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Vineeta Mahtani, Executive Education

By Lauren French

Vinnie has worked at London Business School for an incredible 13 years across various departments. For the past six years she has worked in Executive Education as Executive PA to Associate Dean. Outside of work, Vinnie enjoys immersive theatre (including being chased by zombies in abandoned tunnels under Waterloo station - eek!) and has recently tried taxidermy, which she says she will not be doing again!

This year, Vinnie led Executive Education's successful wellbeing initiative. We caught up with her to find out more. 

Why did you choose to lead Executive Education's wellbeing initiative? 

I was asked to lead this initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of staff in Executive Education. This was also part of an objective that was included in our 2015/16 corporate plan. 

It was an exciting challenge as I had no previous knowledge how to run an initiative like this. I did plenty of research, ran a brainstorming session with the team to gain an insight on what they wanted from this and spoke with various people outside LBS to find out what other companies offer. The highlight for me was definitely visiting Google’s offices and seeing their wellbeing initiative in action. 

What did the initiative entail?

We launched in December 2015 and throughout 2016 we ran wellbeing workshops and individual health assessments. During the workshops and assessments we spent time helping colleagues identify individual goals and objectives for their health and wellness (fitness, diet, energy levels, resilience, sleep etc). 

Every month I ensured a different wellbeing theme or activity was covered ranging from Exec Ed’s Pedometer Challenge in March - a competition to see who could walk the most steps (colleagues got very competitive) to April’s Healthy Eating Plan which covered tips for healthy eating every day and recipes.

In May I ran a Healthy Pot Luck lunch where colleagues brought in dishes they had prepared for the team to try having been inspired from April’s offering – that was a lot of fun and very social. 

Our department Away Day in June was an active one and a great success – everyone played crazy golf.

During the last month of planned activities in July we offered Mindfulness workshops where colleagues were taken through an extended mindfulness/ deep relaxation practice that showed them precisely how effective the techniques can be and were also given the opportunity to attend Individual Mindfulness Consultations.

The programme concluded in July 2016.

Were people receptive of the scheme?

Based on the feedback I have received, the response to the initiative was fantastic – everyone was so very enthusiastic and had really enjoyed thinking about their wellbeing in new and innovative ways.  I think we definitely achieved the right balance of being informative whilst creating a sense of fun and enjoyment with the extremely varied activities.

What happened after the initiative finished?

The official programme is over however the team do now have a great set of resources and tools to help them take ownership of their wellbeing journeys. We are also offering colleagues the opportunity to have their KPIs from earlier in the year re-measured, to discuss their current wellbeing plan and their approach for the future.

My favourite thing that happened during this initiative was the launching of quite a few wellbeing clubs including Running Club, Book Club, Knitting Club and Local Wellbeing Walks.  Some of these clubs are still going strong and are being run independently by colleagues within the team.  

Is this something you’d like to do again? And if so, what would you do the same/differently?

Absolutely as looking at the team I can see the benefits and I’ve already investigated ways that we can incorporate wellbeing into our 2016/17 staff entertainment plan.

I believe the initiative was a success as throughout the year the programme evolved based on feedback and requests from the team and also through the diverse activities on offer – this is something that I would duplicate.