The importance of wellbeing

Vanessa Kennedy blue L website

Promoting Wellness

As a firm we have been trying new ways to promote a culture of wellbeing, actively promoting mental health and wellbeing within the firm, our mission is to maintain a positive and progressive environment through openness, energy and responsibility. As a part of our mission we launched a full wellbeing programme within the firm for all colleagues.

We usually have a yearly full-firm away day, the last one focused on wellness. Over the last year after the initial lockdown and not being able to have this time as a firm, the wellness committee realised the impact of remote working on our colleagues and looked for ways to could combat this and support our teammates. A programme was created by the team to include new ways that we could get together as colleagues and do something a little bit different outside of our firm wide zoom gathering.

One way was to promote wellness including mental health training which all colleagues were given the opportunity to attend. The session was facilitated by mental health practitioner, Alison Cox MBE, the session explored how mental health can influence how we think and feel about ourselves and others, as well as how to respond to things that happened to us and the way we cope with both ordinary and challenging life events. The aim of the workshop was to provide an overview of mental health and mental health problems and develop skills and confidence by understanding the signs and symptoms of what poor mental health looks like, this aids in our education by giving us techniques for how best to support our colleagues.

Lesley Naylor, HR Director: “It is important for us as a firm to create a culture based around wellbeing, as we want not only current staff but anyone coming into the business to feel welcomed and also valued and supported, which includes their wellbeing. As we continue to grow and expand as a business we want wellbeing and education on mental health to be engrained into our culture. Particularly important given the events over the last year and a half which have impacted everyone and moving to remote working, we have had to look at ways in which we can support our colleagues. Having a wellness committee, mental health training and firm wide wellness initiatives is a step in achieving this.”

Our Wellbeing Programme

One of the many things our wellness committee put into place during the last year and half to keep colleagues engaged was firm wide zoom wellness sessions, these ran on a two a week basis and have involved numerous topics including nutritional sessions where our specialists talk about the importance of nutrition and the benefits this can have on your day.

Other things that our colleagues have really enjoyed is our mindfulness sessions conducted via zoom. This has given teammates the opportunity to step away from their desks and join a session conducted by Braxton our wellness expert who taught us about the benefits of mindfulness. The sessions helped us to gain valuable tools and insights into the practice of mindfulness and the benefits that practising this can have on daily life. It was also a chance to decompress for an hour away from the home office. We had yoga, anxiety, physio sessions and time set aside for every team member to chat through their financial wellbeing.

The committee is looking forward to facilitating future workshops based on wellness and mental health. We have learned over the past year and a half the important benefits of wellbeing. Creating an open and honest work culture where we ensure we check in with our teammates through our wellbeing sessions and also making time to chat virtually or on the phone as some people like myself are very over seeing their own face looking back at them all day! This means that we can ensure everyone feels like they have the capacity to feel valued and heard. As lockdown is easing we are also looking forward to when we can get the chance to have future firm wide parties where everyone can get together in person and enjoy time socially. Our summer BBQ held in Rutland Square each year is a perfect example of what Gilson Gray is about as a business. It’s an opportunity for not only our teammates to be together but their families as well.

We all are looking forward to these times again but in the meantime, the firm will continue to look at ways to support our teammates.


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