The Royal Air Force (RAF) Benevolent Fund introduced several initiatives to help deal with stress among its 140-strong workforce as part of a wide-ranging benefits overhaul two years ago.
This included the introduction of an employee assistance programme (EAP), which includes a stress counselling service alongside other perks.
Richard Wheatley, head of HR, explains: “Around 40% of our employees have served in the RAF, many having either experienced traumatic and stressful situations themselves or known colleagues who have, which gives us a different perspective on workplace stress and mental illness than most organisations.” The help provided by the organisation includes long-term and short-term respite care, and long-term care for the elderly.
When it experienced increased reports of stress, its counselling service helped to deal with this. This can be accessed via a helpline, followed by face-to-face counselling sessions if needed by employees.
Wheatley adds: “The HR door is always open to colleagues who know they can talk one-to-one about their problems. The counselling service is a back-up option that can be used independently or recommended by a manager. Having it in place has contributed to a reduction in workplace-induced stress.”
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