Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s great to see so much conversation about our mental health in Mental Health Awareness week this week; (this year’s focus is on stress; which let’s face it, is often associated with work) here at Savvy we know that it’s really important to try and get a balance between work and life but as an employer we don’t often stop and think about it. So this year we have started to change that and invested time and effort to reflect on the things we do already and what we should be improving to try to strike that elusive balance.

Whilst we do work hard (sometimes very , very hard!!!) we certainly don’t live by the sword, die by the sword – not our style. For Savvy’s People Team, the health and wellbeing of our Savvy people is always at the forefront of our mind and at the heart of our decision making.

Given that for many of us we spend most of our waking hours at work, the working environment has a huge impact in how we feel about ourselves; our world; our future.

So we have adopted some de-stressors at Savvy HQ to help in some small ways to allow  our teams restore the balance and take a moment and  we just want to give our team the right environment to reach their most amazing potential don’t we?

We’ve created a quiet place in the office the Zen den in one of our attic rooms high above the hubbub of the offices below, put together by our fab social team to mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness week.  To create the feeling of calm they have decked it out with fairy lights, chillout music and copious amounts of biscuits and healthy teabags.  The space is open for people to go and have a bit of quiet time, or if they want to – chat about stuff (non work related healthily encouraged).  The message to our team is; get some headspace in our over verbalised days and allow yourself a bit of restorative downtime.

But it’s not just about space we bolster our wellbeing strategy with a variety of other initiatives…. 

Mindful Employer Network 

As a Mindful Employer, Savvy is hugely committed to promoting wellbeing and positive mental health for the whole team.  We know from the media how many people suffer with mental health issues (1 in 4) and we know how far the reach is in sickness levels caused by mental health issues (if you missed them – absenteeism costs the private sector £8 billion a year; and presenteeism £17-£26 billion according to the Stevenson Farmer review – Thriving at work) – so what do we actually do to minimise the effect this can have on the people we work with; and the work they produce?

We’re working to destigmatise mental health issues, and have embedded an open and fair approach to managing our people right from our recruitment drives through to our day to day undertakings; all promoted on our very own Wellness Wall in our central staircase.  And whilst we do promote openness we balance this by offering our own in-house support with monthly confidential people drop in sessions at a meeting room away from the office so everyone can come and speak to a member of the People Team in total confidence about anything on their mind; we also understand that sometimes people just want to talk to someone outside of work and get some objective support and advice. We get that sometimes taking matters into your own hands is massively empowering, but we’re here to nudge them in the direction of support if they need it.

All of our team can call a completely confidential 24 hour advice line through our Mindful Employer Plus account.  The wonderful advisors offer support for whatever life throws at our guys; and also importantly offer support and advice for our people managers on another dedicated advice line so they know how to navigate through challenges or concerns they may be facing in their teams.  All in all we are working to promote a culture which is understanding and free from bias and stigma.

Mind, body and Savvy Souls

In addition to being a Mindful Employer we also take care of our teams by offering them Private Health Care; a Cycle to work schemeYoga Wednesdays; Massage Thursdays and Free Fruit all week to keep their bodies in working order and to help them unwind.  They also get an extra day off for their Birthday every year, to go and have a bit of non work related fun on us.

We’re aware that our brains need a bit of love too so we offer some amazing screen printingdrawing and calligraphy sessions to allow the teams to flex their creative muscles and get a bit messy.  Because everyone loves a bit of chaos now and then.

And finally, to make sure all of the above is hitting the right spots we run quarterly listening groups with each team to get their feedback and make adjustments to our offering where it needs it.  If it isn’t quite right, we’ll fix it.

Final Thought 

We get that life is hard, unpredictable and often relentless; and here at Savvy we acknowledge that real life exists  – we don’t pretend that everything’s easy  for everyone all the time.  Because it just isn’t.  Everyone has varying degrees of tolerance for all the challenges life throws our way.  No one is immune to the stresses of modern life and even the most supposedly together people aren’t  all the time, believe me. By being open and creating an environment which is free from judgement our teams can come to us with anything, and we’ll have the some of the best tools at hand to offer them a bit of support.  Even if that’s a brew and a chat and nothing more.