Creating a culture of support at EDF Energy

Deborah Speed
Deborah Speed

Operations Manager, EDF Energy

Designed for organisations of all sizes from all sectors, the Mental Health at Work Commitment is a simple framework to help organisations move towards a culture of wellbeing. It uses up-to-date research, and pulls from existing pledges and standards – so it’s the only roadmap organisations need to follow to achieve better mental health at work.

One of the more than 2500 signatories is EDF Energy. We asked Deborah Speed, Operational Manager at EDF, to tell us about how her organisation looks after their people.


The energy industry can be a stressful industry to work in. With the cost-of-living crisis, some customers have found it very difficult and this can often mean a difficult conversation for our staff, and they genuinely struggle sometimes when they take a distressing call.

To help, we have delivered a suite of actions to provide our managers and people with the support they need to deal with these conversations, along with appropriate actions to take at the time and a robust set of aftercare measures to ensure our people feel supported. We made sure the staff felt prepared for these types of calls and giving them the right tools to deal with the call effectively with a range of support and signposting for customers.

A happy office environment

When it comes to helping our staff, our methods are to create visible role models and a culture where people can share their experiences.

We offer signposting to support, and send out newsletters, news items and topics of the month surrounding health and wellbeing. We also help create support groups, working with our health and well-being teams to create a local voice. They then can host event days, awareness sessions, and learning events such as webinars.

Our management team understand the importance of keeping in touch with their people

Home working has made it a little harder to spot if someone is potentially experiencing low mood or poor mental wellbeing. Our management team really understand the importance of keeping in touch with their people, and will use regular catch ups, 1-1’s, team meetings, and weekly visits to our sites to ensure we stay connected.

Our management team have also been though our Fundamentals to Mental Health training course. The aim of this session was to better equip our managers to support their people, but also making them aware of their own self-care and wellbeing.

The session covered:
• Common mental health problems
• Mental health alarm bells
• Anxiety & alarm bells
• Stigma & discrimination
• Stress & pressure
• Helpful wellbeing strategies
• Self-care
• Wellness & recovery

A workplace training session

Our internal intranet service has a wellbeing area which covers support for staff and managers to access including our occupational health team offering advice, guidance and referrals for direct private counselling sessions. We also have Mental Health First Aiders, the Thrive Mental Health App, a text messaging service called SHOUT where advisors also have direct link to counselling services, and our Employee Assistance Programme offering medical and financial support.

We have strong working relationships with our trade union colleagues to provide additional support to staff (including around financial wellbeing). We find this very beneficial as often for an individual, knowing their trade union rep and manager are working together means they are getting the right support signposting, and everyone is aligned in that support.

People feel able to bring their whole selves to work

We try to create the right environment where people feel able to bring their whole selves to work. Whilst working together there is mutual trust and appreciation created through the building of meaningful relationships with one another.

We hope that with our mental health strategy, everyone is able to get the most from their work and he workplace, and in return, give their best.

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