Dr. Bhojani was a participant at Give an Hour’s Global Summit on Mental Health Culture Change in NYC on November 7th, 2019. As part of the Work Environment Roundtable group, corporations decided to share their stories. Some will share personal accounts, others will share about programs that they have found useful at their workplace to increase the mental health and well-being of their company. This is Shell’s story. We thank Dr. Bhojani for sharing.
Thriving Through Care
by Faiyaz Bhojani, M.D., Royal Dutch Shell
Shell is an international energy company with expertise in the exploration, production, refining and marketing of oil and natural gas, and the manufacturing and marketing of chemicals. Around 84,000 employees across more than 70 countries work together to power progress through more and cleaner energy solutions. Our shared core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people underpin all the work we do and are the foundation of our business principles.
Shell Health enables our businesses and internal and external stakeholders to reach Shell’s aspired future, drive business performance, and create value. As a part of our Human Performance & Care strategy, we empower the people and business to thrive through care and change.
About 75 percent of U.S. employees cite stress as their top concern at the workplace (Willis Towers Watson). The consequences cost the U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year (American Institute of Stress) and more than $1 trillion globally (World Health Organization). Employee psychosocial health and wellbeing is becoming a priority for both local governments and companies; at Shell it is our top priority here at Shell.
In 2018, the “I’m Not OK’ project was launched. This project targets mental ill health and struggling. The program challenges convolutional wisdom by compelling participants to intentionally choose behaviours that will improve our own and others’ performance, safety and quality of life. We are all accountable for self, our behaviours and our outcomes. As a part of the project, the One Thing Wall was also born, giving anyone across Shell with mental health worries a safe place to share their personal experiences on this topic.
To offer visibility & progress the conversation further, we observed World Mental Health Day (WMHD), globally on October 10th, 2019. This day was set aside to raise awareness about mental ill health and emphasize our strategy erasing stigma, starting conversations, and providing resources and a psychologically safe space to people who need it. With a shared vision of reducing the stigma, Shell Health partnered with several Employee Resources Groups (ERG’s) such as enable, whose focus is to create an inclusive and supportive environment for employees with disabilities and those who have family members with disabilities. Over the course of months, we planned and executed a multi-site effort that included face-to-face promotion, live webinars, panel discussions and interactive sessions to help empower employees to feel safe saying, “I’m not OK.”
During the live webinar, 300 participants heard personal testimonies from a colleagues and leaders, learned about the “I’m not OK” resources from Shell Health professionals, and were given information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
The natural collaboration between Shell Health and the ERGs allowed us to intentionally plan for a diversity of modalities to meet the objective of reducing stigma from multiple perspectives and disciplines & varying the conversations. Employees were afforded with a safe space to receive the information from the privacy of their desks, face to face and allowed employees a chance to break down the social stigma through an open dialogue. This collaborative effort was a step toward increasing staff knowledge of the issue and access that employees know where to get help when they need it.
In addition to initiatives like World Mental Health Day, support from leadership reinforces our mission to build a culture of care. Gretchen Watkins, the US Country Chair and Executive Vice President for Unconventionals, shared a personal story and offered words of encouragement to Shell employees leading up to the event:
“In Shell, I see examples of our care for each other happening daily, through our commitment to safety, our employee resource groups and across many interactions between colleagues, leaders and teams. However, I have no doubt there are still colleagues out there that are quietly experiencing troubles or hardship, that may not feel comfortable sharing with colleagues.”
As we aim to sustain the focus on mental health throughout 2020 and beyond, empowering employees and businesses to thrive through care continues to be a key Human Performance & Care strategy. With leadership support and collaborative efforts like World Mental Health Day, we are confident the stigma of mental ill health can be reduced and a caring environment for all can be achieved.
Discover more about what Shell is doing across the globe at www.shell.com
Dr. Faiyaz Bhojani is passionate about health and committed to people. At Shell, his responsibilities include thought leadership, strategic plan, innovation, stakeholder engagement, advocacy, benchmarking and solution delivery across all business and community, in collaboration with HR, HSE, and Social Investment.
Bhojani graduated from Dow university, has a Master’s and a Doctorate in Public Health and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, and American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
In 2002, Dr. Bhojani established The USHealth Forum – a peer group of petrochemical corporate medical directors to drive care in management of people solutions across employees and contractors.
Bhojani serves on the UTHealth Development board, is a member of the Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences, Advisory Board of Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, editorial board of Occupational Disability Guidelines, Think tank member of HERO, a charter member of the Corporate Well Being & Strategic Health Leadership Council of The Conference Board, and a Board member of the Business Council of the Work Place Wellness Alliance – Institute Health and Productivity Management.
In addition, Bhojani is actively involved in academia, professional and community organizations. He serves as an Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology and Environmental Sciences at UTSPH and Professor, Family, Community and Internal Medicine Baylor College of Medicine. He is the CEO of MRZ Medical Practice, speaks at national and international meetings and has published in peer reviewed journals.
He volunteers at community health clinic for the disenfranchised, is a former secretary of Islamic Education Board, Islamic Education Center, Houston and is a board member of the Jafari No-Interest Credit Union.