Rachael Rowley, Business Services Manager at MGS, talks about what was learnt whilst developing a Wellbeing Policy with staff at MGS.
This year MGS have taken time to reflect on the support we offer as an organisation and look at who benefits from it. Externally we have been consulting around the next delivery plan for the National Strategy and visualising opportunities, but we have also quite crucially been exploring our internal culture and how to ensure we are a workplace which helps people to flourish and reach their potential.
Recently Wellbeing has been making some welcome noise in the sector and beyond. Here at MGS Lucy Casot (CEO) encouraged thinking around how we might support this and develop our own Wellbeing Policy. We began by combining existing knowledge from staff consultations and our Investors in People reports. We then brought together a working group of 5 staff from across our teams to take this forward, ask the question “What does Wellbeing look like for us?” and be champions across the organisation.
This is what we have learnt along the way:
- Get together – Start a conversation and see where it goes. We discussed areas of strength and development and agreed some small steps to get us going.
- Share your vision and listen to your people – Tell everyone what you’re doing and describe the organisation’s intent. Let people know their contributions are valuable. Do you need support from other teams? Get them involved too.
- Use what you’ve got – From discussions we realised we needed to better signpost our existing resources and share links to external good practice. We also needed to be more proactive in demonstrating ways in which individuals could access help and support.
- Don’t underestimate the value of the small things – A kitchen table perhaps? I am very proud that the MGS kitchen is a place where we get to eat our lunch (or snaffle CAKE), drink tea and chat. It’s valuable time spent away from your workstation sharing time with colleagues.
- Look for the positive – Wellbeing can be about creating opportunities for sharing, communication, kindness and positivity as well as promoting and supporting good mental health. All these things contribute to improved personal and organisational resilience.
- Implement the changes – Our discussions with staff highlighted an opportunity for us to make improvements like creating a walking group and training Mental Health First Aid representatives.
- Support each other – Demonstrating positive behaviours and empathy towards each other is important. We are in organisational landscapes where many of us are balancing our own wellbeing around work commitments and caring responsibilities within the scope of our regular day. Not forgetting that this sits against the wider context of current political and environmental upheaval which can also impact how we feel.
- Keep talking and doing – at MGS .
MGS are fortunate in many ways with our staff, culture and office space, but I really believe that whatever your current organisational resources and culture are, sitting down with your team to start a conversation about Wellbeing will be worthwhile for everyone.
We have made a commitment to allow our Wellbeing Policy to evolve and grow with our people and organisational requirements. An aspiration that our approach to Wellbeing will be more than just ok… it will enable us to feel and be better.
Many organisations in the sector are doing excellent work around Wellbeing and we are really interested to see what everyone is doing. We have begun to take part in #WellbeingWednesday as a way of sharing resources and learning from what others are doing. If you would like to share your experiences with us, then we would be delighted to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org