21st October 2021
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Mind MHFA England One Million Lives by Jacobs

The global pandemic has propelled employee mental health and wellbeing to the top of business agendas. Now let’s keep it there. 

“If you care about the mental health and wellbeing of your people and you care about the future of your business, join us – in-person - for our fourth annual Summit”.

Claire Farrow, Partner & Global Head of Content, Make A Difference Media.

MAD World stands for Make A Difference. Now in its fourth year, the MAD World Summit has become the global go-to solutions-focused conference and exhibition dedicated to turning talk into action; creating cultures of care and embedding mental health and wellbeing as a strategic business priority.


Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re looking for ways to build on and bolster your mental, physical, financial or social wellbeing programmes, it’s a day packed with insight, inspiration and the chance to find the answers to your questions with: 

  • 4 tracks of case studies and panel discussions
  • 25 roundtables and 10 workshops.
  • 3 keynote panels
  • 40 suppliers of work culture, mental health and wellbeing solutions under one roof

Key topics we’ll be addressing include:

  • Why workplace mental health and wellbeing matters more than ever and what employers can do about it
  • Dealing with Long-COVID and post-pandemic PTSD
  • Realistic strategies for meeting the increasing demand for a personalised approach to wellbeing support
  • Proactive, preventative workplace wellbeing programmes
  • Equipping managers with the skills to support wellbeing in the new hybrid world of work
  • Supporting the wellbeing of neurodiverse colleagues
  • Data driven wellbeing – why measurement matters
  • Seamlessly integrating wellbeing with diversity and inclusion
  • TechTalking: finding the right digital mental health and wellbeing solution for your organisation
  • Making the most of peer-to-peer networks
  • Engaging the hard to reach with mental health and wellbeing programmes
  • Best practice in financial wellbeing

Find out more here.

2019 Summit Highlights

The BBC attended Mad World - Hear their interviews here.

We'll Be Sharing


Meet the people developing the most progressive approaches to workplace culture,mental health and wellbeing


Share knowledge in real-time with our cross-sector, cross-function network of like-minded speakers, exhibitors and attendees.


Tell your colleagues and book a group pass. Get practical insights to take back and adapt to your organisation.

Latest Speakers

Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS Improvement and Public Health England and Chair, Ageing Better

Thomas Duncan Bell

Jilly Calder
Vice-President, Human Resources, UK & Europe

Dr Nick Earley
Head of Psychology

Tom Foster-Carter
CEO Co-Founder

Estelle Hollingsworth
Chief People Officer

John Godfrey
Corporate Affairs Director

Gregor Henderson
Director, Independent Consultant & Advisor

Vice President Health and Wellbeing/Chief Medical Officer

Henry Jones

Christine Howarth
Client Services & Mental Health Ally

Gareth Fryer
Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Gold Sponsors

Mercer Marsh Benefits
Fika: Mental Fitness

Latest Mad World News

In this podcast, coach and anthropologist Catherine de la Poer interviews Author of the seminal psychological safety book “The Fearless Organization” and Harvard Professor Amy Edmondson, along with Jonathan Gawthrop, EMCOR Group UK’s Executive Director, Wellbeing, Sustainability & Assurance.

They share thoughts around the risks and opportunities presented by psychological safety, how to get your CEO on board and steps you’ll need to take to bring psychological safety to life in your organisation.

Some great insights from Amy Edmondson around the interpersonal and processing skills needed to create psychological safety in teams.

Useful thoughts also from Jonathan around how to measure impact of initiatives that improve psychological safety and the need for a suite of metrics.

You can tune in here.

You might also be interested in:

Psych Health & Safety Podcast With Peter Kelly, Sheila Lord & Claire Farrow

What is Healthy Work?

The post How Organisations Can Operationalise Psychological Safety appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

How Organisations Can Operationalise Psychological Safety

This July’s Minority Mental Health Awareness month is more relevant than ever. The pandemic not only impacted those from minority ethnic groups more than others, it highlighted the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face when it comes to mental health and stigma.

But this isn’t a conversation we should save for July. At Make A Difference Media we firmly believe that a diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging lens should be at the forefront of workplace mental health and wellbeing initiatives year-round.

Mind Share Partners is a U.S. based non-profit changing the culture of workplace mental health so that both employees and organisations can thrive. For those organisations that want to understand how to amplify awareness around minority mental health and build momentum, Mind Share Partners has put together the following three action items. They have a U.S. focus but many of the suggestions are transferrable to the U.K. and elsewhere:

1. Company leadership can share both internal and external resources, whether it’s extra time off, mental health benefits and resources, or links to external resources for support or donations.

2. Mental health Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have an opportunity to support other ERGs (such as Black, Asian and Latinx ERGs) within their organisations. Leadership support and engagement in these efforts are vital to success and sustainability.

3. Educate yourself and share information about mental health in the Black community and other underrepresented groups.

Whilst Mind Share Partners has a predominantly U.S. focus, they are continuing to expand globally as they do more work with multinationals and grow their training and advising. Their content and training/advising continues to evolve and reflect that.

You can learn more about Mind Share Partners’ approach to mental health and DEI here.

You might also be interested in:

Joining us at the 4th annual MAD World Summit on 21st October where the need to keep diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging at the forefront of workplace mental health and wellbeing initiatives will be a key theme. This will thread right through the agenda, with clear calls to action for attendees at the end of every session.

Dr. Kamel Hothi, OBE: How to Be the Change You Want to See in the World

The Esteem Compass: Self-Care Tips to Support Minority Mental Health

Driving the Mental Health and Wellbeing Agenda in 2020 and Beyond



The post Mind Share Partners’ 3 Ways To Minority Mental Health Awareness appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Mind Share Partners’ 3 Ways To Minority Mental Health Awareness

And now for something completely different. Tune in to the most recent episode of the Psych Health & Safety Podcast. In this, the co-hosts, Sheila Lord from BMR Health & Wellbeing and Peter Kelly from the UK Health & Safety Executive interview our very own Director of Content, Claire Farrow. They share ideas around:

  • How well the new ISO 45003 Standard for Psychological Health and Safety is landing and why it is relevant for all organisations – and not just for health and safety professionals.
  • Trends emerging in workplace mental health and wellbeing.
  • The increasing demand for template workplace mental health and wellbeing strategies / frameworks.
  • What made the winners of the inaugural Make A Difference awards stand out.

Well worth a listen, even if we say so ourselves…

You can access the podcast free here.

You might also be interested in:

Ready For ISO 45003 Standard for Managing Psychological Health and Safety at Work?

Simon Arnold, CEO, Optima Health on Workplace Wellbeing Trends and the Make A Difference Awards

Winners of the Make A Difference Awards 2021



The post Psych Health & Safety Podcast With Peter Kelly, Sheila Lord & Claire Farrow appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Psych Health & Safety Podcast With Peter Kelly, Sheila Lord & Claire Farrow

Following a successful nine-month trial, digital estate planning solution provider Arken.legal has officially introduced a four-day working week for full time employees.

According to the company, key outcomes of the trial include:

  • The reduced working week has made a ‘significant difference’ to job satisfaction and family life for nine in ten staff

  • 95% say they are either equally (19%) or more (76%) efficient and productive doing their job in four days as opposed to five

  • 81% of employees are more likely to stay at Arken.legal now the 4-day week has been introduced

Mind shift

Since October 2020, all full-time employees at the firm have had Fridays off – with the exception of two staff who take a different day to ensure cover – but have maintained the same level of output.

Arken.legal believes that the result has been an increase in productivity and efficiency, improvements in job satisfaction and a better work-life balance for staff. It has also changed the way staff rate the company. Eight in ten say it has improved their view of their employer and 85% say the introduction of the four-day week has increased the time they are likely to stay with the organisation.

Staff can use their day off however they wish. While some do catch up on work, most use it to spend more time with family or do chores and run errands so they can free up their weekends.

Many also use the day for upskilling and fitness. The four-day week also gives staff the opportunity to take long weekends away without having to book holiday.

Speaking of the change, an Arken.legal employee said: 

“School drop off/pickups and then upskilling – it’s a lot harder to find the energy to do this after work in the evenings so to have a day available for this is amazing. Then late afternoon with the kids.”

Outputs and outcomes

Arken.legal ran the trial period covertly, and none of their clients realised that staff were working a four-day week, proving outputs were maintained despite the reduced hours. Pippa Shepherd, Head of Customer engagement at Arken.legalexplains the four-day week was always something the company had been advocates of, and lockdown offered the perfect opportunity to put it into action. She said:

“Studies show that a four-day week boosts employee work life balance and lowers burnout without sacrificing productivity, as well as challenging gender inequality, and we had been supportive of the idea for some time.

“Then, following the first lockdown, which proved not only that productivity could be maintained in a non-traditional remote working environment, but also that maintaining a good work-life balance is absolutely key to overall wellbeing – we decided to pilot the scheme, and it has been a huge success.”

Pippa concludes:

“If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is that we need to create a more sustainable way of working, one that improves business productivity, but has worker wellbeing at its core.  By introducing a four-day week we have been able to improve work-life balance, strengthen families, and reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing productivity, and we would urge all businesses to consider it.”

You might also be interested in:

Joining us at the 4th annual MAD World Summit where global affiliate marketing network Awin will be sharing their experiences of implementing a four day week, including highlighting the impact this has had on employee wellbeing.

New BITC Report Explores “What If Your Job Was Good For You?”

What is Healthy Work?

The post Are You Looking At Implementing a 4-day Working Week? appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Are You Looking At Implementing a 4-day Working Week?

A few things have happened over the last couple of months that have sparked my interest in this question… coaching conversations with seriously talented people who are close to burn-out. Listening to a podcast on the phenomenon of “hyper-productivity” as an identity, leading to organisational culture organised by stress states.  Reading a World Economic Forum article that opened with “healthy economies depend on healthy people – how do we achieve both?” A tweet from Lynda Gratton – “we become healthy when we do healthy work”. So, what is healthy work? 

To answer this question, I first want to understand the role that human agency plays and why talent is starting to self-select for organisations prioritising and investing in a healthy culture. Secondly, we’ll look at managers as the main conduit for engagement and productivity and the behaviours they need to master, in order to promote psychological safety and why this is so critical to innovation.  I argue that both flexibility/  an agile mindset and a greater focus on rest and recovery is the basis for work that has human sustainability at its core. And, we’ll consider the relationship between healthy work and a healthy identity, in other words, the meaning of work for humans in the 21st century. Put simply, I believe that human health is wealth. 

How healthy is your organisational culture? 

We’ve all read headlines about robots taking human jobs. The Chinese government’s approach to robotization includes the 4 D’s – any job that’s Dull, Dirty, Dangerous or Dear (expensive) will be automated in the future.  There is a fifth D – work (of any kind) should not be Detrimental to human health and yet the data is telling an alarming story of burnout, absenteeism and presenteeism. Declining psychological health across the workforce continues to be in the headlines. It begs the question – should certain jobs or indeed entire organisations in the future carry a health warning?  

Forward thinking employers understand the need for a very different kind of value exchange. Training budgets are thin, final salary pensions on their way out and average tenure in UK organisation’s currently sits at less than 5 years, in the US it’s just over 4 years. Employee experience (EX) puts the needs of employees front and centre, organisations are beginning to borrow tools and techniques from customer experience (CX) in order to delight and inspire humans at every stage of their employee journey, from interview to exit. However, the likes of LinkedIn and Glassdoor continue to be awash with horror stories from professional people who are ghosted part way through an interview process or never receive feedback and far too many people are still leaving organisations due to unsustainable workload, or bosses behaving badly. Herein, lies the opportunity. 

“We want to change the relationship with our employees; a move away from paternalism towards partnership.” – David Osborn, ITV, Group HR Director (April 2021) 

A partnership promises a very different dynamic between employer and employee. It signifies a relationship of equals (adult to adult) where; I’m trusted and I get to take responsibility for my learning and career development, including when and where I work. Psychologists understand that giving a person more control, more autonomy, is important for good psychological health, indeed some argue that autonomy meaning choice, maybe the single most important element for engagement in a company. Let me illustrate this with a real-life example. A conversation with a female L&D professional returning to work after the birth of her second child stands out. She told me, “The thing that matters most, the thing that makes the greatest difference to my ability to perform at my best, is knowing that, if one of my children is sick or something happens, I can take time to fix the problem, no questions asked. I don’t have to explain myself.”  

“Hybrid work is about flexibility and we know that people are much healthier, mentally and physically, if they have flexibility… “Flexibility about time and flexibility about place” – Lynda Gratton, LBS 

In addition to autonomy – competence and relatedness are also important emotional needs that contribute to psychological wellbeing. Competence, is the need to produce desired outcomes, to experience mastery and relatedness is the need to feel connected to others – all three need to be satisfied in daily activity. What’s particularly interesting is that of the three, it is relatedness, that contributes most strongly to intrinsic motivation. In summary, feeling safe, accepted and appreciated, is integral to healthy work. Meaning, the emotional needs of humans become the foundational building blocks of a healthy culture where talent is able to thrive. Without good psychological and physical health; humans cannot think, learn or create. 

The rise of employee activism denotes a growing intolerance towards employers where the culture is toxic or where systemic inequities proliferate. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else it’s that life is short and that work should serve our lives and not the other way around. Human agency is the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose those choices on the world. This includes choosing to work for organisations and leaders who really care about their people and understand the productivity upside of a happy and healthy workforce. 

Are your people managers emotionally effective? 

Let’s turn our attention to the role of managers; managers need to own team performance. Managers are the main conduit for engagement and productivity; as such it is their responsibility to create an environment that is conducive to healthy working practices. I’ve been lucky enough to work for some incredible; fast paced, high growth companies and at the heart of extraordinary performance, human emotion. You can find out more about my experience of leading high performing teams, in a piece I wrote last year, the emotional life of teams. 

It begs the question, do employees in the 21st century understand what it means to be and feel healthy or has the pace of work and life over the past 20 years meant that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be in a resting state; to find balance between rest and recovery and being productive. So often when I coach people, they tell me that everything on their to-do list is urgent. The “always on” phenomenon, is experienced by human’s neuro-chemically, the stress hormone cortisol, is part of the bodies fight or flight response. However, for many cortisol along with caffeine are simply a way of life with potentially devastating long-term consequences. 

Workloads that contribute to long working hours are in the control of managers, regular 12–14-hour days will eventually lead to employee burnout. Also, in the managers domain, giving employees more or less control e.g., flexible working. Fairness too, is in the manager’s gift, do not underestimate the impact on a team of a promotion unfairly given or manager feedback being unclear or poorly judged leading to feelings of injustice and ultimately stress and disengagement. Organisational injustice kills engagement dead. Why then, does manager training so often focus on technical skill development where social and emotional skill development including emotional self-awareness has the greatest impact on human performance. 

There exists a massive untapped opportunity for managers to help their team members to find meaning and value in their work. That starts with clarity from leaders on vision and strategy. No less important, is the role of the manager in developing trusted relationships with their team. The power of coaching conversations to catalyse alignment between employee ambition and sense of purpose and organisational purpose, cannot be underestimated. In practice, this means putting people before task, really getting to know your people, encouraging them to go on a journey of self-discovery. Helping them to grow their self regard, meaning I understand my strengths and weaknesses and accept myself warts and all. Self-regard alongside, purpose, trusted relationships and optimism are the 4 emotional intelligence traits critical to humans feeling a sense of happiness or contentment.  

This brings me on to a final point about manager capability for the 21st century; creating a sense of community and being intentional every day about your impact on others. This starts with emotional self awareness, the ability to understand how my thoughts and feelings impact the way I behave. Every people manager has a responsibility to help their people to feel safe, in practice this means being a role model for 3 distinct behaviours; curiosity – being open to new ideas and feedback, empathy – the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and finally humility – knowing that I can always learn, I don’t have all the answers. These are cited by Prof Amy Edmondson, HBS, as the most critical behaviours needed to create psychological safety or to catalyse interpersonal risk taking. Without this innovation and creativity can’t happen. The question remains, to what extent does your organisation’s manager development deliberately upskill across these 3 critical behaviours. 

Let’s remind ourselves of the current statistics for mental health, so we can give this piece some more context and a greater sense of urgency. In the UK, 3 in 5 people have reported a deterioration in their mental health during the pandemic, the World Health Organisation has predicted that depression will be the number one illness in the world by 2030 and the risk to organisations – mental health exposure has moved from 1:10 to 1: 3. A society that talks about productivity but not resilience (in the sense of healthy humans) will become a productive society that isn’t resilient. And I believe this is exactly where we have landed. 


I’ve learnt two important lessons in my life, which I’d like to share with you. The first, building resilience is not about powering through, it’s actually the opposite. It’s investing time in rest and recovery – mind, body, spirit. The second is the importance of developing an agile mindset, being flexible and adjusting our thoughts, emotions and behaviours according to the changing contexts in which we find ourselves.  Why are these lessons so important, right now? 

Transformation is dead; we have entered the realm of the “infinite organisation” meaning, organisations are now in a constant state of reinvention, there is no end point, there is no finish line, as such, employees are facing never-ending cycles of work. Simply put, humans cannot sustain this way of working. Creating shareholder value remains the no. 1. guiding principle for organisational performance. Despite changes to the corporate governance code in the UK and increasing pressure for public companies to become purpose driven, alongside more than a decade of evidence that diversity and culture are both indicators for accelerated performance. The infinite organisation has 3 priorities – increase revenue, deliver exceptional customer experience (CX), lower costs. How are they going to achieve this – a next generation operating model for the digital world. In March 2017, McKinsey invited leaders to… 

“…make an honest objective assessment of talent and capabilities within the organization, benchmarked against peers and cross-sector leaders. Disruption often comes from outside an industry rather than within.” 

Exhibit A – for workers 

Make no mistake, if your role or part of your role can be automated it will be. Redundancy or redeployment is on the cards for 1000’s of human workers at all levels and across the range of professional as well as administrative or back-office jobs. Automation does not have to lead to uncertainty and a future of zero hours contracts. 

Project work combined with high value skills and an agile mindset offer humans a unique opportunity to  take back control of an ambition currently held by 64% of the UK workforce, to set up their own business. Many highly skilled people are already discovering the psychological and physical health benefits of being self-employed. Many of us have joined self-organised co-operatives or collectives,  where working in partnership with other small business owners who share our values and offer complimentary products and services, we can combine and leverage joint networks in order to prosper and grow. A shared services model is the next iteration of this way of working in order to scale a business, plugging into a sales & marketing engine, alongside financial, legal, HR and IT services.  

”Your economic security does not lie in your job; it lies in your own power to produce – to think, to learn, to create, to adapt. That’s true financial independence. It’s not having wealth; it’s having the power to produce wealth.” – Stephen Covey 

Exhibit B – for employers 

Digital talent is scarce and many highly skilled people are choosing to work for themselves.  However, the opportunity for organisations to differentiate themselves based on sustainability principles, both to attract and retain top talent whatever their flavour – project, contract or PAYE, is enormous. The neuro-economist Paul J Zak created a simple yet profound equation in his book Trust Factors. Trust + Purpose = Joy. As a guiding principle for creating sustainable employment this is helpful not least because it begins to understand the human experience at both a neurological and emotional level. Humans are not robots. Trust is the pre-requisite for speed and purposeful work, the basis for engagement.  

The opposite is fear; organisations built around systems of hierarchy and bureaucracy need to shift quickly and deliberately to the new reality. 21st century talent wants to work for organisations/ in teams where they feel safe, accepted and where their achievements are celebrated. Zak discovered that humans who experience Care in organisations showed the biggest up-tick in levels of Oxytocin. Human potential can be unlocked, only when our emotional needs are consistently met. We measure two human factors, that we believe form the basis of sustainable employment.  

Psychological safety + Emotional awareness = a High-Performance team 

The meaning of work in the digital age 

So, what is the meaning of work for humans in the 21st century? With targeted long-term investment in the upskilling and reskilling of talent, we have a unique opportunity to create a more equitable society. I wrote about this in A Manifesto for Lifelong Learning. I believe we have a real opportunity to align our working lives with our passions and purpose. For me that continues to be; entrepreneurship, scaling businesses and helping people to become their most brilliant and authentic selves. The meaning of work for humans is closely tied to identity, living with dignity and fulfilling our potential. Purpose + Trust = Joy. 

To conclude, the goals of the infinite organisation are increasingly at odds with human health and wellbeing. Evidence of this being the acceleration of burnout and mental illness across the workforce, Research by Koa Health, cited “Over two in five (43%) of companies in the UK agree that mental health is not a cultural priority, rising to just over half (51%) of companies with a £100 Million turnover or higher” For leaders who have the foresight and moral courage to see their human workers as assets and not liabilities, there is a once in a generation opportunity to re-imagine work. 

Building healthy human systems means; leaders who connect the dots between human wellbeing and optimal decision making, learning, collaboration and innovation. There are two clear capability investments for 2021 and beyond; the emotionally effective manager and a continued focus on agile mindset development, at every level of the organisation. 

As I set the scene with this article, I stated that human health is wealth. I believe that organisations in the future will compete on resilience, meaning the greatest opportunity now for value creation is investment in a culture that puts human health and wellbeing at its heart and secondly that employee experience facilitates conversation and action around building human resilience. Adaptive intelligence is about flexibility; our ability to become more stress tolerant and productive is really about investing in our mental, emotional and physical fitness, including rest and recovery. Organisations that prioritise human health and resilience will win.  

About the author

Catherine de la Poer is on a mission to change the conversation about organisational value. #humansustainability puts talent investment and employee wellbeing front and centre. Talent-first CEO’s see TALENT as a value creator, as such talent is tied to every item of the strategic agenda. She is founder at halcyon coaching ltd, where the focus is to create more resilient and agile individuals, teams and organisations. Emotional Intelligence forms the centre-piece of her coaching approach.





 You might also be interested in these articles:

New BITC Report Explores “What If Your Job Was Good For You?”

What’s Behind The Burnout Crisis And What Employers and Employees Can Do About It

What Makes EMCOR’s Award-winning Wellbeing Strategy Work

Is It Time To Put Psychological Safety On Your Risk Register?

The post What is Healthy Work? appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

What is Healthy Work?

A new YouGov survey of over 2,000 British adults looking into workplace wellbeing, employees’ expectations from employers, and the future of work has revealed some insights into employees’ attitudes as UK Covid restrictions ease.

The survey, commissioned by London-based startup YuLife, found that half (48%) of UK employees think that their employers have a responsibility to look after the wellbeing of their families, and three in five (62%) would feel more motivated in a workplace which prioritised both their and their family’s wellbeing.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Flexible Working: among UK employees who work in an industry where working from home is possible, three-quarters (75%) want a hybrid working model combining remote work with going into the office.
  • New Priorities: two in five (38%) of UK employees now think that their employers’ attitudes towards staff wellbeing will be better than before the pandemic (compared to 12% who expect it to get worse)
  • Missing Benefits: although seven in ten (70%) of UK employees whose employer offers wellbeing benefits/policies say that they’re aware that these benefits exist, only 14% say that they take full advantage of workplace benefits on offer.
  • Safe Space: three in five (58%) office workers would like to see social distancing retained (compared to 19% who disagree). Half (49%) want to continue with indoor face covering policies (compared to 28% who disagree).
  • Prolonged Burnout: 37% of UK employees have been working more overtime since the pandemic than before (as opposed to just 9% who have been working less).
  • Gyms are Back: many more UK employees plan to exercise more following the reopening than don’t plan to do so (25% versus 7% respectively).

The post New Survey Shows 62% of UK Employees Would Feel More Motivated In A Workplace Which Prioritises Their And Their Family’s Wellbeing appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

New Survey Shows 62% of UK Employees Would Feel More Motivated In A Workplace Which Prioritises Their And Their Family’s Wellbeing

A donation by one of the UK’s leading housing developers will enable small employers across the region to benefit from free support for tackling Domestic Abuse in the workplace.

The Haven Wolverhampton has received a cheque for £5,000 from Barratt Developments PLC, which has pledged to support the charity’s Purple Pledge campaign. This is aimed at helping businesses across the West Midlands area of the UK to become zero tolerance workplaces for Domestic Abuse.

Locked down and trapped

The first lockdown in March last year precipitated a surge in calls for domestic abuse services, with Refuge reporting an 80% increase in calls to their domestic abuse hotline. In his open letter to employers in January 2021, the UK’s Business Minister Paul Scully MP highlighted a report published by his department. This found that few employers are aware of the signs of domestic abuse, and an even smaller number have a clear policy in place to support survivors.

In light of this, he urged employers to look at what more their organisation can do to help survivors of domestic abuse.

Cash injection

The funds from this donation by Barratt Developments plc will help The Haven Wolverhampton charity continue to raise awareness, provide free training for employers and staff to become Domestic Abuse Workplace Champions, and provide free HR policies to businesses employing fewer than 10 people.

Pamilerin Beckley, Architect of Stories at The Haven Wolverhampton

Pamilerin Beckley, Architect of Stories at The Haven Wolverhampton, explained: “In April we launched our Purple Pledge campaign, to raise awareness of Domestic Abuse, highlight the lack of existing policies in place at many organisations, and help improve the level of support employers can provide to staff who may be experiencing Domestic Abuse. We approached Barratt Developments PLC as one of the leading employers in the region, and we have been blown away by their response and generosity”.

“This will go such a long way in helping us to reach more organisations of all shapes and sizes, to offer training and support so that employers can spot the early signs and provide signposting services, as well as to help support organisations in putting policies in place. We cannot thank the team enough for their generosity, which will go far in helping someone experiencing Domestic Abuse to access the services they need.”

Dominic Harman Managing Director at Barratt David Wilson Mercia added: “When we heard about The Haven’s Purple Pledge, we fully recognised what a huge impact it could have on the lives of many employees across the region. It opened our minds to understand that many organisations don’t have the means or knowledge to support their staff with Domestic Abuse matters, and we’re pleased that the funds will help to provide free training and support across the West Midlands.”

A call to action

Around 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will be stalked during their lifetime (2), with many abusers often attempting to harass, stalk, injure, or threaten their victims at their workplace.

The Haven is encouraging businesses across the region to sign up to The Purple Pledge, with every organisation to do so receiving a logo to use. This will let customers and suppliers know they are a Purple Pledge company that is dedicated to supporting their employees. The charity has also provided a ‘toolkit’ including various resources to help managers recognise, respond, and refer employees to dedicated means of support, in addition to access to various training packages.

The Haven Wolverhampton is a charity providing a range of services to individuals suffering from Domestic Abuse, homelessness, people trafficking and modern slavery, FGM, forced marriage, and sexual assault. For more information, please visit www.havenrefuge.org.uk. For free practical and emotional support, the 24/7 helpline is available on 08000 194400.

(1) The Economic & Social Costs of Domestic Abuse

(2) Office of National Statistics

Other articles and resources you might be interested in:

Are Your Employees Suffering From Domestic Abuse? How to Spot the Signs and Help

Male Victims of Domestic Abuse: What Employers & Colleagues Can Do To Help

Domestic Abuse: a toolkit for employers


The post Barratt Homes Donation Helps Improve Domestic Abuse Support appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Barratt Homes Donation Helps Improve Domestic Abuse Support

“Freedom Day” should not necessarily mean a mass return to workplaces, but rather the start of a longer-term shift in working patterns wherein employers can allow staff more flexibility to work when, where and how they can to achieve the same productivity as being in an office.

Among the most interesting trends to emerge from the past year’s shift to remote working has been improvements to many aspects of employee wellbeing. In fact, our Global Working from Home survey revealed that staff working from home enjoy longer in bed due to not needing to commute, spend extra time at home with family and even find more time for physical activity.

We predict that we are now on the cusp of a significant – and long-overdue – shift towards employers placing a far greater emphasis on worker wellbeing moving forwards. Particularly in a remote working world, employees will have more choice than ever as to who they work for, so employers looking to attract and retain top industry talent must offer staff flexibility in how, when and where they work, as well as how they are rewarded and incentivised for doing so.

About the author

Jason Brennan is an Author & Director of Leadership and Wellness at Wrkit

The post Freedom Day Should Not Mean A Return To The Status Quo appeared first on make a difference - workplace culture, mental health, wellbeing.

Freedom Day Should Not Mean A Return To The Status Quo

Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has collaborated with senior business leaders and national stakeholders to produce a report identifying how employers can take action to transform wellbeing at work.

Jonathan Gawthrop, Executive Director for Wellbeing, Sustainability and Assurance with facilities management company EMCOR UK  has praised the report as an excellent guide for business leaders to take action to better support and improve mental health and wellbeing at work.

Clear calls to action for employers

The What If Your Job Was Good For You? report advocates two calls to action for employers that build on lessons learnt from the pandemic:

1. Treat mental health and safety with the same importance as physical health and safety
2. Collaborate with colleagues to enable employees to create their own ‘good jobs’ within
organisational parameters

Employees don’t expect to be physically injured at work and nor should their mental health be negatively impacted. However, the reality is that 41% of employees developed mental health issues caused by work in the last year [1].

A formula for news ways of working

Although work is part of the issue, good job design must be part of the solution. The organisations which thrive during this period of post-pandemic recovery will be those that put people first. The report sets out ways of working that involve a collaborative, individual approach to job roles, that focus on relationships between employees and managers that encourage open dialogue.

David Oldfield, CEO Commercial Banking, and Interim Group Chief Operating Officer, Lloyds Banking Group, and Chair of the Wellbeing Leadership Team at Business in the Community, said: “Overnight, the pandemic changed the nature and place of work for many of us and we now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine ways of working and transform mental health and wellbeing at work. Working from home, and hybrid working, have created opportunities for taking a more inclusive and individual approach that enables people to co-create their own ‘good jobs’. With the importance of listening to employee voices, mental health and safety needs to be established on a parity with physical health and safety so everyone can speak out without fear of negative consequences. I strongly urge employers to take action, and learn from each other, to leave a positive legacy from what we’ve learned in the past 15 months.”

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development added: “We’re proud to support this important new report from BITC which highlights the need for employers to take a strategic and integrated approach to workplace wellbeing in all its forms. Commitment and visible leadership from senior leaders on health and wellbeing is key to fostering an environment where people feel fully supported and able to speak up. There is more expectation now that organisations put people first, provide good jobs together with supportive cultures and places of work, including opportunity for flexible ways of working. These are all essential in enhancing wellbeing, but also in engagement and
retention of staff and critical business outcomes including productivity. The pandemic has forced us all to focus more on people’s health and wellbeing, and we all have the opportunity to take these learnings forwards to help better working lives for all.”

Have your say

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at Business in the Community, concluded: “Our report is evidence based but there are still many unknowns, with the best practices around future ways of working still to be written. During this period of transition into this new era, Business in the Community is convening a collaborative movement which enables businesses to take a test and learn approach, where businesses can learn together, build knowledge and share insights to help everyone navigate the journey ahead, recognising that we can’t achieve change on our own. Publicly demonstrate your commitment to action, transform mental
health and wellbeing at work.”

Endorsed and peer reviewed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), this report was delivered in partnership with Affinity Health at Work and members of Business in the Community’s Wellbeing Leadership Team.

You can access the full report free here.

Join our virtual roundtable

I will be hosting a virtual roundtable with a select number of leaders from a range of sectors on Tuesday 27th July from 12.15pm – 13.30pm to discuss best approaches to implementing the key insights from this BITC report. Louise Aston will introduce the session to put the topic into context. If you would like to join the roundtable, please email me at claire@makeadifference.events.

About the author

Claire Farrow is the Global Director of Content and Programming for www.makeadifference.media and the MAD World Summit. She’s on a mission to help every employer – large, medium and small – get the insight, inspiration and contacts they need to make real impact on workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing in their organisation. She has been freelance for more than 15 years. During that time, she has had the honour of working with many leading publishers, including the New York Times.

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New BITC Report Explores “What If Your Job Was Good For You?”