At the last AGM, a new Trustee asked ‘what does The Garage do to ensure the wellbeing of its staff?’  Recognising, even after such a short time with the organisation, that the whole team – staff, freelancers and volunteers alike – go above and beyond to provide positive, and often life-changing opportunities, this Trustee had hit the nail on its head.  In an environment that is concerned with giving the best support to improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing, it is all too easy to forget to look after ourselves too.

So, what did we do about it? 

We contacted the Thriving Workplaces team, Norfolk’s free workplaces health provider commissioned by Norfolk County Council.  Staff, freelancers, volunteers and trustees were invited to complete a survey looking at their own health & wellbeing – the result of which have been collated into an organisational audit.

What were the results?

There were some really nice findings:

  • 81% of respondents felt that The Garage encourages a healthy work/life balance
  • Respondents recorded a score of 23.21 on the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS), which the Thriving Workplace steam identified as possibly the highest score they have seen in any Norfolk Workplace to date.

And some things to work on:

  • 69% of respondents said that they would talk to their manager about stress, anxiety or depression.  This is a relatively high response in comparison to other workplaces, but does not reflect the level we would like to see.
  • Only 50% of respondents do the recommended amount of weekly exercise.

What happens now?

From the report, we have identified 3 key areas to concentrate our efforts on to build a happier and healthier workforce: Leadership, Mental Health & Wellbeing, and Physical activity.

Over the next few months we will be introducing some new and improved opportunities for staff including:

  • All staff are invited to take part in the new fitness classes from September, as part of their working day.
  • A new Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy, including dealing with work-related stress
  • A staff wellbeing information board in the 4th floor kitchen, with information about places to go to for support as well as local sports and activities.
  • Featured opportunities in the staff newsletter

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