It’s easy for businesses to concentrate solely on their customer’s successes with staff wellbeing often coming second. In 2019 we changed our focus to ensure that it was not only customers that were treated with kindness and made to feel special, but our amazing team too.
In truth, we started this drive last year winning the Devon & Cornwall Venus Award for Employer of the Year and the Exeter Better Work Place Award for Best Space for Wellbeing. Our next step is to further our commitment to the wellbeing of our team by recognising and talking about mental health. We recognise that one in four people may suffer from mental health issues, so we want to make sure we can support anyone in our team who faces these problems.
Beginning a conversation about mental health and encouraging change, takes time and requires subtle, yet significant shifts in how a workplace operates. We think these changes should help people to be their best by putting people first.
As part of our commitment to create a supportive environment in the workplace we have: changed our annual staff appraisals turning them into quarterly, employee-led career conversations; put effective workload planning into place; and developed a shared vision of where the company is going, so that every member of staff knows how valued they are and we can keep our work environment a great place to be working in.
There are also little changes that we know make a huge difference to our wellbeing in the working day; things like taking time for a power walk to recharge the brain, payday breakfasts, time for a coffee to chat about a tricky project, and enjoying Friday cake or wind down drinks and nibbles. Plus, having thoughtful treats when someone seems a tad overwhelmed can make a difference to someone’s stress levels.
Chalk + Ward have also signed the Time To Change Pledge, a great movement of over 900 employers in England, who recognise that businesses need to keep staff, as well as customers, happy. We are delighted to be part of it and we are already seeing a lot more gratitude and kindness sprinkled around the Chalk + Ward team!