We are proud to have been awarded the ‘Achievement’ level award for the London Healthy Workplace Charter 2018, backed by the Mayor of London.
Investing in employee health and workplace wellness should be a no brainer for any organisation and critical for a business in the long run. Moorhouse is a people business and operates in a highly demanding industry. As an employer, we have a duty of care to ensure that our people are supported to effectively manage these demands and perform at their very best. This is why we developed an integrated health and wellbeing approach that makes wellbeing a regular topic, with the appropriate training and tools available to support staff.
Too often organisations shout safety loudly, but disregard health. Moorhouse recognises the fundamental importance of raising awareness around wellbeing. We have been working hard to create an environment where mental health is regularly discussed to help bring it up to equal footing with physical health. Not only is an employee’s holistic wellbeing our duty of care, a strong culture of health and the support of the collective can be what makes the difference to an individual battling with ill mental health.
Two years ago, Moorhouse took active steps to make employee wellbeing a more integral part of the business. We set up a dedicated team to create a strategy and embed health and wellbeing as part of the Moorhouse DNA. As an external benchmark, we found the London Healthy Workplace Charter a helpful framework. Over the course of 2017 we worked to strengthen our business broadly aligning our wellbeing strategy to the Healthy Workplace criteria. We achieved the ‘Commitment’ award in November 2017.
It is inspiring to see examples of collaborative initiatives taking off in London, like the Mindful Business Charter, initiated by Barclays Bank, and law firms Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard. Companies signed up to initiatives such as these have made a commitment to changing avoidable business practices that often trigger mental health and wellbeing issues for employees. As with other snowball effects like ‘This is Me’ campaign, which at the end of 2018 has over 500 organisations involved, the most powerful change is not achieved alone but collectively.
Having reflected on our Moorhouse wellbeing journey, there are three key themes that in my view can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of employees:
1) Creating a culture that is built on trust and open dialogue
Moorhouse encourages our employees to have many different sounding boards in the organisation. As a minimum we ensure that each employee has at least two regular points of contact to raise any concerns: an Engagement Lead and a Talent Lead. Having more than one avenue for an individual to have a confidential dialogue is critical. Difficult conversations may take time to open up and having regular check-ins to see if your team members are feeling well is important. It might just be what someone needs that day.
2) Courage and good role models are needed at senior levels
Encouraging senior leaders to share personal stories and experiences associated with their mental health continuum can be eye-opening and encouraging for more junior members. This is courageous leadership at play. It demonstrates trust from the leader in the organisation to feel comfortable to share their story and show vulnerability in front of their colleagues, furthering trust. But we all need to be role models of our day. Everyday behaviours help set a tone of acceptance: logging off outside office hours or taking sick leave when feeling under the weather.
3) Developing resilience and adaptability skills of employees
In a constantly changing working environment, what could be more important for delivering change projects than knowing that your people have the capability to manage it. A commonly cited cause of stress is not feeling in control. So, empowering and supporting employees to take control of their own wellbeing is vital. Approaches that build confidence, self-esteem, sense of community and increased knowledge are likely to lead to positive outcomes.
We are excited about taking our next set of initiatives forward. These will build on the great work done so far to embed wellbeing in Moorhouse. It has been humbling to see how important this area is to everyone in the business and how it brings people together to improve the environment for all of us. We are really proud to be awarded the ‘Achievement’ level London Healthy Workplace Charter accreditation this year. If you’re interested in finding out more about the Charter or chatting about wellbeing, we are more than happy to share our knowledge.
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