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Hauora, a wellbeing company who host Performance and Wellbeing events and consultancy, was formed in 2019 through the meeting of minds between David Clancy, Ciarán Dunne, and Dr. Rachel Sheehan. Having first being introduced in a sports medicine clinic in Harley St., London, David and Ciarán bonded over their shared fascination of understanding people beyond their physical injuries and focusing on their overall wellbeing. When Dr. Rachel Sheehan joined the team, she brought her expertise in mental health, adding another layer to their skill set. With their diverse qualifications and gained experience in physiotherapy, sports medicine, and performance psychology, Hauora's reach extended beyond the corporate world, as they recognised the need for performance and wellbeing programmes in the realm of professional sports.

Setting up Business

Motivated by a shared vision and desire to make a positive impact, David, Ciarán and Dr. Rachel took the leap to establish their own business. Their goal was to create a space where individuals could receive comprehensive support for their physical, mental, social, and occupational wellbeing, going beyond traditional medical and current market offerings. By blending their expertise, they offered a holistic approach, recognising the intricate connections between wellbeing and performance.

Initially, Hauora engaged in one-off projects with various companies such as BDO, Abbott, and Mercer. As their reputation grew, they secured long-term partnerships with esteemed clients like Siemens, Kerry Group, Circle K, Aughinish Alumina, HPRA, and jumpAgrade. Notably, Rachel's role as an Assessor for Ibec's KeepWell Mark has granted her valuable insights into best practices across diverse sectors.

Since its inception, Hauora has thrived and in the past year has expanded its team and partnered with external consultants. This expansion tapped into a larger market of athletes, support staff and performers. Their growth has been bolstered by international endeavours, including the design and delivery of online workshops for professional sports organisations in North America and Canada.

Becoming Self Employed

With over 30+ collective years of experience in various full-time employment roles, David, Rachel, and Ciarán felt a strong sense of adventure and a desire to create something of their own. In December 2019, after engaging in deep discussions they made the decision to become self-employed and establish Hauora.

“The decision to embark on our entrepreneurial journey was driven by several factors. Firstly, we yearned for the freedom to fully pursue our passion for understanding people beyond their physical injuries and focusing on overall wellbeing. We saw an opportunity to create a space where individuals could receive comprehensive education and support that went beyond the limitations of traditional medical approaches. By setting up our own business, we could offer a holistic approach that supported not only wellbeing in physical and mental pillars but also the whole person incorporating social and occupational wellbeing as well as performance.”

The Hauora team were determined to make a lasting difference in the lives of others. They believed in the transformative power of integrated health, wellbeing and performance, and saw self-employment as the ideal vehicle to bring their vision to life. By being self-employed, they could have full control over the direction and impact of their work, allowing them to live their passion and create a meaningful legacy.

A Unique Approach 

Hauora stands out as a performance wellbeing partner that distinguishes itself from others in the industry through its unique approach and comprehensive offerings. What sets us apart can be summarised by the following key factors:

Bespoke Approach: Hauora takes pride in providing a 100% tailor-made service that encompasses a one-size-fits-all approach. They recognise that every organisation has distinct needs and challenges, and they craft our interventions accordingly.

“Our ultimate goal is to embed sustainable and customised performance wellbeing programs that align with the individual and organisational goals of our clients and prospective clients.”

Holistic Wellbeing Focus: Hauora's approach encompasses the four pillars of wellbeing—physical, mental, social, and occupational. By addressing all these dimensions, we unlock the full potential of individuals and organisations, leading to improved overall performance and wellbeing.

True Organisational Engagement: Hauora is committed to disrupting traditional thinking by offering intimate and engaging events that captivate and inspire on all levels from entry to executive levels within an organisation. They believe that genuine connection and meaningful experiences drive transformational change. Through their workshops, frameworks, multi-layered communications models, presentations, multimedia engagements they create an immersive environment that fosters growth and wellbeing.

Cross-Sector Insights: Hauora's close relationship with Ibec's gives them a unique cross-sector insights that promote measurable change in clients. This allows Hauora to incorporate the latest evidence and best practices from various industries, combining knowledge from both the business and sports worlds.

Measurable Impact: Hauora is committed to delivering measurable results. They conduct a comprehensive and objective baseline measurement of our clients' current wellbeing offerings, allowing them to track progress and measure improvement. Through ongoing monitoring against pre-selected key performance indicators (KPIs), they ensure that our interventions generate quantifiable improvements in individual wellbeing and organisational performance.

Dynamic and Client-Driven: Hauora's approach is dynamic and flexible, adapting to the ever-evolving world of work. They actively involve our clients in the process, working collaboratively to co-create solutions that resonate with their unique context.

Access to Best Practices: Hauora offers clients access to the latest best practice policies and strategies. From implementing a Right to Disconnect Policy to designing a comprehensive Wellbeing and Performance Strategy, they equip organisations with the tools needed to create a supportive and thriving work environment.

In summary, Hauora's differentiation lies in its bespoke approach, holistic focus, engaging events, cross-sector insights, measurable impact, dynamic nature, and access to best practices. We are dedicated to making a lasting difference in the performance wellbeing space, empowering individuals, and organisations to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Challenges & Opportunities

The biggest challenges that Hauora has faced to date revolve around supporting organisations in navigating the impacts of the pandemic and adapting to hybrid working models. The unpredictable nature of the pandemic posed significant challenges in maintaining employee wellbeing and engagement in the face of uncertainty and rapidly changing circumstances. Additionally, volatile job markets have presented challenges in terms of workforce stability and talent retention.

With great challenge comes great opportunity and Hauora has identified some significant ones, such as supporting HR Directors in building compelling business cases for implementing comprehensive wellbeing programs. By providing data-driven insights and demonstrating the direct link between wellbeing and bottom-line results, Hauora helps organisations gain support and investment for their wellbeing initiatives.

Recent research confirming a positive return on wellbeing programmes and creating an Economic Value Proposition of wellbeing by Oxford University has bolstered the necessity for organisations to provide effective wellbeing programmes and employee performance support in Ireland, the UK and the US. This development enables CFOs to tangibly recognise the value of wellbeing programs, leading to increased support and resources being allocated to these initiatives. Hauora capitalises on this opportunity by offering evidence-based strategies that enhance overall organisational performance.

While the challenges of supporting organisations during the pandemic has been significant, Hauora has leveraged opportunities in supporting HR Directors, Wellbeing Leads and other professionals by linking wellbeing to the bottom line, focusing on relational performance, and expanding into the North American market. These opportunities position Hauora for continued growth and impact in the field of performance wellbeing.

Pivots that Changed the Course of Hauora

“Hauora's pivot towards prioritising social wellbeing and relational performance aligns with our belief that wellbeing and performance are inherently interconnected. We define social wellbeing as Relational Performance (RP), which encompasses the idea of thriving and achieving through teamwork.”

 RP operates at three levels: individual, team, and organisational, and is composed of four essential domains: boldness, cohesion, communication, and psychological Safety. A framework they are delighted to say will be published with Elsevier in 2024.

“At Hauora, we have developed a bespoke Relational Performance Questionnaire (RPQ) that enables organisations to assess, develop, and monitor these domains. By leveraging the RPQ, organisations can enhance their relational performance, leading to improvements in individual, team, and organisational performance as a whole. However, the focus must now shift towards the all-important social wellbeing pillar. Relational performance, which centres around thriving and achieving through teamwork, is the key to fostering innovation, productivity, positive change, and alignment between work and home.

By incorporating social wellbeing and prioritising relational performance, organisations can unlock the full potential of their teams, foster collaboration, and trust, and create a work environment where individuals can thrive.”

Hauora framework

Stand out Moment

No one specific moment is above the rest. It was a flurry of subtle but profound nudges that provided energy, direction and also reassurance to the team on their journey.

One such example occurred at a client partnership meeting. While attending a meeting at a client office in Dublin. In a lift with a senior leader of the organisation an employee recognised the Hauora team and noted that a workshop on Breathwork for performance wellbeing had significantly impacted their day to day life. The greatest compliment to the team was that this workshop took place on a newly trialled zoom session during 2020, as the world and its people were trying and somewhat struggling to adapt to life in lockdown and remote / hybrid work.

Small occurrences with major impacts.”

LEO Supports

Hauora has benefitted from many LEO supports, both training and financial, including;

  • The Value of intellectual Property
  • Engage for Growth
  • Drive Cost Saving with Lean
  • Innovate for Business Success

They also were successful in their applications for both the Priming and Business Expansion Grant.

“The Priming Grant provided us with crucial support during our early years, enabling steady growth and allowing our founders to fully commit to the business. This support was invaluable in establishing Hauora and laying the foundation for our success, it played a vital role in sustaining the company's operations, particularly in covering salaries. Without this support, our ability to expand and partner with more clients in Ireland and North America would have been significantly limited.”

The Future

Expansion is on the cards for Hauora - specifically Ireland and North America.

“We aim to strengthen and develop relationships with our existing clients, supporting their growth and fostering long-term partnerships.”

Advice for New Entrepreneurs:

Hauora founders

“Move fast, be brave, and measure everything. Embrace a sense of urgency in pursuing your goals, taking calculated risks along the way. It's important to believe in yourself and your vision, even when faced with challenges and setbacks. Remember that growth and progress often come from experiencing discomfort and reflecting on those experiences. As Ray Dalio wisely said, "pain + reflection = progress." Foster a culture of psychological safety within your team, where everyone feels comfortable respectfully challenging each other's beliefs. This open and inclusive environment encourages innovation, collaboration, and personal growth, ultimately leading to the success of both individuals and the business as a whole.”


Website: hauoralife.com

Email: info@hauoralife.com

Tel.: +353858784414