The Greek Gods of employee wellbeing

Our holistic approach to wellbeing builds on the ancient Greek philosophy of Eudaimonia (‘human flourishing’); supported by our modern six pillars ideology. It is a concept based around supporting employees and understanding how to help them flourish, both personally and professionally.

At Barnett Waddingham we are standing at the forefront of innovation in the wellbeing arena, discarding the old fashioned blanket approach to benefit provision in favour of unique solutions, inspired by ancient philosophies, but tailored for the modern workplace.

Eudaimonia is neatly represented by our six pillars of wellbeing, as well as reflecting characteristics of some of the well-known inhabitants of Mount Olympus…

The Greek Gods

Zeus - protection

The god of the sky, ruling over his family of Olympians – Zeus offers protection.

Like Zeus, overseeing the lives of the mortals from Mount Olympus, employers have a responsibility to manage the needs of their employees, in relation to their lifestyle and their family, should their circumstances change for the worse.

Hera - support

Hera is the goddess of mothers, marriage and family – she is there to offer support.

The word ‘support’ may be vague, but the concept is vast. Support ranges from employees requiring training to effectively fulfil their role, right through to employees who require the paternal support and understanding of their employer as they get through a particularly difficult time.

Aphrodite - health

Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty – she is the epitome of good health.

It is becoming increasingly common for companies to invest more in the health of their employees and as a result of this we now often see discounted gym memberships and fruit in the office. These are ‘nice to haves’ but don’t fundamentally change the health of the workforce. The challenge is to engage the unengaged through education and prevention solutions while maintaining a solid intervention framework.

Healthy employees are essential for a productive and happy workforce. Employers benefit from reduced absence rates, increased productivity and reduced insurance premiums.

Janus - my job

Janus is the god of beginnings, choices and doorways – representing career choices, progression and security.

My job represents being part of a company that is inclusive and values its employees while engaging them in operational and financial performance.

Modern employers appreciate that it is about more than just providing a job for life. It’s increasingly about making sure that employees are provided with training opportunities to help them with their own personal development in an environment they can feel secure in.

Tyche - financial security

Tyche is the goddess of good luck and fortune – holding the horn of plenty, she represents financial security.

Financial security is a topic that we can all resonate with because, at some point in our lives, we all (except the very fortunate) struggle financially. We all experience the potentially debilitating fear of debt, the frustration of saving, the uninhibited use of credit and the need to fund our retirement and save for the future.

Employers can look to educating their employees and evolving their support. New products will appear over the coming years including employee peer-to-peer lending, employer-sponsored short term lending and employer-sponsored benevolent funds to name a few.

Apollo - work / life balance

The god of archery, music, poetry, prophecy and medicine – he wants to experience everything that life has to offer.

One thing that we all strive for is to find a good balance between work and life. Outside of work, some find this balance easy and others really struggle to achieve it. Some work 50 hours a week and have it; others work 30 hours a week and don’t have it.

Increasingly, employees have access to flexible working, allowing them to make their own decisions on how they manage their day. Employers can also provide other good work/life balance products, including childcare vouchers, cycle to work schemes and flexing of holiday entitlement and sabbaticals.

A nod to the past

Together, these six pillars can help to create a better environment for the modern workforce. We are taking our lead from the past, learning from the Ancient Greeks about living better and working smarter,  and updating to make it relevant for today.


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Workplace wellbeing and benefits

Discover more articles and research on employee wellbeing from our expert team by visiting our knowledge hub.

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