Clearvision has transferred its mental wellbeing support to a virtual offering during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic to ensure that employees have multiple avenues of help available to them.
The software services firm, which has 55 employees in the UK and five in the US, reminds its employees regularly over video meetings about the in-house support that they have access to while working from home. This includes an informal employee group called Hearts and Minds, and trained mental health first aiders.
Kathryn Tombs, HR director at Clearvision, says: “We have a good support network within the [organisation]. We sent three of our members, myself included, on a mental health first aid course [last year] which helps [us] to recognise when people are maybe not having quite such a good day. Every day we remind people that we’ve got this support network.”
The mental health first aiders are available for employees to contact while working from home and can help signpost employees to where they can find further help if needed. The Hearts and Minds group is run by a team of employee volunteers and is another avenue for employees to choose if they wish to talk to a colleague about how they are.
“[The group] does a weekly catch-up with anyone that wants to join on a Zoom call and we can just talk about how we’re feeling,” explains Tombs. “It’s been quite surprising how much people have opened up about how they’re feeling. I try to get on the calls every time and I can pick up the pointers if someone’s not feeling great. Then I’ll contact them afterwards.”
Before the lockdown, the organisation encouraged managers to forge close relationships with their employees through monthly one-to-ones and every day each team would hold a stand-up meeting to talk about the previous day’s work. It also hosts a weekly stand-down for employees to talk about non-work news. Clearvision has continued these through online meetings, and has also hosted events such as Friday night drinks and quiz nights.
Clearvision recognises that keeping in touch with employees while they have to work from home is important to their mental health.
“We’ve recognised that despite what people say, they don’t like working from home. It is really important to us to keep them engaged, to not make them feel as though they’re isolated and to make them feel that they’ve got somebody that they can turn to,” says Tombs.