Unilever

The Mission is to Add Vitality to Life

Our mission is to add vitality to life. We meet every day needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

Portfolio, Partnering, People

These three headings sum up the ways in which we add vitality to life: Through the benefits our portfolio brings; through partnering with others to solve complex issues; and through the personal vitality of our people.

Bringing vitality to consumers means understanding for ourselves what vitality means and how we can deliver it. Unilever looks for ways to help employees bring vitality into their daily lives, either that’s by providing health in leading a healthy lifestyle or creating opportunities for community involvement.

Since the launch of our new mission in 2004, vitality has been brought to life for our people in many creative and worth-while ways around the globe.

In 2005, people vitality was launched with personal vitality guides on nutrition, health and hygiene, and personal care.

Our companies are encouraged to foster vitality in the everyday lives of the employees and there are varieties of ways in which they may do this, from supporting community involvement to making sure, that there is a healthy menu in the canteen. Examples of help with health and wellbeing include creating opportunities for people to be physically active and think about their diet or providing help in handling stress and being resilient to day-to-day challenges.

Promoting employee health and wellbeing

We belief, that healthy employees contribute to a healthy company. Our Personal Vitality charter was finalised and rolled out in 2007. This focuses on employee health and wellbeing and ways of working. We now have a global framework of health and wellbeing benefits which each Unilever operating company will have to make available to all employees by 2010. This framework involves coaching people on their exercise, nutrition and mental resilience, and monitoring their progress through an initial check-up and six-monthly follow-ups.

Our challenge is to encourage people to change their behaviour and sustain new habits, whether it be how often they exercise or their eating habits. We have found that if we can keep people motivated on a programme of change for six month, than the habits are likely to stay. Another important factor is leadership behaviours. People at work tend to mirror patterns of behaviour set by their managers, which is why all our programmes start with senior managers.

These programmes have important short and long-term business as well as health benefits. In short-term we expect to see healthier, more motivated and productive employees, with lower levels of absence due to ill health. The long-term benefits are in lower health care costs for companies and society. A study we conducted in the UK, and which was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, estimated that the return on investment of these kinds of employee well-being programmes is in the region of £ 3.70 for every £ invested.

 


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