Supporting the mental health and well-being of our employees is the top priority for our award-winning WeMind employee network.
With the majority of Hiscox employees in their tenth week of working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, now more than ever the support offered by WeMind is helping employees with the challenges this situation presents.
Here we look at some of the initiatives being offered and the impact WeMind is having across hundreds of Hiscox home offices in the UK and further afield.
Supporting our employees through coronavirus
As the coronavirus situation unfolded, WeMind surveyed our employees to get a sense of how they were coping and what support they would find useful. As a result, WeMind has been sending out weekly newsletters with information, tips and signposting on issues such as anxiety, stress, work-life balance, self-motivation, ways to stay healthy, sleep and social isolation and ways to stay connected.
A new training programme for both managers and employees on mental health for homeworkers has recently been introduced – so far more than 380 managers and 420 employees have chosen to complete it. Employees can join a WhatsApp group where they can discuss mental health issues they are facing, and a forum on our internal networking site has been created to host the latest information on how to look after your mental health and well-being. Employees have also been given access to webinars led by mental health experts, and our team of over 75 fully qualified mental health first aiders are available to offer one-to-one help.
Making a difference
WeMind’s efforts have been well received and it has seen engagement increase with employees who have previously not spoken up about their mental health now more willing to ask for help. “Feedback from the mental health training and our communications has been amazing – it is great to know that WeMind is helping people and making a difference,” says Simone Mills, our Group Head of Design and co-lead of the WeMind Committee.
She says it’s important people have the tools to look after themselves and others at a time when so many factors weigh heavy on a person’s mental health. “The global pandemic is not something that any of us have experienced before. It’s a scary time for all of us – worrying about the health of our family and friends, the uncertainty of how long this will go on for, home schooling, coping with isolation and homeworking, and having our lives turned completely upside down.”
A global response
As the situation evolves, the WeMind network will continue to support our employees – ensuring every employee across our global business has the opportunity to take part in the mental health training. The network is now reaching more employees having recently launched a chapter in the US and Bermuda, and is adding a dedicated branch for European colleagues too.
Finding time to celebrate
WeMind in the UK has been celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May, 2020) by encouraging people to nominate those who have displayed random acts of kindness for a Colleague Kindness Award - in a nod to this year’s ‘kindness’ theme, and will be sharing these stories alongside information on self-care and being kind to yourself.