Having an effective mental health awareness policy requires more than just a poster on a noticeboard. By promoting mental health & wellbeing with actions and words, your employees will be happier and more productive, making your workplace an engaging and vibrant environment.
Another by-product of a mental health & wellbeing strategy is staff retention will increase as research has shown a team who feel their mental wellbeing is being supported are less likely to look for another job.
Which makes it all the more surprising that around a third of employees don’t even know if their company has a mental health policy.
“We work in a highly pressurized environment where statistics show 32% of accountants feel stressed in their day-to-day life and a further 17% have been forced take time off due to stress. That’s why prioritising your mental health and wellbeing is so important at UHY. To do this we’ve gone way beyond fresh fruit and a Christmas party, we’ve listened to the UHY team and built a programme around what really matters to them” Marie Pegram, head of wellbeing.
So how are UHY supporting the mental health & wellbeing of their team?
From day one of joining our organisation, our team are trained around our core purpose of “helping you prosper” which applies to our team, clients and local communities. And it’s worth noting, prosperity doesn’t mean just financial. It can mean good mental and physical health, being stress-free, having a good work/life balance, being able to achieve your lifetime goals and so on.
We have 3 values that underpin our purpose and represent who we are as people. These values were defined by the UHY team and are Enthusiasm, Integrity and Teamwork. We have defined behaviours that sit behind these values and offer a monthly Brilliance award to those individuals who show these values at their best.
Studies have shown a positive link between voluntary work and mental health, and here at UHY we recognise the importance of contributing to society. We support our own people in their charity and voluntary activities, including fundraising for local charities, running marathons and baking cakes. On top of these local efforts, we team up with a national charity every year. For 2020/21 we supported Children with Cancer UK.
We’ve always offered flexible working as a good work/life balance is incredibly important. With COVID-19 pandemic, the way we work will change forever as with most businesses. There is less importance on being in the office and the daily commute seems like a waste of time.
We have now scrapped core hours, enabling our team to work when they want, where they want. Our working model is output focused so providing our quality of service remains at a high standard it doesn’t matter if our team prefer to start at 7am or 10am or work in the office or from home. It’s about working smarter, not harder.
Taking time away from work and switching off is also an important aspect. With emails and online meetings taking over our lives, it becomes very difficult to take a break. How often do you check your emails whilst you are on holiday or at the weekend? Research shows that 60% of those who use email for work check their inboxes whilst on holiday.
At UHY, we lead from the top ensuring everyone has a proper break and does not respond to emails at the weekend or on holiday. This is embedded right across the firm from partners to juniors, as the importance of recharging those batteries is essential in the line of work we do.
Helping You Prosper calendar
We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Office Athletes, to create a wellbeing programme that has it all, from physical health, mental health, giving back to our community and connecting.
The calendar is divided into four categories: Self-care, Team, Fun and Giving and the activities range from education, days out, guest speakers and workshops. Resources will also be provided online, including videos, infographics and useful contacts.
“I’m super excited about the Helping You Prosper calendar, which has given us a platform to address some serious topics as well as have some fun. The activities have been inspired by the UHY Team following a lockdown wellbeing programme at the start of the year. We are continuing to break the stigma and create an environment where nobody feels like they’re facing any mental health issues alone.”
The next steps
For more information, please contact Marie Pegram or your usual UHY adviser.