PART I: Holistically Supporting Our Consultants – Health and Wellness at CBPartners

CBPartners understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance and in supporting our consultants holistically to progress within their roles. As the firm has grown, we have listened to their needs; developing initiatives and systems to ensure that morale is high, our teams integrate well, and hard work is rewarded.

We interviewed the leaders of the Health and Wellness teams across offices to explain how this initiative came to be, and how it has grown to support the 47 employees that we have today:

  • Julia Pikus, Associate – NYC
  • Shuang Shao, PhD, Senior Analyst – San Francisco
  • Piero Senatore, Senior Analyst – London


What is the Health & Wellness initiative?

JP: We have Health and Wellness teams across offices to drive this initiative – it is in place to keep the quality of our consultants day-to-day working life high, which is supplemented through extracurricular activities ranging from meditation breaks and sports activities to happy hours and meals out.


What are the main purposes of this initiative?

SS: The main purposes are to promote healthy wellbeing and work-life balance among all CBP members, to build a globally supportive culture that is unique to each office, and to create shared experiences through the promotion of team activities. Ultimately, through elevating the consulting experience holistically, we aim to attract and retain talents at CBPartners.


How did you join the health and wellness team, and how long have you been a member?

JP: I am one of the first to set up and structure H&W more formally, and I’ve been involved for roughly two and a half years. A lot of companies now put effort into developing a good work-life balance for their employees through various means in order to maintain a positive environment, and this is one of the ways in which CBPartners organically developed from the beginning.


SS: I volunteered to take charge of the Health and Wellness in the San Francisco office when I joined CBPartners in the summer of 2015, as the former Wellness rep from the office I was leaving.


PSe: I joined about ten months ago, taking over from a couple of colleagues who left the company.


What appealed to you about becoming involved with the firm’s health and wellness initiative?

JP: Developing a positive working environment for my colleagues is what really appeals to me – I’m concerned with maintaining a good culture at CBPartners, and there’s no better way to do this than by shaping it. I think my background as an athlete and growing up in NYC has put me in good stead to source fun team activities, especially the organisation of sports events!


SS: It is extremely fulfilling and meaningful to work with others within our SF office, as well as across offices outside project work, and to organise activities to promote shared value and experiences.


PSe: I saw this as a great chance to improve my colleagues environment and help them to break up the daily routine to keep them happy and motivated.


Describe the current methods employed to improve consultant’s experience at CBP.

JP: Consultants are very busy day-to-day, so health and wellness activities are in place to support and work around their schedules in order to nurture both physically and mentally. We keep it varied and always listen to feedback to influence future activities.


SS: H&W would be an important one. Coaching will be another – also any investment in the people, such as formal training for new hires / new managers counts.


PSe: There are a lot of different things in place to do this, health and wellness being one of them. I think the mentorship programme supports us well with our career goals and day-to-day life, and I know there’s now a G.R.O.W programme that gives us the opportunity to join another office for about six months. New ideas are always being discussed to help Improve morale, so who knows what there’ll be in the future!


How does being involved with health and wellness enhance your experience working at CBP?

SS: It’s been a great outlet for getting to know my colleagues in a less formal manner, and for general integration into the office for newer members.


PSe: It encourages a ‘team spirit’ and boosts morale, while also promoting health through sports and healthy snacks and meeting food. Consulting can be tough mentally and physically, so it’s nice to have breakouts and things to look forward to together alongside project work.


How do you measure the initiative’s success?

JP: We generally look at turn-out, ask our colleagues for feedback and generally keep our ears to the ground – no idea is too outlandish to explore further, creative input from any source is encouraged and discussed during our internal meetings.


SS: We have a routine culture and morale survey for the San Francisco office, where people’s satisfaction with current H&W and expectations for future initiatives are assessed. We also hear from people informally, if people like or dislike a particular event or idea, they let us know!


PSe: We’ve adopted San Francisco’s culture and morale survey which gives us a general sense of how happy and balanced the team is, and where we could implement something to address any issues that arise.


How would a new employee go about helping out in CBP’s health and wellness team?

JP: We encourage involvement from anyone – for example, if someone wanted to start a CBPartners soccer team, we would support them with the health and wellness budget and help them to co-ordinate the activities!


SS: Anyone who wants to become involved with the initiative, even in part, are encouraged to talk to us and take lead proactively. For example, Kay Rusher from our office talked to myself and her coach about her interest in organising events, and now we are together planning happy hours and our office’s next big vineyard wine-tasting trip.