Dechert Wellness Week focuses on resilience

Global law firm Dechert LLP is deploying a host of mental health and resilience tools, as well as running fun activities, as part of its second annual ‘Wellbeing Week’ this week.

The theme of the week – which includes offering resilience webinars and videos on mindfulness and stress management – was a specific response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), which still sees the majority of its staff working from home.

Dechert’s chief talent and HR officer Alison Bernard told Employee Benefits: “I constantly worry about a mental health crisis. As a business we are extremely focused on our culture, and it was clear to me that to achieve two of our pillars – excellence and service – we depend on having well people. So we decided our focus for this year should be on building our communities’ sense of hope and resilience.”

A variety of events have already taken place this week, including hosting ‘Community Connections’. These comprise virtual events where colleagues who would never ordinary meet each other spend two and a half minutes [‘speed-dating’ style] answering lighthearted questions.

Social events have been interspersed with more skills-building resources (including apps, books, podcasts and webinars) that are designed to boost learning around key topics such as stress management.

The aim, according to Bernard, is to have enough variety of events/resources to engage everyone in the business. She said: “Yesterday we hosted an online concert, where American singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and recording artist, Zeshan B, performed live. This was watched by more than 200 people. Today, we will unveil the ‘Dechert Top 20’ – the top 20 pieces of music that staff have voted give them the most inspiration and hope.”

Bernard explained: “Colleagues don’t just provide the name of a piece of music; they are asked to write the reason why it is meaningful to them. We’re creating a Spotify playlist for remote staff to listen to. Currently, we have more than 12 hours of inspirational and relaxing music.

“This week will be fun, but our accompanying wellbeing toolkit goes beyond this week’s events, giving colleagues a permanent set of resources they can access.”

Health will also feature too as part of managing mental wellbeing. “We’re also running a ‘Steps Challenge’ – a six-week programme to generate as many ‘steps’ as possible,” added Bernard. “We even converting swims or other activities people do into ‘steps’, so that everyone can feel like they’re participating. We’re pledging to donate up to $10,000 (£7,360) based on the number of steps recorded.”

Dechert has around 325 employees in the UK.