By Legal Futures Associate tmgroup
Did you know? Poor wellbeing reaches far beyond an individual’s mental health. Where employees are struggling, businesses can also see an impact on everything from employee engagement and staff retention, through to absence levels and time to hire.
Here, Caroline Brown, Human Resources Business Partner at tmgroup, shares some of the quick wins and initiatives that can help to change wellbeing for the better and put people at the forefront of your business culture, many of which tmgroup have already introduced themselves.
Send out a positive wellbeing statement
A really good way to kick-start your wellbeing journey is for your business leaders or HR team to issue a positive wellbeing statement to all employees – including:
- Acknowledging the pressure the industry is under and the increasing need to support one another in these challenging times
- Confirming your commitment to putting wellbeing in the spotlight
- Reminding employees of the internal support already in place
- Signposting to Mind, The Samaritans, and more
- Introducing some of the new internal initiatives your firm will be rolling out (see inspiration below, or sign up to this webinar on Humanising Wellbeing in the Workplace)
Shut the office and give everyone a much-needed break
An extra day off – particularly a Friday preceding a bank holiday Monday, or an extra day off over the Christmas break – can give everyone time back in their week to relax and unwind with their families.
For example, Lyons Bowe have recently announced that they are closing their office for a “Lyons Bowe Bank Holiday” to say thank you to every single member of their team; to give them a day to spend in the sun with their families and a well-earned long weekend, as Paul Lyons, Managing Director comments:
“The directors of the firm wanted to find a way of thanking our staff for all their hard work over the last 18 months. To say that their efforts have been incredible would be an understatement. We could have gone down the more traditional route of giving out gifts, but we thought closing the firm down for one day and allowing our staff to have an extended August weekend was a better option. We might keep it as a tradition going forward, “the Lyons Bowe Bank Holiday” along with our monthly “Pizza Fridays”. We are working hard to try to build the right culture, one where our staff are not only valued but given the opportunity to work in an environment which ensures that they have the right work/life balance whilst still having fulfilled careers. Developing that kind of culture is not easy in a law firm because of the historical pressures created by the profession. This is just a small step towards the development of the right type of culture.”
Make time to stay connected
Whether your teams are working in the office or remotely, blocking out time for social interaction is beneficial for everyone – not only for the immediate respite from a busy day, but for overall team bonding and sense of togetherness that can support longer-term mental resilience.
Here are some ideas to encourage your employees to take some down-time and mentally recharge:
- Schedule monthly calls (or face to face meetings, if possible) for small groups of employees to get together and chat over a cup of tea.
- Organise for HR representatives and/ or line managers to set up dedicated calls to ask employees about their mental health and wellbeing.
- Plan regular social events. For example, introducing a Friday quiz night (or lunchtime quiz in the working week), chocolate tasting, and more.
Encourage everyone to get outside more often
Spending time outdoors is critical to mental health and wellbeing. It was even recognised during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 – with the theme of “Connect with Nature”.
How do you encourage all of your employees to get outside more often? Nature-themed photography competitions, walking challenges, and even posting out packs of sunflower seeds can all help to shift the dial on how much time everyone spends outside. You could also encourage the virtual commute, cycle to work schemes, and more!
Post surprises, care packs and treat boxes
Treats and surprises can go a long way in brightening someone’s day.
Everything from sending out Easter Eggs or Advent Calendars, to company-branded hoodies and high street vouchers can all help to put a smile on your employees’ faces and make them feel appreciated.
Of course, budgets will vary from firm to firm, but remember… it’s the thought that counts!
Send out e-cards to say thank you and keep in touch
e-cards are a great way to reach out to your employees. These can be as simple as designing something on a free design platform (such as Canva) to email to everyone, or getting a designer involved to create some bespoke, branded templates for your firm to use.
When and why you send them is completely up to you! Perhaps you want to acknowledge individuals for their recent efforts, send a company-wide message in support of Mental Health Awareness Week, or just to say “we miss you” to employees working remotely.
Support a mental health charity
In your shift to becoming a more wellbeing-centric firm, supporting a mental health charity can help to highlight your commitment to the cause and help reinforce the message that everyone is genuinely supportive of mental health and wellbeing. You could even ask employees to vote for or nominate a cause close to their heart.
If you’d like to find out more about improving wellbeing across your firm, sign up to our “Humanising Wellbeing in the Workplace” webinar on Tuesday 3 August 2021. Click here to register.