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Public Health Wales

Articulating, activating and embedding a strengthened culture blueprint and People Promise to attract and retain talent.

Introduction to the organisation

Public Health Wales is a dynamic and forward-thinking organisation dedicated to promoting and safeguarding the health and well-being of the people of Wales. Established to address the public health needs of the nation, Public Health Wales employs 1700 individuals, with 85 at a consultant level, reflecting its commitment to excellence in public health initiatives and outcomes.

The Challenge

Public Health Wales delivers life changing research, services and support to the entire nation. Their goal is to improve and protect the health and well-being of all residents in the country whilst fighting health inequality.


However, in 2023 they were struggling to attract and retain high quality talent. Public Health Wales enlisted the support of dragonfish to assist in understanding the current and desired Employee Value Proposition, and develop a roadmap for embedding this throughout the entire employee lifecycle. 

The desired impact of this project was for Public Health Wales to be recognised for not only what it delivers for the population of Wales, but what it delivers for its workforce, contributing to becoming an employer of choice. In order to do this successfully, dragonfish needed to ensure that the new EVP aligned with the People Strategy ambition of a ‘flexible, sustainable and thriving workforce with the capability, capacity and desire to successfully deliver the long term strategy.’ This required careful consideration of the organisation’s vision, purpose, strategy, values and behaviours so as to create one coherent and clear narrative around culture and the employee experience. 

Public Health Wales' Goal:

To improve and protect the health and well-being of all residents in the country whilst fighting health inequality.

Our Solution

dragonfish supported Public Health Wales to develop a compelling and attractive People Promise that would enable current colleagues to feel valued as well as provide a unique career experience for individuals looking to join the organisation. This was done through a series of cross-organisational engagement activities, such as an organisation wide survey, focus groups, stakeholder interviews and leadership touchpoints. We also collected the input from external talent through interviews and a short survey, so as to ensure that the resulting People Promise was fit for the future as well as the present.


This People Promise became the basis for a simple messaging guide for resourcing teams and managers to support them with targeting quality candidates across their directorates. More activities are planned for the coming months to actively embed the People Promise across the employee and candidate experience.


At the same time as defining this People Promise, Public health Wales was assessing and defining their required culture for moving forwards. Both dragonfish and Public Health Wales saw this as a great opportunity for growing their partnership, as well as producing a single, unified Culture Blueprint and accompanying narrative that would align the Long Term Strategy, Vision, Purpose, Values, Behaviours and People Promise. These were brought to life through the production of a culture playbook that will be the centrepiece of their activation and embedding roadmap.

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Our Impact

Desired Impact:


Upon successful embedding of the People Promise Public Health Wales wished to have achieved:

  • Alignment across all elements of strategy and culture

  • Increased employee engagement and intention to stay

  • Increased social engagement / widening access for roles

  • Increased candidate satisfaction

  • Increased new hire satisfaction

  • Increased quality / standard of the new applicants

  • Reduced employee turnover

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Noted Impact:

Public Health Wales is still in the early stages of activating and embedding their new Culture Blueprint and People Promise, however we did observe some discrete symbols of change throughout the project.

  • Increased alignment and collaboration across the People, Comms and Strategy functions

  • Recognition of the importance of people managers in activating, embedding and sustaining culture, resulting in a People Manager enablement programme

  • A strong commitment to delivering on promises made in the Culture Blueprint and People Promise.


"dragonfish were a great support to us during this project. They really tested our way of thinking whilst creating a safe space where our 2 teams were united over what we wanted to achieve.
They helped us to grow, without imposing, but by becoming an extension of our team, coaching and mentoring us on how best to lead a culture transformation. Following the completion of our People Promise, we tested it at our annual Networks Conference and received great feedback.
We are all really excited to properly activate and embed our Promise into all aspects of the employee lifecycle."

Samantha Morgan, Assistant Director People Strategy Insights

If you'd like to understand this project or our approach in more detail,
email or call 023 8082 8505

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