Best health and wellbeing initiative



With more than 70,000 employees across the world, business processing giant CGI faced a daunting challenge in monitoring and improving wellbeing. But the sheer scale and ambition of its commitment to the cause, and its consistent belief that looking after employee health would benefit its bottom line, made it an exemplary winner in judges’ eyes.

The business’s commitment dates back 15 years, to when it first launched Oxygen, its global health and wellbeing programme, to provide a holistic approach to health, as well as a range of services both in the UK and internationally.

Today, Anne Bartlett, an experienced occupational health nurse, manages the UK programme with support from local ambassadors, the HR team and senior management, including CGI UK president Tara McGeehan.

Every year, they evaluate the biggest health and wellbeing risk factors for employees, informed by analytical data and anonymous, online health questionnaires.

Useful information is constantly distributed to CGI’s thousands of employees through a weekly round-up email, podcasts, team briefings and online forums. An additional monthly newsletter directly from the Oxygen programme reinforces key messages, and all employees have access to the programme’s portal to find more information or register for events.

The Oxygen portal contains advice on how workers can remain active and how to register for charity exercise activities or for corporate events including CGI’s annual ‘Walk Around the World’, where 1,042 UK workers joined their international colleagues for a lunchtime stroll in September.

Meanwhile, during the 2018 Commonwealth Games, CGI sponsored athletes from Teams England, Wales and Scotland, who assisted in employee ‘training days’ and events.

While physical health is important, the business recognised that developing a comprehensive mental health agenda was vital. It created a network of more than 150 mental health first aiders and produced a series of workshops to help team members develop healthy methods for coping with stress.

The programme also encouraged openness on the subject by sharing various employees’ blogs recounting their personal experiences of mental illness. The judges cited this as an area where the programme showed “real heart that genuinely taps into staff’s ideas and engagement”.

And the activity translated into a tangible business benefit for CGI, in the form of reduced insurance premiums – the firm said Oxygen could be credited with saving more than £60,000 in this area alone. With a place on the Top Employers programme granted partly on the strength of its wellbeing activity, CGI shows that being healthy comes with a solid business case too.


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