Back in the Autumn I wrote a blog post to share why we, at Edo, feel it’s so important to consider employee wellbeing and a few tactics we had begun to implement. As we start the New Year and slowly begin to move out of the darkest depths of winter, it feels like a good time to check back in and share where we’re at now.
Mental Health First Aid
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require you to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, facilities and people so your employees can be given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work. Up until recently these regulations have mostly been associated with help those who are physically ill or injured.
Mental ill health costs UK employers an estimated £34.9 billion each year - the equivalent of £1,300 for every employee in the UK workforce. That’s a lot of money. But more importantly than the financial implications, approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. To try and start to understand more about mental health and how Edo, as an employer, can create a supportive and open culture around mental wellbeing we decided to get a member of team trained as a Mental Health First Aid. I was fortunate enough to be the person to attend the course, and what a course it was. Delivered by Bristol Mind, it focused on how to read the signs of someone having a mental health crisis, and what to do in order to minimise risk, keep them safe and ways in which to signpost them towards professional help.
Learning & development for the team
During January we held two training courses for the team which were facilitated by Bristol Mind and Nicola Rich at Nine to Thrive. The first course was Time, Energy & Focus. All three are valuable commodities which are essential to productivity and wellbeing, This half day course, which not only gave the team some practical tools to implement in managing all three, also provided an open forum to discuss where the challenges lie for individuals.
The second training was Mental Health for Managers. This full day course gave a solid background to the common mental health conditions that may be present in the workplace, how to spot the signs and ways to approach and support a team member who you feel may be struggling.
Aside from the practical skills that came out of these courses, the importance of raising awareness and bringing the often hidden subject of mental health to the table was just as valuable. Our team work hard and dedicate much of their time to delivering exceptional work for our clients. It is our responsibility as an employer to ensure that we keep people up to date with what is going on the world, including health awareness, and provide opportunities for personal development.
Wellbeing guide and resources
We are in the process of finalising our Wellbeing Guide. This document will sit alongside our company policies and includes ways in which we take the wellbeing of our people seriously. There is a mix of practical information on what to do you when you’re wellbeing is poor, who to speak to in the company when you’re struggling, local services, and our Employee Assistance Programme details.
Wellbeing induction process
To ensure that the right tone is set as soon as a new member of the team joins us, we have incorporated a wellbeing session in the induction process. We already pride ourselves on a thorough onboarding process to give new starters time to understand our culture, ways of working and organisational structure, but adding a wellbeing aspect to this will only enhance it further.
The Wellbeing induction introduces the new starter to our Wellbeing Guide and resources. It is a great opportunity to verbally communicate our commitment to employee wellbeing and to discuss ways to maintain positive mental and physical health, and what to do when they’re struggling.
Employee wellbeing, both physical and mental, is something we take seriously at Edo. We are a business with projects and products to deliver and relationships to maintain to the highest of standards. We can only do this if our team are well and thriving. It would be naive to think that we can protect our team completely from the common conditions that come with being human, for example colds, flu, stress and anxiety. What we can do is listen non-judgmentally when someone’s health is below par and make reasonable adjustments where possible. The age old saying of ‘Treat of others as you would like to be treated’ really does cover it all when it comes to employee wellbeing.