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Diageo Wellness guide

Wellness at the heart of Diageo’s pandemic plan

May 1, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

Intended to support the massive change to working life that its field team were about to face, a wellness guide created by Diageo Australia has proven so popular that it’s been embraced around the country and adapted internationally.

“All of a sudden, we had a team who were going to have a completely different working experience,” says Gina Kothari, National Account Manager at Diageo, speaking of the field team.

“They are used to structure, to being on the move and to speaking with customers throughout their day. We wanted to create a guide that was simple, informative and direct, and maximise their wellbeing at home,” she says.

A cross-functional team of 10, all of whom were passionate about providing care and support for their colleagues, came together to form the Wellness Project Team to author the guide, Experience Wellness, Every Day, Everywhere.

Although Diageo were already well set up for flexible working and the transition was quite seamless, for close to the whole workforce to be working remotely is something no one had foreseen.

Hayden Stokes, Talent Engagement Manager, Diageo adds: “We could see early that this document was going to be relevant to people right across the business in different kinds of ways.”

“However, it’s grown a lot more than I ever thought it would. It started out small but turned into a bigger thing quite quickly.”

Diageo Wellness

Experience Wellness has been adapted in the Asia Pacific region and as far afield as Panama.

The starting point for the Wellness Project Team was establishing the three pillars of wellness:

  • Working Well: How to maintain productivity, remote working etiquette and the added challenge if you’re working at home with children
  • Feeling Well: Virtual socialising and engagement to bring out the fun side when working from home and to maintain connection with each other
  • Living Well: Mental and physical wellbeing

From here, the team identified clusters and buckets of information that sat beneath each pillar and were easily digestible.

“People do self-care differently so what might be relevant or work for one person, may not be true for someone else so the guide changes constantly,” says Gina.

The dynamic nature of the document is one of its main advantages. It keeps it relevant, educational, manageable and interesting. It includes ways to set up workspaces at home, tips for time management and prompts for reflection and considering how one might improve as a remote worker.

“We’ve had such a positive response on how easy and useful it is,” says Gina.

For an organisation on a mission to “Celebrate life, every day, everywhere,” Diageo’s virtual workspaces and social media platforms, like Yammer, are vibrant hubs where teams right around the globe are coming together to share the different ways in which they are living through COVID-19.

They include virtual two-up in recognition of Anzac Day, a TikTok challenge across the Asia Pacific region, and cocktail making sessions each Thursday evening.

Staying connected and keeping people well and safe sits at the heart of Diageo’s pandemic plan.

Diageo is a Category One member of the Drinks Association