CovidComms Awards Ireland

WellSpace cares for UDG Healthcare staff

UDG Healthcare
Winner: Best wellbeing initiative
CovidComms Awards Ireland

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare employs 9,000 people across 29 countries, and, in common with most companies, when Covid-19 struck, overnight colleagues found themselves either working from home, furloughed or classified as key workers to continue packaging lifesaving drugs.

A key priority for the leadership of UDG Healthcare was the health and wellbeing of its people, and how they could be supported during the difficult time. But the situation was complicated because UDG Healthcare did not have an internal intranet in place.

However, what UDG Healthcare did have in place was its scheduled Wellbeing Week in April – an annual event in the company’s calendar. This hard deadline gave the small team of six just three weeks to create a website from scratch to reach their colleagues and host the wellbeing event.

The result was WellSpace. The site is structured around different themes – physical health, mental wellbeing, nutrition, work and family – and acts as a repository for original content and resources. The team produced articles and created infographics on subjects such as working from home, managing a team remotely and getting the most out of Zoom meetings.

The site also hosted third party content, such as recipes, inspiring TED Talks and articles and videos on managing mental health. There were also creative resources to support home schooling parents and a section on which colleagues could post self-care tips or messages of support, which proved invaluable in helping people stay connected.

At launch WellSpace had almost 60 pieces of content ready to support UDG Healthcare’s colleagues. It played host to multiple online live events during the Wellbeing Week, including yoga, meditation sessions and workouts. Mental health experts also made appearances, recording their sessions to allow people to download at any time.

The WellSpace site was visited more than 5,300 times during WellBeing Week, and the following days, generating more than 15,000 page views. Such was the success of both the site and the event, that the in-house team decided to promote June as Mental Health Awareness Month, creating and posting new, relevant content. A partnership with mental health coaching company Sanctus also offered employees free, personalised one-to-one support.

To date, more than 200 employees have used the service and dozens more have been added to the waiting list. Chief executive Brian McAtamney has described WellSpace and Sanctus as two of the best things that UDG Healthcare has ever done, and the feedback internally has been particularly strong.