A not-for-profit has reached out to some of its valued customers to mark this year’s International Week of Happiness at Work.
Running from September 25th to 29th, the annual event focuses on how businesses can improve the wellbeing of their teams.
And – given Health Cash Plan provider Paycare’s primary aim is to boost the health and happiness of the UK – they’ve gathered together a selection of best practice ideas to highlight the great work being undertaken, and hopefully inspire other companies to focus on workplace wellbeing.
Helen Holloway is the Business and Finance Manager at the Good Shepherd Wolverhampton, which aims to support those impacted by homelessness and poverty.
She explains: “We are very mindful of staff’s own mental health and wellbeing, and are delighted to work closely with Paycare to provide a range of benefits which employees can access.
“As an employer, linking up with Paycare to provide different benefits and potential perks is a really important sign of how much we value our staff. Our new recruits are always surprised to discover that they can make claims towards services such as dentists and opticians, and we also encourage them to take advantage of a yearly wellbeing treatment via the scheme, which they can utilise during work time.
“Staff at Paycare always go above and beyond in being available to offer help and advice, and also produce a wellbeing calendar and informative literature on various health issues which we are then able to circulate.
“We also deliver other initiatives to support staff such as providing breakfasts and holding activity-based staff away days where people can get together and socialise without the pressures of work.
“Staff are now given their birthday off work in addition to their annual leave entitlement, go into a draw for additional time off or a meal out at our monthly team meetings, and we recently ran a Pilates session for the first time which proved extremely popular.
“Trying to ensure our staff are as happy and valued as they can be, in what is regularly a very intense and pressured environment, is something that is very important to us.
Ben Thorne, Director at Thornes the Solicitors, says the company ‘hugely values mental health and staff morale within all departments’.
He adds: “We know that our staff will do their best work when they are at their happiest, and help to create a better environment for colleagues and clients.
“We regularly organise events either internally or externally and work closely with Paycare’s monthly initiatives to try to give staff a range of different focuses away from their day to day tasks to help them feel refreshed and at their very best to tackle the challenges of working life.
“We enjoy team mental health walks into the city park, charity fundraising events, cup of tea and cake mornings, and even a trip to the Wolverhampton races earlier in the year.
“These events help to create a special team spirit within our team that we hope means colleagues feel supported at all times, able to grow positively in their roles, and strong to face difficult situations together.”
Naomi Sant is the Colleague Support Representatives at schoolwear company One+All.
She says: “At One+All, colleague happiness is a key measure of success. In fact, we ask colleagues how happy they are at work in our colleague satisfaction survey and use the results to drive improvements. Our values of ‘trust, care and be better’ are central to everything we do and we truly believe that if we care for colleagues, then we will do everything we can to make sure they are happy at work.
“Very crucially, this includes paying the real living wage and being a real living hours employer so that our colleagues have a regular income which is based on the cost of living. We also share profits with colleagues!
“Some of the ways we support colleagues to be happy in work include: providing support for mental health and wellbeing, menopause support, and champions to help anyone who may be experiencing domestic abuse. We offer interest-free crisis loans to ease financial worries, hold regular team gatherings (usually with food) and give prizes to celebrate those colleagues who have gone above and beyond to make a customer or another colleague happy. Paycare is an added bonus and something we promote a lot!
“The day before we close for Christmas we celebrate our annual Happy Day: a time to reflect on the past year, play games, present colleague awards, dress up and generally have a good time. We know that some people struggle during the Christmas break so we provide a list of names and contact numbers of colleagues (we like to call them festive friends) for people to speak with if they’re lonely.
“Most importantly, we listen to colleagues. The challenges faced by people are as individual as they are and so, through listening to them and seeking to understand, we can often find solutions which support colleague happiness really well – and we know happy colleagues provide great service to customers. We’re really proud of our happy crew.”
Quite naturally, Paycare also has a huge focus on team happiness in addition to the work it’s undertaken over almost 150 years to support the wellbeing of customers. CEO Anthony Burns explains more:
“The Paycare team is made up of fantastic individuals who give their all to ensure that our Policyholders have the best experience possible – and our regularly brilliant customer satisfaction feedback shows how successfully they do this. We’re well aware it’s much easier to be motivated, positive and full of new ideas at work if you’re happy – and we’re also always conscious how physical, mental, financial and digital health all impact how well we feel (and vice versa).
“Whether it’s wellbeing days which give team members the chance to take paid time off work to do something they enjoy, or the MyGiving scheme and volunteering days which enable them to feel great by giving back to a good cause which is dear to them, we try to build in regular opportunities for the team to boost their wellbeing.
“We’ve hosted sessions involving everything from Pilates to drawing – and we look to provide as many opportunities as possible for team members to progress and achieve their career aims. We’re hugely aware of the challenges impacting us all in different ways right now, so regular check-ins are a crucial part of the routine here at Paycare.”
The team is always happy to discuss with employers how they can offer low-cost high-value workplace wellbeing solutions to their staff.