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How have we been looking after the wellbeing of our employees during the pandemic?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

How have we been looking after the wellbeing of our employees during the pandemic?

The pandemic and the rise of remote working has created several wellbeing challenges for people and businesses worldwide. At OSRL, the Crisis Management Team recognised this fact and prioritised wellbeing from the very beginning.    

From recognising this, I was appointed Wellbeing Lead working closely with the team. We instituted a simple two weekly Mental Health and Wellbeing (MHWB) survey.  The survey asks staff to score their current mental health and wellbeing from 1 to 10, with a score of 5 or less indicating a wellbeing challenge.  These staff receive 1-1 contact from the Wellbeing Lead, HR or their Line Manager as appropriate.  

The MHWB survey highlights the professional support services offered to staff in their region and, more importantly, shows a human touch from OSRL to that staff member. We are now clearly seeing more people who are happy to share their MHWB score with their Line Manager, a probable sign that the MHWB conversation is becoming normalised.  

Line Managers have also undergone mental health awareness training to support this and share ideas, tips, and questions with each other.  

Finally, through the MHWB survey, we can monitor regional and base-specific trends to target wellbeing provision accurately.

The CMT initiated the creation of a formal wellbeing team composed of global personnel. After a rapid response and flurry of activity in March 2020, this group now operates at a steady-state and meets monthly to coordinate regional and global wellbeing initiatives across the business. An online platform that contains 'go to' wellbeing resources supports this activity.  

Also, we held webinars on mental skills and positive mental health, talks on wellbeing and a myriad of activities ranging from mindfulness to cooking together online! We run regional and global initiatives including an OSRL Strava group and activities such as the 25for25 challenge (25 minutes exercise for 25 days).

The next wellbeing initiative launching in April 2021 is called #timeforme. The initiative puts a time code against a wellbeing activity of the individual's choice; thus, giving formal support from the business to staff and their wellbeing activities. 

Here you can see the MHWB scores over the last eight months:    

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It is highly likely that a combination of environmental factors, for example the UK gradually lifting restrictions/vaccination programmes and OSRL’s broad and unrelenting support for wellbeing is resulting in the recent positive changes in staff MHWB scores. 

The last year has really elevated the importance of health and wellbeing for us all. While the year has been full of ups and downs, I strongly believe that we have a real opportunity to evolve how we promote and implement wellbeing at OSRL. I have no doubt that we will learn and adapt from the adversity of the pandemic.



Author Bio(s)

Andrew Couch

Learning & Development Officer

Andrew Couch is a high-performance specialist with nearly two decades of experience as a leadership and performance coach. He is a former British Army officer who now works with crisis management professionals to help them develop the ability to think clearly and lead effectively under pressure. Andrew has deep and broad experience and is certified in multiple coaching frameworks, psychometrics and performance analytic tools for stress and recovery.