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Warwickshire hotels launch wellbeing strategy to coincide with World Mental Health Day

Rising cost of living and concerns over the financial and mental impact on staff has led two Warwickshire hotels to launch a new wellbeing strategy to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon and Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington, part of the Eden Hotel Collection, launch their Employee Wellbeing Strategy on Monday, October 10, which has been shaped by the biggest response to a staff survey in its history.

It found 81% of respondents across the hotel group are negatively affected by the current financial situation, 62% of respondents reported to suffer from stress and anxiety as a result, and more than half (59%) feared they could not meet monthly expenses as energy prices soar.

Among the key changes include the creation of new Wellbeing Champions every hotel, altering the distribution of gratuities to monthly to offer a more regular cash boost, and introducing a new benefits portal Wagestream – a financial wellbeing platform to give employees instant access to track and manage their earnings.

The strategy is based on four key support themes – money, mind, body and heart – and is the latest step the hotel group has taken to support its staff after announcing two pay rises totalling up to 14 per cent earlier this year, and launching a new employee wellbeing website with support and resources, highlighting self-help books and podcasts.

A launch event on World Mental Health Day will see a team of the Wellbeing Champions and HR team and a General Manager from Eden’s hotels take part in a 10,000km charity walk in Stratford-upon-Avon, where its head office is based.

The Walk for Wellbeing event will raise money for Hospitality Action – a charity which provides a range of services to help people get back on their feet after a setback, whether that is physical illness or mental health issues to financial difficulty, family problems to addiction.

Lisa Redding, Head of Human Resources at Eden Hotel Collection, which has hotels in Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Devon, said: “One of our core values as a company is caring for our people and we are more focused on this now than ever before.

“The lasting impact of the pandemic coupled with the cost-of-living crisis can leave you feeling helpless as an employer, but for us it is about asking ourselves what else can we do to help.

“When we sent our wellbeing survey, we did not envisage it would have the biggest response to any survey we have ever had, but that really re-affirmed our desire to respond to the current climate and needs of our teams.

“It is not just about increasing pay, it is also about helping in other ways, supporting their financial and mental wellbeing by making changes to the way we work and providing them with the relevant advice and resources.”

Other measures in the strategy include new health plans for employees, free flu vaccinations and discounted gym memberships, training staff as mental health first aiders, adopting new family-friendly policies, introducing support around menopause, domestic violence and promoting men’s health, as well as improving free staff meals to provide more nutritional food.

Group Managing Director Mark Chambers said: “As we emerge out of a pandemic and into a cost-of-living crisis, businesses undoubtedly need more support – but so do our people.

“We have an incredible workforce of more than 450 colleagues who are integral to making our hotels the warm and welcoming places they are.

“The measures we are introducing are a direct result of responses to our survey, so I am incredibly proud to launch our new Wellbeing Strategy that will see us through the current financial crisis and beyond, becoming an integral part of our culture moving forwards.”

The boutique Eden Hotel group includes The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham, Brockencote Hall Hotel in Kidderminster, Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington, and Bovey Castle in Devon.

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Caption: The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon is one of The Eden Hotel Collection’s five hotels in the UK

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