Dr Shaun Davis is Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability at Royal Mail Group. He was awarded the CSR Director of the Year gong at last year’s IoD London & South Awards for his work leading the Royal Mail’s strategy for safety, health and wellbeing, including spearheading its mental health campaign.
Why do you believe you won this award?
“The subject of mental health and wellbeing at work is a contemporary priority. I believe I won because I could demonstrate not just clear strategy and tactical action, but the benefits and outcomes. It wasn’t a wish-list or report of actions, but all about the policy, the impact, and the achievement – backed up by evidence.”
How did it feel to win?
“I was so surprised to win! On behalf of Royal Mail as well as myself personally, I was really touched to be recognised by an organisation like the IoD. It’s so well-respected here and internationally, that the competition for the awards was stiff – I was both honoured and proud to win.”
What does an award like this mean to Royal Mail?
“Everybody was delighted with the win, including my colleagues and team, and the executive board. We are a very supportive organisation in any case, but the messages of congratulations were amazing. To me it was more than a personal award though. Straight away I saw it as an opportunity to further the agenda – not only to show what has been achieved and recognised but to highlight what we still have to do.”
“Awards should be more than a piece of metal or glass you place on the windowsill. In this case, one in six people are still suffering from stigma around mental health issues at work. The award is a milestone – but it has to be a catalyst for doing more.”
“Winning an award should not be the end of something – it should be a start of something.”
How have you leveraged the win in the past year?
“Royal Mail did a lot of internal communications around the award, including putting it our internal newsletter ‘The Courier’, on the intranet, and in various reports. PwC is currently preparing our annual Corporate Responsibility report, and it will feature in there.”
“Where I have personally been able to leverage it well has been in our work with our two very active unions, Unite CMA and the Communications Workers where I have been able to show them what we have done as an employer, and it has helped us strengthen those relationships.”
“Also used social media, twitter, it featured in the board reports so the main board new about it.”
What would you say to others considering entering the IoD Director of the Year Awards?
“My advice to anyone thinking about entering is: Why not? You can showcase the great work you do and get some recognition for it – but then use it as a way to further your work. We work in an increasingly competitive world, so awards like this can help you retain people, keep customers and secure executive buy in for your work, as well as delivering evidence of personal and organisational achievement.”
Any tips for those entering?
“If you decide to enter, then the best tip is to back up everything you say. You can make statements of intent and report what you achieved – but it is the supporting evidence that paints the bigger picture and colours it in. So: give examples, mention specific results, and talk about impacts, not just what you did!”