It’s safe to say that 2020 was not the year we all expected. Between lockdown, uncertainty about the future, working from home and the lack of social contact, the past 12 months have undoubtedly been difficult and have had a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing.
Equally, 2020 has provided us with the opportunity to slow down, reassess what is important to us, and prioritise self-care. In particular, at Agilisys, it has enabled us to develop our mental health and wellbeing programme, spearhead innovative initiatives to support our people’s wellbeing, and effect culture around mental health across the organisation.
As we look ahead to the next year, mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever. So, to mark Blue Monday 2021 – supposedly the most depressing day of the year – we wanted to reflect on just some of the wellbeing initiatives which took place across Agilisys throughout 2020 and the exciting things we have planned for the next few months.
In January 2020, the Wellbeing Team launched “Wellness Wednesdays” – a weekly email from the Mental Health and Wellbeing champions serving up wellness-related tips and hacks directly to people’s inboxes. From nutrition and mental health, to exercise and sleep, we wanted to make 2020 a year where physical, mental and social wellbeing were a priority, and help ensure that our people had the tools and resources to feel their absolute best in all aspects of life.
Unmind platform launch
In February 2020, we were delighted to partner with Unmind – a digital mental health platform. The platform is available to all employees across Agilisys and offers a range of scientifically backed tools in neuroscience, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychology and mindfulness to encourage a proactive to approach to mental wellbeing. Since launching in February, we have hit 25.17% uptake of the Unmind platform among our entire workforce!
SLT Wellbeing Pledge
We conducted a wellbeing audit of our Senior Team to better understand the wellbeing themes and patterns across the company and develop a strategy that supported our people where it mattered. As a result, these insights have been developed into a Leadership Wellbeing Pledge:
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
In May, we hosted the first ever Agilisys Mental Health Awareness Week with each day representing a different theme:
- Mindful Monday – Andrew Mindenhall, CEO at Agilisys, hosted a live event where he shared some of his reflections and experiences with his own mental wellbeing during COVID-19.
- Gratituesday – everyone was encouraged to reach out and to nominate a colleague they felt should be recognised for outstanding achievements.
- Wellness Wednesday – colleagues shared videos on how they were keeping active during lockdown.
- Thriving Thursday – highlighted the importance of hydration and nutrition in maintaining wellbeing and mental health.
- Feel good Friday – all about finding the time for self-care so you can be your best self.
Cyber cycling our way to victory
To celebrate Cycle to Work Day 2020 in August, and promote the many health benefits of cycling, we challenged employees to virtually travel the total distance between all of our sites. From North Lanarkshire to Guernsey and everywhere in between, that equated to a total distance of 1005 miles, 1,617 kilometres, or a whopping of 83 hours of cycling! By the end of the week, we were delighted to reveal that we cyber cycled to victory with an outstanding total distance of 1,011 miles in just five days – surpassing our target distance by six miles!
Agilisys Got Talent? No question!
Turns out, tapping into your creative energy can actually improve your overall health. By simply engaging in creative behaviours, you can enhance brain function, mental health, and physical health. In September, we asked colleagues across Agilisys to share their creative talents with us in our very first virtual Agilisys Got Talent! From bakers to photographers and talented musicians, there were some incredible entries. Vicky Sheppard with her incredible homemade artistic cards and Bobby Singh with his mega music mix came up tops and impressed the judges with their innovative talents!
In November, Agilisys launched a winter wellbeing campaign dedicated to empowering employees to give themselves space and recharge. As part of a spectrum of initiatives, we promoted Plus One – Unmind’s feature which enables users to share the platform with a friend or family member – and signposted employees to a range of Unmind Series and Tools to help them connect and unwind.
In addition, we held a number of virtual Crafternoons to encourage people to stay connected and alleviate any stress or anxiety they might be feeling through a creative outlet – including a competition to design a facemask that was unique to Agilisys in November!
Launch of ‘Purple Hours’
In support of helping our people manage their work/life balance and stress levels, we formally introduced the adoption of the Purple Hour across teams in January 2021. The Purple Hour is a protected period of time each day where we encourage employees to take a break, go for a walk or even catch-up with a colleague in a non-work-related manner.
Looking forward to 2021
Becci Stickley, Head of People Experience & Wellbeing Lead says “2020 was undoubtedly a challenging year that greatly impacted our lives. However, amongst all of the uncertainty, a brighter light was shone on mental health and wellbeing across the organisation.”
Looking forward to 2021, we will continue to focus on making mental health and wellbeing a priority – ensuring that our people are supported to feel the best they can in all aspects of their lives.
“Let’s remind ourselves of the adversities we have overcome in 2020 and bring that resilience and strength with us into the New Year.”