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Written by Cliff Morton, Director of People and OD at Smart DCC
Last year I shared why wellbeing and mental health are important to me, and how lucky I feel to have worked for organisations that have always been supportive, enabling me to be in the position I am - to have the opportunity to really drive a great wellbeing agenda in an organisation as great as DCC. It’s why we’ve put in place a number of initiatives and support tools for all of our colleagues, it’s why we have trained Mental Health First Aiders and a great network of Wellbeing Champions all through the business.
This week is World Wellbeing Week and The Mental Health Foundation has called out ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’. There’s always more we can do, but the publishing of the ‘5 Ways’ made me take some time to reflect on what we’re doing at DCC that fits in with this.
Connect: a connected Britain is at the core of our purpose as a business. When I think about how we make this real for our people, I am reminded of how we’re using technology to decrease the distance between our three sites. We’re encouraging our people to travel less, so they aren’t as tired or exasperated from a day on the road and encouraging use of digital tools to connect even more regularly with colleagues. Nothing beats face-to-face, but knowing you’re included, wherever you are means you’re less fearful of opening the door to conversation or support when you need it. I’m spending more time outside of Ibex and with the right tools, and considerate behaviours, I haven’t felt disadvantaged not being there – I’ve felt engaged because I can still contribute, still get around all of our offices, work at home, and even approve well deserved Recognition Awards whilst on a call at a Gate at Stansted.
Get active: whilst I can’t claim to participate, we’ve a football team; a netball team in the wings; and local walking and cycling clubs. I also see a lot of people wearing smart watches and keeping track of their day, to ensure they keep moving. If you ever see me suddenly start doing torso twists in a meeting, it’s because my watch told me too! Honest!
Be mindful: we regularly run meditation sessions at our sites and encourage colleagues to attend when they are about. I’ve been to a few and can’t recommend them enough. Taking time out of your day for you, and calming your mind really invigorates you for the rest of the day.
Keep learning: two years ago we didn’t have an intranet, now around 90% of our people log on to our SmartNET regularly. We share updates, tips and hints on there about various topics, including wellbeing. I try to get on as often as I can. I love the Take 10 articles, and learning about my colleagues and who they really are, as well as the hugely informative pieces people post on all sorts of topics. Supporting learning and development is a key element of our career journeys in DCC. We put some great programmes in place last year, and in the people survey you told us you’d like us to do more.
Give to others: our sites aren’t shy of running fundraisers for charitable causes. We also encourage volunteer days. Giving to others not only helps them but can be so rewarding for you personally. Everyone across Capita and DCC can volunteer and take a paid day out of the business to focus on it. We’re going to be promoting this more, and hopefully teams can come together to do larger activities.
We’ve done a lot, but we’re not perfect and never will be. There’s so much we could be doing and we’ll always push to do more. I think we’ve made a more than decent start though and we’re always open to hearing from our people and seeing what others do to, so we can learn and keep improving. Everyone benefits when you’re able to function as your best self at work. For that reason, wellbeing will remain one of our top priorities