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Building a mental health and wellbeing culture in the workplace

9 Jun 22 At DBFS, we have long enjoyed a strong workforce. People who started with us in their teens, way back in the 90s, are still with us today.

Building a mental health and wellbeing culture in the workplace

We boast some of the best retention figures in our industry, and we like to think it’s because we care how we make our people feel.

From the 90s to now, the way we care about our people has not changed. But much else has. As we learn more about mental health and physical and mental wellbeing, we have understood that caring for our staff must mean caring for and considering challenges that we can’t necessarily see. To that end, we have (under the direction of experts) developed a program that helps to foster a culture of caring for staff with mental health and wellbeing at the forefront.

Over the Horizon – audit to implementation

Back in October 2021, we conducted a cultural audit called Over the Horizon. Through the audit, we identified a number of ways to consider wellbeing in the workplace and designed procedures and policies to naturally and consistently embed them in our company culture.

Once every process in our organisation had been reviewed with wellbeing considerations front of mind, we set about strategising on how to make them stick. Implementing change is difficult, even when the changes are this important and the staff are as loyal as ours. Conscious that these changes, even the process of making them, should benefit our staff, we introduced a staff reward and recognition scheme. We call this The Golden Hinge.

The Golden Hinge

The Golden Hinge, for us, symbolises excellence in our endeavour to stop neglect, help embrace change and better communication, reward teamwork, and finally, recognise cultural champions.

Our goal is to create a working environment that rewards outstanding cultural attitudes, incentivising staff to follow consistent working principles, and endorses the importance of key company values such as craftsmanship and excellent customer service.

Through the incentive, we encourage staff to increase their cultural performance by recognising and rewarding their open and honest communication, support and flexibility, and work quality. Staff that collect 3 Golden Hinges can pick a reward out of a variety of options. Up for grabs are a variety of gift vouchers options, as well as an early knock-off on a Friday or a late start on a Monday.

There are no caps on these rewards. Staff can aim to win as many as they can.

Mental health first aid

In addition to encouraging culture with mental health and wellbeing in mind, we recognise the importance of having in-house staff with the skills to support those experiencing mental health challenges. Just as we have staff with traditional first aid skills, we have nominated eager staff to participate in the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England 2-day course, which teaches skills to provide aid to those experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

Building wellbeing into the future

Although we are still in the very early stages, we are currently working to secure the ISO 45003 2021, an internationally recognised standard for psychological health and safety at work. We are also looking to connect with Canada Life’s “WeCare” program, which provides 24/7 access to an online GP, mental health counselling, fitness programs, and legal and financial support.

As better knowledge and solutions arise, we intend to continually evolve our approach to psychological health and wellbeing at work.

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