August 17, 2022 All Articles

Meet the Speaker: Monika Khullar, Vice President HR Downstream Sectors and UK, Shell

Monika Khullar is Vice President HR Downstream Sectors and UK at Shell and will be part of our InsideOut Award winner panel discussion in person at The Shard in London on day one of the Wellbeing at Work UK Summit on 20-22 September and we wanted to get her thoughts before she takes to the virtual stage.

We are thrilled that you will be speaking at our Wellbeing at Work UK Summit in September. Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today?

I am doing good although curious about the questions you are going to throw at us on the Panel!

As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges your you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?

Wellbeing is such a broad term now and means something different to everyone and every organisation dependent on individual, organisational and external context.  The main challenges we face are keeping employees engaged so they take ownership of their own personal wellbeing on a consistent basis and ensuring we are reaching those who may be struggling and need the support most yet are less willing to speak up. 

What strategies have you seen developing in the UK over the past 6-12 months post pandemic to address health and wellbeing in the workplace?

Our wellbeing pillars have remained broadly consistent although the benefit of the pandemic is that wellbeing is much more front and centre to the leadership and business agenda.  Post pandemic, we have seen a much deeper integration of wellbeing with all aspects of home, work and the employee experience e.g. offices reopening, moving to hybrid working, willingness of colleagues and leaders to be more open in sharing how they are doing and also supporting and enabling policies to support wellbeing and different life stages. Key to this is continuing to sense and listen to the needs of our community so wellbeing interventions remain relevant. 

Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally?

We spend a significant amount of time at work and I want our workplace to be a great place to work.  I am passionate about creating an environment where people can thrive and be the best they can be so they are engaged and perform not only at work but so they can live their best life outside of work.  Key to this are employees feeling they are supported and cared for, included and that they belong and also a strong sense of alignment between their personal and company purpose and values.

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit in September?

Learning from and being inspired by others so we can continue the focus, prioritise where we have the biggest impact and ensure wellbeing approaches remain relevant.

Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms of employee engagement, health and wellbeing?

  • Wellbeing is fully integrated into how we work, how we lead and how we show up day in day out.
  • Culture of wellbeing, care and leadership role modelling with supporting tools, resources and policies and an environment where people can reach out for help without any stigma
  • A more balanced employer-employee relationship with employees taking more personal accountability for wellbeing whilst feeling equipped and supported with resources
  • Wellbeing and resilience to be part of onboarding to new organisations and something which becomes part of the learning agenda from the most junior to senior level of the organisation.  I believe that developing and strengthening the wellbeing muscle will drive improved engagement, performance and retention and unlock huge value for business at all levels of the organisation. 

What areas do you think employers should be focused on over the next 12-18 months?

How we work and the business environment has changed significantly over the last few years and remains ever challenging.  Continuing to sense and listen to the changing needs of employees and targeting wellbeing support to the different employee demographics will be key.  Key focus areas for the period ahead will be rebalancing wellbeing beyond care through COVID, financial wellbeing given cost of living, menopause in the workplace. addressing fatigue and burnout, and career wellbeing to support employees to remain relevant and re/upskill for the changing world of work.

How has your organisation been leading the way?

  • Ensuring wellbeing support is relevant and supports the size, diversity and different needs of our population from colleagues working offshore to office/home based staff.
  • Ensuring a range of support across wellbeing pillars of physical, mental, social, financial and career and bringing these to life through an engagement calendar and employee and leadership stories.
  • Continuing the drumbeat of wellbeing throughout the year rather than just focusing on days e.g. Mental Health Awareness Week.
  • Building care and wellbeing into 121s and team check ins as a norm.
  • Ensuring an integrated approach to wellbeing to maximise impact through strong collaboration between HR, Health, Real Estate, Internal Communications and the County Leadership Team with strong visible sponsorship of our Country Chair.
  • Listening to feedback from employees, employee forums, employee resource groups and creating safe space through Care Cafes.

Join us at the Wellbeing at Work UK Summit between 20-22 September 2022 in London, Manchester and virtually and hear from Monika and over 60 expert speakers from across the world. Further details here.

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