This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual event designed to highlight the importance of achieving good mental health. This year’s theme is loneliness, an issue that has grown in prevalence over the last two years, initially with the lockdowns of the pandemic and now as people continue to work remotely and miss out on regular social contact. In recognition of this week, I’d like to share Hughes Europe’s approach to mental health in the workplace and explore what internal support is available for its employees so they do not feel alone.
As the Head of Human Resources, I really believe that our people are our power. It’s important that we have an environment which allows them to thrive and develop. It’s not rocket science!
We make sure that positive mental health and wellbeing are supported, and our employees feel safe, respected, and comfortable. It’s a holistic approach and starts with a framework where the basic things are in place to make people feel physically, emotionally and financially secure.
A flexible, supportive working environment
The physical workplace has been created to be a comfortable and pleasant place to inhabit, where every person has a dedicated workspace and all the tools they need. (This includes great coffee!) Employees understand what they need to do, and there is plenty to challenge and expand their skills, providing lots of opportunities to grow.
Since the lift of the lockdown, Hughes Europe employees enjoy a hybrid work pattern, which gives flexibility and variety so that everyone can work in a way that suits them best. We are really enjoying being able to come back to the office. The energy we get from seeing each other in person really elevates the workday. And it helps that everyone genuinely likes each other, of course!
Our mental health support
Hughes Europe also provides a great set of health benefits, such as private medical cover, life assurance, and an Employee Assistance Programme. This programme is a confidential service that provides advice, support and counselling if needed.
We also have certified Mental Health First Aiders on staff who are available to listen and chat with everyone, either in person or online via Teams. It's been such a powerful provision over the last couple of years that we have plans to get more people certified this year.
A culture that cares
In a climate where people are finally becoming more open about mental health, Hughes Europe is really embracing taking care of its staff in this way. We have cultivated an environment where it’s okay not to be okay, and I think that’s very important. You can talk about what you’re feeling, and I’m very proud of how supportive, caring and non-judgemental all our people are. The senior managers lead with humanity and are pragmatic about the challenges everyone can face.