BY: Janine Mitchell
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Sammy Rubin is the co-founder of the life insurance company yulife, a start-up that strives to offer effective life cover and improve the health and overall wellbeing of its users.
Wellbeing strategy is at the heart of the ethos and culture of yulife.
Sammy started his own journey after experiencing challenges with his own wellbeing. He says he was burnt out emotionally, physically and psychologically.
He had started his first insurance company in his 20’s, becoming the youngest director of a publicly listed financial services company. Four years later he floated this on the stock exchange.
Despite his perceived outward success, Sammy wasn’t happy. His wellbeing was suffering and he wanted to make changes.
As a result he went on a sabbatical where he travelled to several countries, learning about himself and his own wellbeing. A spiritual journey in which he was to make and implement huge positive changes in his own life.
Upon his return he wanted to put everything he had learnt into practice, and to apply this to the ethos of a company.
His plan was to create a culture within a company, starting with himself.
Not where boxes are merely ticked and lip service is paid, but real, cultural implementation.
“The priority of wellbeing starts with myself. In order to create a lifestyle insurance company which puts a wellbeing culture at the top of the agenda, that starts with myself”
Sammy says one of his key learnings from his sabbatical was the rebalancing of priorities. He has daily rituals and practices he utilises to look after his wellbeing.
“Today I did yoga, meditation and breath work”
“I do these daily. When I don’t, I notice a huge negative difference. For example not looking after my diet or sleep. If I don’t prioritising myself I feel completely out of balance as a result”
Talking about the strategy behind Sammy’s business he explains it’s all about purpose and finding his why. This inspires and guides him and his company. This is regarded = as a valuable anchor which leads a wholesome life.
“Our mission is to inspire people to lead their best lives and my rebalance of priorities fits around this”
In terms of his business, the priority at yulife is all about their culture and their people.
“I surround myself with good people. We are influenced by the people around is. We hire people with values that align with our business”
“We have good people that work for us as part of our wellbeing culture. We then look to inspire others. They then tell others about the company and they come and work for us. So we are spreading our mission and our value”
“When people join our company, as part of the induction process I go over the founding story of the company and my own journey to wellness”
Wellbeing and the importance of employees is priority at yulife.
Every Monday Sammy gives a virtual 15 minute talk to all his staff. His aim to inspire his workforce. He does this by reinforcing values and reminding everyone of their mission at yulife. “It’s a great anchor for the week!”
Additionally, there are ‘weekly shoutouts’ so gratitude is reinforced through yulife as regular exercises. People also share ‘day in their life’ stories which develops a real sense of cohesion, community and high morale amongst staff
Sammy says rituals and practices have evolved at the company
“We are growing at a fast pace. How we create a whole culture around wellbeing? It’s creating a business that has that as its DNA “
The whole business model at yulife revolves around an App.
Mindfulness and meditation is embedded in the culture. Every staff member has the app. Using a gamification process, they make wellbeing fun and interactive. So it is all about encouraging wellbeing as part of cultural policy.
Each time someone does a 5 minute meditation or go for a walk, they earn themselves points. They can compete with each other! Rewards are vouchers for Amazon amongst others.
Their whole business model revolves around the app.
Aimed at companies of all sizes, the app which encourages its users to implement various different self-care tactics through a gaming system. Users receive awards in “yucoin” for steps they walk or run.
“We use gamification to make wellbeing fun we bring in that light touch of making wellbeing fun and accessible and woven not fabric”
Yulife were awarded best start up in 2021.
It’s no coincidence that companies that not only look after their staff wellbeing, but make wellbeing their priority and incorporate it into their very fabric, ethos and culture are those companies that are at the top of their game.
Productivity and staff morale sky rocket, absenteeism and staff turnover is minimal. These issues cost eye watering sums of money. Additionally, organisations promoting health and wellbeing are 3.5 more times likely to be innovative and creative
As Sammy himself says:
“Success in business is down to people and peoples attitudes, especially young people they are looking for purpose they want to work for companies that are purpose driven”
About the author
Janine Mitchell specialises in transforming mental health and mindset. She works with companies and organisations by helping them improve their performance and productivity by reducing stress in the workplace.
Janine is the founder of Change for Success. She is a published researcher, has a Masters’ degrees in Psychology and is a hypnotherapist, NLP and EFT practitioner. She is based in Manchester and works nationally and globally.