Culture shift: prioritising wellbeing for future business success


The global pandemic has changed the world as we know it – transforming the way we live, work, learn and access healthcare. It has also put a global focus and renewed imperative on the need to focus on the wellbeing of both our people and our planet. And while covid-19 has taken a significant toll, bringing systemic inequalities into ever sharper focus, there have also been signs of hope and of genuine change for good.

Over the last year, REBA has seen many examples of organisations rapidly innovating to support both remote and frontline workers. This will continue to evolve as companies work through what a remote or hybrid model of work means for them and how their reward, benefits and wellbeing strategies will need to change and adapt to support these new ways of working. The best employers are also responding to calls for racial and gender equity, confronting climate change as they transition to net zero and aligning these ESG objectives with organisational purpose and culture. And at the heart of all of this, we have seen employee wellbeing accelerate to the top  the CEO agenda, as employers recognise this is now a critical business priority fundamentally linked to long-term resilience and future success.

Scroll down for key themes on this year's agenda.

Keynote speakers announced!


Rory Sutherland

Vice Chairman, Ogilvy UK and author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense (2019)

Opening keynote: How can irrational thinking help create a better future of work?

Drawing on the latest thinking in behavioural economics and evolutionary psychology, Rory Sutherland – one of the most respected creative thinkers in the ad industry – encourages us to apply irrational thinking to create a better future of work. He reimagines the purpose of the office, exploring the positive impacts of remote work opportunities.

“When you demand logic, you pay a hidden price: you destroy magic,” explains Rory, this is because “it’s perfectly possible to be both rational and wrong!” As we think about the future we want to create for our people and our planet, he urges us to think differently and with an awareness that “not everything that makes sense works, and not everything that works makes sense.”

This inspirational session also explores why, when humans generally understand which wellbeing behaviours lead to good future health outcomes, we make counter-intuitive decisions. As an expert in the value of persuasion over compulsion, Rory answers what this means for employers and how they communicate to workforces about new workplace and wellbeing behaviours.


Alex Brooker

Comedian and Co-host, Channel 4’s The Last Leg

In conversation with … Alex Brooker, comedian and Co-host, Channel 4’s The Last Leg talks to REBA’s Debi O’Donovan about the last wellbeing taboo

TV presenter, journalist and comedian, Alex Brooker takes a break from The Last Leg writing room to talk to REBA co-founder and director, Debi O’Donovan about how disability has changed both his life and his career. Be ready for some laughs, jokes and crazy anecdotes as Alex candidly chats about both the challenges and the light-hearted moments he’s experienced.

“My disability makes me emotional, but it also makes me laugh; the two are not mutually exclusive and I’m comfortable doing both. Joking about it can be a celebration of it, too.”

In this session Alex and Debi aim to tackle one of the few remaining wellbeing taboos in the corporate world by turning the tables to make the experience of disability accessible.

About Alex Brooker

When Alex was hired to appear on The Last Leg, he was initially put on a nine-day contract as the programme was only due to run for two weeks alongside the 2021 Paralympic Games in London. The programme, which took a comedic look at the day’s events, celebrated and poked fun at disability in equal measure. Alex, who has hand and arm impairments and uses a prosthetic leg, would make as many jokes at his own expense as he would at other people's, with co-host Adam Hills, who was born without a right foot, doing the same.

In one of the earlier shows, Alex recalls how Freddie Flintoff’s face was priceless when he was challenged to a game of paper, rock, scissors with Alex, who, as he likes to put it himself, “has two hands with issues”!

Almost a decade on, the Last Leg has become one of Channel’s 4’s most popular shows.

In 2019, when he took part in a challenge to swim the English Channel in Channel 4’s Sink or Swim for Stand Up To Cancer, Alex faced some tough challenges and for the first time in a long time, he explains how it made him ‘feel very disabled and emotional’ and ready to take a more serious and reflective look at his disability.

Prompted by this experience, last year Alex did a deeply personal BBC Two documentary, Disability and Me, where he openly acknowledged how much his disability impacts on who he is and in which he explores what it really means to be disabled in the UK today. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve realised just how important talking is. I’m one of the few disabled people on TV and I want to use that in a positive way, to help others get a better understanding of what the reality is.”

Key themes in this year's programme will include:

Rebalancing reward and benefits to build back better

  • How are reward and benefits strategies adapting and updating to support the changing needs of a remote and hybrid workforce?
  • Whole-person wellbeing – interlinking mental, financial, physical and social wellbeing and balancing this with the changing needs of the workforce post-Covid and longer term
  • Which wellbeing benefits and solutions are relevant and resonate with employees and how will these evolve?
  • Upscaling benefits technology to meet the ever-increasing demand for greater flexibility, choice and individualisation

Refocusing wellbeing for people and planet

  • Broadening the wellbeing lense: recognising that the wellbeing of both people and planet is essential to building long term resilience and future business success
  • Aligning reward, benefits and wellbeing with wider organisational/ESG objectives around sustainability, DEI and purpose. What does this look like in practice?

Rebuilding resilience: prioritising wellbeing as a business-critical issue

  • Recognising employee wellbeing risk as a key business/operational risk
  • Authentic role-modelling by leadership of wellbeing as a business-critical skill
  • Creating safe spaces for employees from which they can genuinely build wellbeing

Rethinking wellbeing measures, metrics and data

  • Building a wellbeing maturity matrix
  • What should wellbeing indicators and measures look like?
  • Identifying key wellbeing measures linked to a sense of connectedness, purpose and belonging to drive real organisational change
  • Using data more effectively to inform future wellbeing strategy and decisions
Taking shape: outline agenda

Taking shape: outline agenda

We don't have the full programme just yet, but here you can get a feel for the structure of the day here:

09:00 Networking breakfast
09:30  Chair's welcome and introduction
09:40 Opening keynote
10:25 Curated round table discussions with independent table hosts (vendor-free)
11:10 Morning coffee  
11:30 Topical breakout sessions or exhibition time for delegates to select
13:00 Networking lunch
14:00 Topical breakout sessions or exhibition time for delegates to select
15:00 Curated round table discussions with independent table hosts (vendor-free) 
15:45 Afternoon tea 
16:10 Closing keynote
16:50  Final remarks and close of conference



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