Buckinghamshire Council – Spotlight on Enhancing Wellbeing and Belonging at Work

Buckinghamshire Council, established in April 2020, is a Unitary Authority resulting from the amalgamation of the previous county and district councils throughout the region.

Bucks Council logo


Buckinghamshire Council faced significant challenges concerning the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on its workforce. Staff forums highlighted the profound impact of the crisis on colleagues, prompting the chief executive to advocate for positive action. Disturbing accounts emerged, such as an employee resorting to living in their car due to financial constraints between rental properties, others taking on second jobs to meet expenses, and some opting to work from the office full-time to save on home energy bills. Despite the evident need for assistance, staff were hesitant to seek support, perceiving others as being in more dire situations. Recognising the vital link between employee wellbeing and organisational performance, retention, and attendance, the council deemed it imperative to provide robust support for its workforce.

Innovative actions

Buckinghamshire Council took decisive steps to support staff during the cost-of-living crisis. They conducted a thorough survey to identify needs, leading to the creation of a dedicated staff network. Initiatives like the Employee Hardship Fund and debt-advice sessions were established, alongside practical measures like advanced mileage payments and extended council tax payment options. Additionally, a flexible resource pool was introduced for extra paid work, while office pantries and sanitary product baskets addressed social issues. The council also provided wellbeing support sessions and e-learning on financial and mental health. These actions exemplified their commitment to employee welfare in challenging times.

Evidence of impact

Evaluation of workshop attendance, event participation, and uptake of new offers demonstrates tangible evidence of strong engagement. Fifty-five employees joined the flexible resource pool, gaining income and skills, while 125 confidential applications were made to the Employee Hardship Fund, highlighting its importance in aiding staff during challenging times. Case studies and recipient feedback further underscored the effectiveness of these initiatives in supporting employees. Additionally, the council’s ongoing support has been evident through initiatives like the Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss Pledge, health-focused sessions, and regular communication, ensuring staff awareness of available support. Notably, a session on men’s health reflected a proactive approach to addressing specific needs within the workforce. Importantly, regular communication has ensured staff are aware of available support mechanisms, demonstrating a holistic approach to employee welfare.

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication. This article was created in March 2024.

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