For a long time now, Deloitte has been focusing on wellbeing. Key initiatives include: introducing Mental Health Champions; committing to the Mental Health at Work Charter; launching the Thrive at Deloitte staff network; providing online Mental Health First Aid training to all employees and, providing a confidential external advice line. Earlier this year, Deloitte also published a new report about the cost of poor mental health at work, making the case for more investment from employers.
However, Deloitte also wanted to do something practical to support their people’s wellbeing during this unprecedented time. As a result, Deloitte held a firm wide webinar with practical tips and support on looking after wellbeing. Speakers included Richard Houston, Senior Partner and Chief Executive, Dimple Agarwal, Managing Partner for People & Purpose and Steve Larke, Partner and Mental Health Champion, from Deloitte and also our CEO Poppy Jaman. A key message reiterated throughout the webinar by Richard was that it’s really okay to not be okay. People were encouraged to talk to someone if they are not okay. Other key takeaways can be found below.
The Wellbeing Movement
Dimple shared that Deloitte has launched The Wellbeing Movement. This is a new initiative quickly developed by teams across the business to support people during this time. Each week the firm publishes a virtual timetable of bitesize events, classes and drop-ins to help people look after their health and wellbeing. There’s everything from exercise classes to pet therapy and language lessons with many of the sessions led by Deloitte employees. The timetable is structured around Mind’s Five Ways to Wellbeing, with sessions and practical advice to support every aspect of wellbeing and different personal circumstances.
Poppy spoke about how to look after your own wellbeing during this time. She shared how simply taking the time each day to check-in and ask yourself ‘How am I feeling?’, and then naming that feeling, can teach our minds to start to recognise that difficult emotions are temporary and will pass. Watch Poppy’s video on this technique here.
Advice for people who are struggling
As a Mental Health Champion at Deloitte, Steve shared simple steps people can focus on if they are finding themselves in a difficult place with their mental health:
- First and foremost, remember it’s okay to not be okay. No one should ever feel guilty or fearful for needing help.
- Set some really small goals in a day
- Take plenty of breaks away from your desks
- Try to get outside for a walk if you can
- Speak to someone such as a friend, family member or trusted colleague to share how you are feeling
- Take a look at resources available either through charities such as Mind or through Deloitte. Deloitte for example has a Wellbeing at Deloitte Toolkit which signposts people to support.
Noticing the good
Throughout the webinar speakers shared personal challenges being faced but there was also a reflection on taking notice of any positives. People shared good experiences such as getting family time back, having time to cook and eat with their loved ones as well as connecting to each others’ lives outside of work and talking to peoples’ kids. People were encouraged to take notice of the positive things we can all take forward with us. For example, people are checking in with each other more often and taking the time to support and connect with each other. Deloitte hopes that many of these behaviours and activities will continue as we come out the other side of this pandemic.
Help and advice lines: http://citymha.org.uk/help-and-advice-lines/
Resources on supporting colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic: http://citymha.org.uk/coronavirus-resources/
Mind Five Ways to Wellbeing: https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/
Deloitte’s mental health research (Mental health and employers: refreshing the case for investment): https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/consulting/articles/mental-health-and-employers-refreshing-the-case-for-investment.html
Steve Larke’s This is Me Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I4hR92gGu8