Case Study

Leveraging the power of feedback to drive staff mental health and wellbeing

International Development Bank

Following the pandemic, an International Development Bank client wanted to understand the mental health and wellbeing of its workforce, how its wellbeing programmes were received, and pinpoint areas for further development. The approach it took was to run a comprehensive survey followed by focus groups.

Objectives of the wellbeing survey

  • To get a deep understanding of the mental health and wellbeing of staff.
  • To understand how this varies within the organisation by region, department and personal demographic factors.
  • To understand how results compare with other organisations through external benchmarking.
  • To understand the causes and drivers of staff wellbeing.
  • To pinpoint key issues and develop specific recommendations for moving forward.

“It was important that we identified the organisational barriers to improving wellbeing and understand where there were opportunities to develop. We were asking ‘What are the positives of our organisational culture that can we enhance?’” – Principal Medical and Health Specialist, International Development Bank client

Gaining insight with in-depth analysis

  • A holistic approach to survey design was adopted and included questions on mental health, physical health, pressure, stress and coping, working patterns, environment and culture, services, and questions asking staff about what would improve their mental health.
  • The survey also included a comprehensive set of demographic questions covering departments and a number of personal demographic factors.
  • The organisation used Agenda’s powerful analysis tools paired with further statistical analysis to identify the relationships between survey questions and understand the key drivers of wellbeing.
  • Differences between departments were identified in order to build department-specific action plans.
  • The organisation was able to develop an understanding of vulnerable groups to guide targeted interventions.

“We will conduct focus groups with staff from vulnerable groups to gain further insight into what is causing wellbeing issues, and how the organisation can help support them.” – Principal Medical and Health Specialist, International Development Bank client


By leveraging leadership commitment to wellbeing and supervisor involvement in communications, the organisation achieved a good survey response rate.

The Senior management and Board discussed the survey results in-depth and have:

  • increased the awareness of the importance of mental health
  • encouraged discussion of mental health
  • highlighted that prevention is better than cure
  • emphasized that everyone has a role to play in creating a healthier environment.

“Agenda has a dedicated and effective team. Experience is rare in this field of wellbeing surveys, but we have it with Agenda. We picked Agenda because they’re very flexible to our needs and survey design is bespoke – we can build on their recommended questions and use our own as well. Agenda’s engagement with the survey design and contributing their experience was extremely valuable.”

Action plans

Department-specific recommendations for improving staff wellbeing have been developed. Wellbeing champions from each department are driving forward initiatives and reporting back on progress made.

Organisation-wide wellbeing interventions are being implemented, including:

  • Making support more accessible.
  • Creating a flexible wellbeing benefits programme.
  • Reaching out to those who are most vulnerable.

The organisation’s upcoming engagement survey will include questions on wellbeing to track progress.

“We seek to engage with staff members who are on the periphery of the wellbeing conversation – those who rarely interact with support and initiatives provided by the organisation. Some staff, no matter what services you provide, stay clear. Those people are potentially at-risk, and we want to try and engage with them.” – Principal Medical and Health Specialist, International Development Bank client

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