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Looking After Mental Health All Year Round

We look after the mental health of our staff year-round and have cultivated an award-winning (and award-shortlisted) wellbeing programme based on the central pillars of financial, mental, and physical wellbeing. But wellbeing is more than that, and time after time our people have told us that what they love about working at Trayport was that indefinable essence of ‘Culture’ – a sense of belonging, inclusivity, and community.

Covid-19 put our culture to the test – The challenge we faced was how to maintain our culture and maintain morale. A well-stocked kitchen, Friday drinks, or ‘dogs in the office’ wouldn’t work remotely, so we adapted.  

Here’s what we did…

Launched Our "Working From Home Doesn’t Mean Working Alone" Campaign

We started ‘Working From Home Doesn’t Mean Working Alone’: A campaign of weekly, then monthly themed wellbeing months to maintain culture and wellbeing in the new remote environment. We hosted DJ sets & bingo nights, standup comedy, monthly webinars from benefits providers & experts, competitions & giveaways. There’s too much to mention in this post but you can learn more here

Improved Our Financial Support With A Workplace ISA

The average value of an annual travel ticket for our staff in 2020 was £3,400 (London is an expensive city to live in!) and we recognised that many of our employees may have saved more than usual while working from home, so we partnered with Cushon to introduce a Workplace ISA scheme to help make the future a little less uncertain.

Expanded Our Fitness Allowance To Better Suit Remote Working

Gyms were closed, so we broadened the categories of our monthly Fitness Allowance to allow claims for home-based wellbeing such as yoga, mindfulness, online fitness, and personal trainer classes. We hosted fitness classes, dance classes, and yoga classes, some of which were hosted by our own employees. 

Appreciated Our People

We listened – our employee surveys showed that our people would welcome more support to help with an increased feeling of isolation, screen fatigue and burnout due to lockdown living and remote working. So we introduced a summer of “Finish Early Fridays”, allowing employees to….. well, you get the picture. Our People team successfully trialed “Meeting-free Friday Afternoons”, an idea that seems to be catching on.

We surprised our employees with a gift basket and accompanying video to Say Thanks on Employee Appreciation day.

A Special Focus On Mental Health

Usage of our Employee Assistance Programme rose to an all-time high. In one sense this was positive – our repeated efforts to promote the service were paying off – but this also got us thinking about what we could do to address the mental health of our employees before it got to the stage where they needed to pick up the phone and speak to a counsellor. 

In stepped Unmind: a cutting-edge platform with clinically-backed tools to help users engage with and understand their own mental health, with a preventative rather than curative approach. Six months after launch and uptake is better than expected. We now signpost and nudge Unmind articles and resources in every one of our wellbeing articles – because when it comes to employee wellbeing, mental health is everything.

It’s been quite a year for employee wellbeing. After 14 months of working from home, it can be hard to maintain motivation and engagement, andlanguishing‘ has become a trending term to describe how many of us are feeling.

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So what’s next? As we start to return to the office we will face new challenges but we will continue to listen. In our bi-annual survey this month we’re asking our employees to tell us about the level and nature of stress they‘re experiencing. We’re developing a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. We will continue to focus on preventative measures: encouraging positive financial, mental, and physical wellbeing, and working with experts such as Work Wellbeing and Unmind to help keep us on track and promote positive mental health. Not just during Mental Health Awareness week, but all year round. Because Mental Health is something we all have, all of the time.

David Glennon
Rewards Manger - passionate about wellbeing and making people happy at work