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Mind Wellbeing Index – Absolute Gold!

Category: mental health at work, mental health allies, Mental Health, Award, mental health initiative, mental health first aiders, Intellectual Property Office, intellectual property, mental health awareness, mental health in workplace

Mental Health

Gold - Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index 2020/21

The past 14 months have been tough on all of us. The pandemic caused a change so big to our lives, that it may have had a huge effect on our mental health. Since long before Covid-19, the IPO has been committed to tackling and de-stigmatising mental health problems in the workplace which has resulted in a range of services to support those in need. It plays a vital part in attracting and retaining the best people in order to become a truly brilliant place to work.

To understand how these provisions have performed, we took part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index, again this year, which is a benchmark of best policy and practice regarding mental health. 399 IPO employees took the survey to help us understand what we’re doing well, how we compare to others and how we can improve.

We’re thrilled to announce that we have achieved the Gold standard again and even improved our scores compared to our last application. The Gold standard is given to "employers who have successfully embedded mental health into their policies and practices, demonstrating a long-term and in-depth commitment to staff mental health". Given the current climate, we’re extremely pleased to hear that so many of our people have felt supported and safe.

Gold - Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index 2020/21 certificate

This is of course a terrific achievement, but it by no means suggests that our job here is done. While the easing restrictions are welcomed by some, there will undoubtably be anxiety among others. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a team has been in place to ensure a safe workplace when we are eventually able to return. It’s true that we’ve evidenced our ability to work remotely but ultimately, we will consider the possible ways to work going forward.

What our people had to say

Having the right culture is a big part of making the IPO a brilliant place to work and an important part of our ‘One IPO’ culture is having shared values and principles. Therefore, in addition to the Workplace Wellbeing Index, we also welcome honest feedback from our people on how the IPO is already supporting them and what we can do better. Here is some of the feedback that we’ve received recently:

“I was advised to take some time off last summer, which helped release the mental pressure. My line manager was very helpful during this time, and allowed me to complete a staggered return, meaning that I did half-days in the first week and gradually increased my hours until I was back up to full-time at the end of the fourth week.”

Lets talk about mental health

“I’ve spoken to a lot of managers who have been doing their best to help the people on their teams but don’t feel they have all the answers sometimes and none of us do. I think a lot of the time just talking about an issue can really help and being there to listen. We have an excellent team of counsellors, support networks, mental health first aiders and other groups who are always happy to help so please reach out if you want a chat about anything.”

“I think that in the broad sense, the IPO has been excellent at signposting support and I have seen some evidence that the support has been used to good effect. As for the support for managers specifically, I think it could be better and that support for managers should be prioritised and embedded going forward.”

“I explained to my manager how important running was for me, and the flexibility to fit work around the bits of life that couldn’t be moved. They fully supported me, and I was in turn able to endorse and encourage my team to do what worked for them. I blocked out every work morning before 10am as “me time” and clawed back two or three runs a week when the timetable allowed. The surprising outcome was how much better I felt inside.”

Building on the feedback of our people

It’s this kind of respectful feedback that we can take on board to improve our approach for the future and really live up to our Gold status. For example, we are currently looking into support specifically for managers. We’ve already run a pilot training session for managers through our Employee Assistance Provider and are currently in the process of seeking out more in-depth training which we hope to roll out in the next few months.  

You are not alone

We want our people to know that they are not alone in how they are feeling, and it’s a priority for us to create a safe environment in which they feel comfortable asking for help

 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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