Market access update

Well-being initiatives that work

Written by Christina Lawrence

In her latest update, Christina Lawrence, Head of People at PRMA Consulting, explains the importance of well-being at work and offers some proven quick wins for employers wishing to promote their well-being initiatives.

The phrase ‘well-being at work’ is being used quite widely right now. Is ‘well being’ the fashionable buzzword in Human Resources?

I think now, more than ever, business leaders want HR on the front line, we are with the people to support them and that is the future.

I’m very fortunate that PRMA Consulting are so forward-thinking and that they give me free reign to look at what’s coming up – how do we retain people? How do we attract people? How do we engage them?

I can’t say enough how this isn’t a ‘nice to have’.

In the UK, for example, employers see 72 million days lost through mental health absence every year which costs them £3.4 million pounds, so it is not something to put next to your logo and say that you are ‘well-being ambassadors’; you have to ‘walk the talk’.

Why do you think well-being at work is important at PRMA Consulting?

We are very entrepreneurial at PRMA Consulting – we feel very proud to work here, we feel part of a family – but we need to be mentally healthy to perform at our best.

We encourage people to bring their best selves to work and to talk openly about anything from mental health to personal issues that they may be experiencing.

Well-being at work is so important.

If a business cares about you, you are likely to stay and you want to perform.

How do you personally ‘walk the talk’ of well-being at work in the virtual workplace?

I’m very much about an open-door policy and it’s nice that, at PRMA Consulting, HR isn’t deemed as something like “I won’t approach them as I don’t want it to reflect badly on me in my performance appraisal”. We are so far removed from that.

I have colleagues calling up just to say “I’m not having a great day today” and I can give them some advice or point them in the right direction externally if they need it and just be human about it.

That’s where HR has changed. If you want your colleagues to perform at their best, treat them with respect and care and show them they are valued. I can’t stress that enough.

The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the landscape of well-being at work.
What new initiatives are you introducing to help manage this?

My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the pandemic.

Very sadly, many countries may be on the brink of a second spike in cases; consequently, we are seeing changes in national and local guidelines which may impact our colleagues in some way.

Many of our international team were already working remotely very successfully, and we also have colleagues who are relatively new to working from home. So, to make sure that we support everyone as they need it, we are rapidly implementing a fresh series of virtual well-being workshops and communications across a variety of touch points.

Some of our quick wins include our virtual coffee breaks amongst teams where colleagues can choose to dip in and out. There are also lots of fun activities like quizzes.

We developed our own well-being intranet page where I blog each day with a striking picture or article that I come across. It is also a hub where colleagues can share comments. There is also a ‘Daily Snaps’ section where people can share a photo of something funny that happened to them that day.

This is building on our on-line well-being sessions from earlier in the year, which were very well received within the business.

What impact is the PRMA Consulting well-being at work programme having?

The feedback I receive is so positive, such as: “I feel calmer, more relaxed”, “I’m more productive” and “I can focus”.

Annually, we run our engagement survey where colleagues remain anonymous and give us their honest feedback, then our people strategy aligns with that for the following year. We added a section about wellness at work into the survey this year to find out more about how people are feeling about work, and what can we do better.

I am delighted that 98% of PRMA Consulting employees say it is a company that truly cares for its people.

Of all our surveys, this was the highest score we have had for this question, and to achieve that in the context of a pandemic speaks volumes for the investment the company is making in our people and our well-being at work initiatives.

We are keeping up the momentum, and that is also what colleagues are asking us to do.

In addition to your focus on well-being at work, can you share any more of your plans?

PRMA Consulting has always been so diverse and respectful and we are building on that.

I am going to be launching a diversity and inclusion initiative looking at what works and what can we do better.

We’ll take feedback and advice from colleagues from all over the globe and from different backgrounds as well. A real mix to make sure that everybody is feeling included.

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