Translink, Wellbeing at Work | Business in the Community NI


Translink is the main provider for public transport in Northern Ireland. It provides an essential public service to the people of Northern Ireland which impacts on everyone, supporting economic growth, social inclusion and the welfare of its employees and the local communities it serves.


Its mission is to deliver a transformation in public transport, providing integrated services which connect people, enhance the economy and improve the environment, enabling a thriving Northern Ireland.

Translink recognises that Health and Wellbeing is a priority and value the strategic importance and benefits of a healthy workplace. However, as a large multi-site organisation, employing approximately 3,800 staff, the majority of which are shift workers, and the majority of employees not having regular access to email or internet in their roles, the company relies heavily on its Wellbeing Champions to generate engagement and enthusiasm for its wellbeing programme of events. It is also cognisant of the fact that it has an ageing workforce, with nearly 50% of employees aged over 50, many in active jobs.

What Translink did

Comprehensive consultation was conducted, with staff and management, prior to the strategy launch to ensure input into the strategy formulation and engagement with ongoing wellbeing initiatives. The employee survey focus groups and wellbeing champions were used to gain feedback on wellbeing initiatives and to seek input in to the ongoing development of the wellbeing programme.

The Senior Leadership Team was integral in developing the strategy from the beginning, highlighting key business priorities and an understanding of the impact and benefit for employees in order to build the business case. Senior leaders champion wellbeing themselves by helping to communicate the messages, supporting employees in participating in activities and actively participating themselves.  Key objectives have been set for Wellbeing which also link to business objectives such as improving engagement, addressing absence issues and attracting talent.

The Executive Group was committed to prioritising employee Health and Wellbeing in the following ways:

  • Approving a wellbeing budget
  • Regularly contributing to and agreeing the Wellbeing Strategy
  • Employing an in-house Employee Support Officer, a qualified and accredited Psychotherapist, who provides 1:1 employee support, with a key focus on trauma support and ensures delivery of the wellbeing strategy
  • Encouraging the recruitment and retention of employee Wellbeing Champions to promote the wellbeing message
  • Encouraging the utilisation of an Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health, for employees to seek appropriate support for personal issues, medical interventions to recover from illness and promote positive lifestyle choices
  • Having an HR Business Partner who specifically specialises in Employee Engagement and an Internal Communications Officer have developed and implemented an innovative internal communications plan.

The Translink Wellbeing model, highlights the four keys areas that provide a focus in the delivery of wellbeing events, addressed under four themes:

  1. Better Mind/Better Body = Be Active
  2. Better Work = Employee Engagement
  3. Better Specialist Support = Re-branding of Inspire
  4. Better Relationships = Corporate Volunteering

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 55% of employees believed Translink was genuinely interested in their wellbeing
  • In 2017, 68% of employees who used the Stop Smoking Support Service quit smoking
  • Five teams lost 31 stone as part of the £ for lb, 12 week weight loss challenge; raising money for charity at the same time
  • Supported the JAM ‘Just a Minute’ card initiative in partnership with the NOW Group to support people with learning difficulties and autism, with training provided for all frontline staff
  • £10,000 raised for PIPS charity in two years through an employee, family and friends sponsored walk
  • Platform staff were trained on how to identify individuals at risk of suicide and how to manage a safe outcome

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