Bank of Ireland – Be at Your Best

Business in the Community Ireland

Bank of Ireland is one of the largest financial services groups in Ireland. The Group provides a broad range of banking and other financial services

The Opportunity

Be At Your Best was introduced in 2013 to create a culture that supported colleagues to increase the overall physical and mental wellbeing and resilience of staff so they could survive and thrive in an ever more competitive, challenging and changing working environment.

 What We Achieved

Dr Maureen Gaffney acted as consultant for the programme. The results are broadly based on “Flourishing”, in which she outlines how people can utilise the concept of stress-related growth to overcome adversity, maximise their potential and enjoy life.

The ‘Be at your Best, Invest in Yourself’ programme is in its third year, and is going from strength to strength, helping staff support their physical health and mental wellbeing while taking positive steps in their career.

To date, over 10,000 staff have voluntarily participated in an extensive range of activities, each aimed at providing them with the tools and supports to enhance their physical, mental and professional wellbeing. During 2015, the programme was also extended to family, friends and the community for certain events.

Some highlights include

Mind Ur Buddy

BAYB, with the support of the Bank’s charity partner Pieta House developed the Mind Ur Buddy programme. Mind Ur Buddy is a way of enabling colleagues to support colleagues. Volunteers are taught how to notice the tell-tale signs of changes in behaviour of people in the workplace and what to do when they spot it.

Couch to 5K

The Couch to 5K challenge catered for walkers, joggers and runners of all abilities. Four training plans for differing levels of ability, along with running tips, advice on setting goals, nutrition hints and recipes plus a food and exercise diary were sent to participants beforehand.

Career Portal

Bank of Ireland launched a new Career Portal in 2015 to provide a wide range of resources to help staff take ownership of their career development. Today over 2,500 are undertaking qualifications to further their careers.


BAYB was recognised in the ‘Excellence in Workplace’ category at Chambers Ireland CSR awards 2016 and one of the initiatives – Be Our Inspiration – was awarded ‘Best Creative Staff Engagement’ at the recent Business to Arts awards.

“In Bank of Ireland, we are keen to refresh the employee proposition to allow people rebuild their confidence and pride in the organisation, while engaging more fully in initiatives that align with their personal values.  Be At Your Best responds to the need to create value and meaning for employees in the workplace, in ways that go beyond the job description.”  – Julie Sharp, Head of Group Human Resources

Top Tip

Have local champions who are actively engaged in promoting and encouraging participation on the ground. BAYB is underpinned by a BAYB champion structure in every Division across the Group. In 2015, 168 BAYB Champions. This has been an important factor in ensuring that events and initiatives are properly communicated and supported in different locations.

For further details on BAYB and other aspects of Bank of Ireland’s CSR narrative, check out the 2015 Responsible Business Report.