A focus on ensuring its own team has been well supported from all angles during the pandemic has led to acclaim for a North Wales community interest company which helps improve wellbeing at work.
RCS, which delivers support and therapies to reduce sickness absence and improve wellbeing in the workplace, has been shortlisted for a national award for the high-quality of support put in place for its own workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The organisation, which is headquartered in Rhyl, has been nominated as a finalist for the best internal company response to Covid-19 at the national Healthy Working Wales Covid-19 Commendation Awards.
The ceremony will showcase employers across Wales who have demonstrated a continued dedication to improving workforce wellbeing and best practice through innovative and creative methods during the pandemic.
RCS introduced a range of additional measures to their internal employee wellbeing support programme during Covid-19, including the introduction of rapid and confidential access to therapy and the establishment of a workplace wellbeing champion programme.
Six wellbeing champions have been trained to provide peer support to colleagues as well as help implement a variety of practical measures to maintain a focus on keeping people healthy and happy in work.
A significant measure implemented by the champions was the offering of a paid wellbeing hour each week for staff to rejuvenate and take personal time for themselves, going for walks or runs, swimming in lakes, reading books, having a massage, or practising mindfulness.
Employees have also been encouraged to join virtual ‘tea breaks’ and quizzes to break up the day, as well as being partnered up with a co-worker who they can get together with to de-brief and discuss wellbeing within a safe space.
The company has also consulted employees to allow for the roll-out of a hybrid working scheme, becoming a day one flexible employer and enabling its workforce to take advantage of the new accommodations afforded by remote working.
The initiatives have shone through onto staff, with a staff survey conducted in Spring 2021 indicating more than two-thirds of the workforce found their personal wellbeing as ‘above-average or excellent’, with the remaining third defining their wellbeing as ‘adequate’.
Delivery manager at RCS Mandy Bowler said: “The pandemic has only reinforced the notion that the greatest single asset for any business is its staff, and supporting the mental and physical health of our own is vital to ensuring we are practising what we preach.
“It has been fantastic to see these measures embraced across the team and for those who have joined us mid-pandemic, they’ve been able to integrate and feel welcome despite the distance a screen provides.”
Alongside seven new team members joining RCS within the past three months, there are plans to expand the team further to meet additional anticipated growth in demand for services, following the recent expansion of the company’s flagship In Work Support service into Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
The service, partially funded by European Social Fund support through the Welsh Government, helps employed and self-employed people back to work from sickness absence.
The scheme’s sister project in South East Wales, which launched in October 2020, has provided free support and therapies for more than 600 people to date.
Chief executive officer at RCS Ali Thomas said: “Being shortlisted for this award is testament to how committed everyone in the company has been to supporting each other during this incredibly difficult time.
“The nomination has made me immensely proud of the whole team as it shows how the approach we recommend can have a positive impact on any business, including our own.”
The winner of the award will be announced during a virtual event which will be held at 10am on Wednesday December 8.
For more information, visit www.rcs-wales.co.uk.
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