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Creating an innovative culture of wellbeing

Alex Pugh, Head of HR, Eden Futures

Alex Pugh, Head of HR at Eden Futures, a provider of specialist care and supported living services, talks about the organisation’s innovative culture of wellbeing.

At Eden Futures, we deliver exceptional support to people diagnosed with a learning or physical disability, acquired brain injury, autism or a mental illness. We use our experience to support people on their journey towards greater independence and live fulfilling lives. We recognise that every bit as important, is the wellbeing and development of our incredible staff who make it all possible.

Our commitment is to ensure that our staff experience is a positive one throughout the employee lifecycle, being able to change and adapt to provide excellent care and support and meet the needs of our service users.  Our commitment is underpinned by the Investors in People (IIP) Framework, which has helped us secure IIP Gold accreditation.

Using the Framework, our People Strategy outlines our 3 key overarching ambitions:

  • To attract and retain strong talent
  • To give our people the opportunity to learn, develop and progress
  • To make sure that health and wellbeing is supported so that our people feel happy, safe and supported in every aspect at work

In October 2022, I designed and launched ‘Eden Together,’ our answer to the growing need for more support, especially during the cost-of-living crisis. Eden Together is our monthly health and wellbeing magazine, packed with articles on mental health, financial advice, physical wellbeing, and more.  It celebrates our collective achievements while championing the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion. In the magazine, we also signpost to the valuable resources on our Eden Futures Wellbeing page: edenfutures.org/wellbeing. “Sharing is caring” and all our magazines and resources are available to the public. We’re adding new materials all the time and we’ve recently created a new space dedicated to the menopause and external support available.

But we haven’t stopped there. In January 2024, we introduced ‘EdenEvolve,’ a leadership programme designed by our HR team, featuring 16 modules with a keen focus on nurturing wellbeing at work. It’s our belief that to provide the high-quality care and support our service users deserve, we must first care for our staff, equipping our leaders to create a supportive, engaging environment.

I think it’s fair to say that we’re in an incredibly rewarding but difficult sector, where there’s a phenomenal amount of responsibility and pressure. Our leaders in Operations are ensuring care and support for our service users, maintaining excellent quality standards, managing within a national recruitment crisis, leading teams, keeping staff engaged and motivated, juggling audits, inspections, supervisions, appraisals… and the ‘day-to-day’ which can throw several curve balls… And that’s not even all of it; the list goes on in our sector!

… And because of that, supporting the wellbeing of our people isn’t – and can never be – simply an Employee Assistance Programme poster on the wall or placing tokenistic posts on social media for World Mental Health Day. Our approach to wellbeing is deep-rooted and personal; it’s about meaningful actions. From our ‘Shining Stars’ monthly recognition programme to our annual Care Awards, we celebrate the extraordinary contributions of our team, all while keeping our ears to the ground with our annual employee opinion surveys, where wellbeing is always a hot topic.

All our wellbeing and people engagement initiatives are designed in partnership with our ‘Eden Influencers’. This group of staff and Expert Partners shape our People Strategy, ensuring that every voice is heard, every concern is addressed, and every achievement is celebrated.

One of our measures of success is in our 21% attrition rate, well below the industry average, which truly reflects our commitment to remaining a genuine people’s organisation as we continue to grow our services and workforce.

At Eden Futures, we know where the highest quality of care and support begins… and it’s with those who choose a rewarding career in care.




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