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Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work is More Than Just a Poster in the Staff Room

marketing august 2019-30 (1)-1

Megan McLatchie

Marketing Executive

Updated 30 September 19

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“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” - said everybody's favourite entrepreneur/train service provider, Richard Branson.

 

The average person spends more than 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work, and you spend more time with the people at work than your own family. Work is a major part of our lives and the reason why a fulfilling job is a massive contributor to our mental health and wellbeing in and out of the office. Creating an environment where employees can thrive ultimately leads to happy, hardworking and dedicated workforce. 

 

We sat down with our Chief People Officer (CPO), Rob White to talk about how NOVA instils positive health mental wellbeing of their staff.

 

What are the policies that you have at Nova to introduce positive Mental Health and Wellbeing in the workplace?

Rob: At Nova we have several policies that we have introduced to support employee wellbeing and mental health in the workplace. These include:

  • A ‘duvet day’ policy - allowing employees to take time off for mindfulness when required. This is a no questions asked policy, unless the colleague wants to talk about their reason for absence with someone. Then they are put in touch with one of our mental health first aid champions.
  • A mindfulness policy - we have committed to cover the cost of external mental health support by qualified professional practitioners wherever required by our staff.
  • Health and Wellness policy - we cover the cost of gym memberships, or health and fitness classes up to £20/month for each employee, and provide free fresh fruit in our offices each day. 
  • Work from anywhere policy - the freedom to work from outside of the normal office to enable a more work/life balance.

 

We have also introduced the following measures to ensure wellbeing and mental health in the workplace: 

  • We have 2 mental health first aid champions who are trained to better support those who might be suffering with mental health issues, and offer education and support as required 
  • Yoga - weekly onsite yoga so people can practice relaxation techniques.
  • Nova employees doing yoga, sitting cross legged on the floor practicing a relaxation technique.

What are the benefits of these for Nova’s business?

Rob: We believe that employees who are supported are better engaged with the business and in turn will deliver the most value to it. 

 

Through our mental health and wellness policies and general business values we’re trying to build a community of motivated employees, a community where everyone is encouraged, supported and allowed to thrive. We’ve been tracking the benefits to our business since introducing the policies and measures above and staff absences have decreased by 11%,  staff turnover has decreased by 14%, our eNPS (employee NPS) score has increased by 8% and team productivity has also improved by 5%. 

 

In its simplest terms we’ve got less sickness, happier and more productive employees. Our past financial year was our most successful to date, with Nova co-founding 27 new startups throughout 2018/19. Looking after our teams health and wellbeing has allowed our team to thrive and achieve this.  

 

2 Nova employees, 1 female and 1 male, in the office doing work on a computer, looking at the screen and smiling.

What are the benefits for Nova’s employees?

Rob: We believe that having a fulfilling job, where you are part of a supportive community allows employees to thrive and is good for all aspects of their lives, not just mental health and wellbeing. We’re making a lot of effort to make that the reality for all of our employees. 

 

We’ve created a safe space where mental health and wellbeing issues are considered and commonly and openly discussed and not shied away from. An environment where, rather than being dictated to, colleagues are trusted and given the autonomy to manage their work and lives to best suit their needs.

 

We believe that this benefits our employees by providing them with an environment that not only allows, but contributes toward a healthy and happy life, inside and outside of work. 

 

We’re not perfect and we know that there’s more improvements that we can make in this space, but it’s definitely helping us to facilitate a happy, healthy workforce and successful business.

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