Happy people make happy people. This is the motto that we live and breathe by at Facilicom, but when people hear this phrase, many think it’s simplistic and obvious. I disagree. When you really think about it, and what that translates to for the wellbeing of both our clients and colleagues, I think you’d agree it’s an issue that must be given attention. In fact, I believe it’s an ethos that a business shouldn’t live without. That’s why during Mental Health Awareness Week (13th May), I’m giving an insight into the company commitments that we have put in place to back it up.
The welfare of employees is essential to sustainable business, but as employers we also have a duty of care to safeguard our colleagues and to look out for their mental health. By creating a positive workplace, we gain better teamwork, greater loyalty, and higher staff retention. But, most importantly, we have happy people.
Of course, there are times when people struggle, both inside and outside of employment. Professional and personal pressures can be challenging, resulting in stress, anxiety and mental health issues. I see it as my responsibility to ensure that we have the right support on hand at any given time so that our colleagues can access help when they most need it. To address this, we have invested in an Employee Assistance Programme, which provides each of our team members with a trusted, compassionate health and wellbeing network. This offers them 24/7 quick access to counselling, where they can discuss any physical, mental, social or financial issues that might adversely affect their work performance, health or wellbeing.
We also believe that taking a break is good for the soul. According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), one in 12 workers do not take the time off work that they should. People who do not take their holidays put themselves at risk of burn-out, whilst those that do, tend to be more productive and are better equipped to deal with stressful situations.
We proactively encourage our colleagues to invest in self-care and use their holiday allowance. And this year we’ve gone one step further. We are currently trialling unlimited flexible holiday allowances with a third of our business. Many people outside Facilicom told me it couldn’t be done. They thought that people would take advantage and I’d have no workforce, but it has been quite the opposite. Of course, we still expect people to deliver the outputs required but we also trust them to manage their own holiday allowance. People are taking time off when it works for them and they are making sure that the job is done, or handed over effectively, before they go. This has increased productivity and commitment and people are taking more ownership and responsibility for their delivery.
These are just a few examples of the steps we’re taking to make sure our colleagues are happy and healthy. We’ve placed wellbeing at the heart of our operations and we firmly believe that if we take care of our people, they will take care of our business. They will repay us with dedication, motivation and most importantly, happiness. After all, happiness is infectious.
Jan Hein Hemke
Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland