeing of all our Capita colleagues. This can be achieved in two ways. Firstly, by empowering our colleagues to prioritise and take responsibility for their wellbeing. Secondly, by ensuring we provide our colleagues with the right support, environment and infrastructure to prevent adverse impacts to their wellbeing and instead encourage positive impacts.”
As Head of Wellbeing, what are your main responsibilities?
“My responsibility is to ensure we do everything possible to achieve the above! Since joining, I’ve been learning about the organisation, meeting and introducing myself to lots of fantastic and welcoming people, and observing how Wellbeing currently works at Capita in order to establish how we can move forward. I’ll be creating a robust strategy, framework and wellbeing standard that will help educate, raise awareness and engage our colleagues, as well as establishing organisational enablers. We’ve got a great network of wellbeing champions across Capita, and I’ll be leading and inspiring each and every one to continue the fantastic work they do to help each other look after our wellbeing. It’s important to ensure Wellbeing is integrated throughout all our functions and operational processes so I’ll be making sure this happens by collaborating and working closely with lots of people across Capita.”
Will you be adding ‘running the London Marathon’ as an objective for all employees?
“Absolutely! Only joking. I’ll be focusing on the most important aspects, everyday things like making sure you take care of your mental wellbeing, have at least some level of physical activity within your lifestyle and do things you enjoy so your life is harmoniously balanced between work, rest and play. But if a colleague is interested in running the marathon, I have qualified as a Personal Trainer so I’d be happy to write them a running plan for any distance they fancy!”
Five years from now, what would you like to have achieved?
“In five years’ time, I’d like all our employees to be well, happy and healthy and thriving both at work and at home. I’d like all our employees to feel they have been supported when needed and know where to find support should they need it. I’d like all our employees to feel that Capita has helped them enjoy their work, to become more productive and to live healthier lifestyles. I’m setting my sights for the very top as this is what everyone deserves.”
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is ‘Nature’. How important is it to connect with nature, as a way to boost your mental and physical wellbeing?
“Research shows that spending time in green space helps improve your mood, reduces feelings of stress or anger and helps you become more active, therefore improving your physical wellbeing. You simply cannot understate how important this is, you will never feel worse by going for a walk in a park or the countryside. Not everyone is lucky enough to have easy access to green spaces so my advice is try and do what you can. You could grow plants in whatever space you do have or even create a natural view that you can look at. Being creative is also another way to help you relax and look after your wellbeing.”
Looking after our mental health is crucial. What resources are there for Capita employees who need extra help and support?
“Our mental wellbeing is absolutely crucial and we all need to treat it as a priority. Good mental health isn’t simply the absence of a disorder, it’s defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential and can cope with the normal stresses of life and work productively. I think many of us, if we are honest, would not tick those boxes 100% of the time. So it’s great we have resources at Capita that firstly help to prevent issues from occurring in the first place, like our Wellbeing Hub that all our colleagues can access, with a whole host of guidance and awareness resources that cover mental health, as well as physical, social and financial. And for those colleagues who need more urgent help, we offer an Employee Assistance Programme which is available in all countries and provides 24/7 counselling. It’s not just for crisis situations either, our employees can use it whenever they need support dealing with stresses of work or in their everyday life, no matter how big or small those issues may be. We also have a group of certified Mental Health First Aiders – colleagues who’ve gone through the appropriate training to be able to support others, whether that is lending a sympathetic ear or directing them to find professional help.
We’re not saying we have absolutely everything we need yet, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction and I for one am excited about where we’re going on this wellbeing journey. It’s a great journey and everyone is welcome.”
If you want to join a company that prioritises its employees’ wellbeing, find out more about us and our current vacancies here.