“The past year has been stressful for everyone – but we’ve learned the best way to look after our staff is connection.
“So, we did a Zoom Mentor course about how we could help each other. I have had a difficult year personally but this reminded me of the need to focus on how everyone is feeling, to talk and to listen sympathetically and be calm and support each other.
“As a result we have a range of new processes. We have a huddle every morning where we check in on how everyone is feeling and if there’s anything they want to share. Many things troubling us have nothing to do with work, but can impact on our work, so it’s important for colleagues to be able to support us on a personal emotional level if we need it.
“We all enjoy walks together about once a week and invite everyone to join in. We also enjoy online Pilates classes and even have a masseuse come in regularly as a special treat! A lot of well-being is about being able to switch off, or put into perspective, the strains of work, so all this gives us a chance to connect, unwind and offload away from the stress of the working day.
“As for work itself, regular staff meetings give us time and space to communicate – and vent, if necessary. But I also ensure to check in with everybody personally, even if just for five minutes, which gives them opportunity to share ideas as well as concerns. That ensures little problems don’t become big problems, either for individuals or the team.
“These processes help us put things in perspective, to be calmer and work more effectively. Despite lockdown, we’re a closer team now than we’ve ever been.”