Holly Moore, Make Events
Holly has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series
Managing wellness in your team is essential to ensure your team are happy and are working to the best of their ability. Event professionals work in stressful environments a lot of the time and the day runs away from us before we’ve even had a chance to get to the bottom of our to-do list.
Here are a few ways that I try to encourage the Make Events team to take care of themselves day to day.
Although I’m a gym bunny now, I didn’t get into fitness until I was 30. I wish I’d discovered it much earlier because now I understand the benefits. I love to go to the gym before work, it sets me up for the day and it means I can deal with whatever curve ball the day brings as I know my workout is out of the way.
People that work out have more energy both mentally and physically. It takes willpower and discipline to work out which are great traits in any work force, so this should be encouraged.
To inspire the team to work out we have given them a gym membership as part of their employee benefits programme. If your business can’t stretch to this why not start a running club or bring a fitness coach to your office and have a class there.
2. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
Right now 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress in the UK. We spend so much time at work so it’s no surprise that it affects our health. The first thing you can do as a manager is to make it clear that mental and physical wellness are respected and treated the same way in your organisation.
It is important for companies to understand that mental illnesses are common in every office. At Make Events, we have strategies in place that support when people aren’t feeling quite on par and work on what would be best for them in that moment. Whether it’s taking some time out of the office to clear their mind, working from home or working in our meeting room for some alone time; there needs to be a dialogue where your employee can feel comfortable without fear. Providing mentoring or on-the- job
coaching also helps to develop this relationship.
If a colleague chooses to go onto medication, as an employer you must be aware of the initial side effects such as forgetfulness or lack of attention span; try to work around these. Ask the question, how can I support you to be your best during this time?
NHS support can take a long time to come to fruition, if you offer private health care, make sure the team are aware that they can use this to speed up the process. Be smart – many people with mental health issues are often perfectionists and creative…sounds like the perfect Event Professional to me – keep hold of them!
3. GET MOVING
Moving from your desk and not staring at a computer screen all day can really clear your head. I encourage the team to take breaks often and you’ll find that it actually increases productivity. They like to take a walk to the local shops at lunch for fresh air or to get their steps up. Why not put a treadmill in the office? People can walk while taking calls. If you can afford, Apple watches are great for onsite as you can check for messages without looking at your phone (a pet hate of mine on site) they can also then measure their steps each day. Why don’t you set up a competition for the most steps that month?
4. SNACKS IN THE OFFICE
As an events agency, suppliers are always arriving with treats! When it’s Hotel Chocolat, its game over! We also get offered a lot of delicious food and drinks when attending events or FAM trips, so taking a back seat on healthy eating can sometimes be far too easy. To combat this, we have instant porridge pots in stock for breakfast; a Nutribullet and protein powder; as well as tea and coffee, herbal and green teas as well as non-dairy milks. We also have healthy baking competitions!
We bought the team 3-litre refillable water bottles and have a water cooler in the office where the team are encouraged to have as many ice-cold glasses to refresh and revitalise their mind.
I have always been a big believer in work hard be nice. The biggest overall thing I have tried to do is grow a positive culture. Everyone that comes to work here says it is like a little family. Our policy is transparency; we give real time feedback and don’t store up
negative feedback for a one to one. Positive feedback from clients is instantly shared. No one ever feels like there’s an upstairs downstairs policy; the team are included in decisions. Information is always shared with them.
One team member commented “there are no coasters here which makes for such a good working environment” This kind of environment allows people to be themselves and feel comfortable and included in the work place which can minimize stress and anxiety.
We spend most of our week in work, and as an events agency, it is never a normal 9-5. Promoting wellness in the office and being effective in your management will open a dialogue, and this is fundamental.