Over the last five years, business service provider Paragon, has been building an inspirational wellbeing plan to ensure that everyone in the organisation has access to support when they need it. We spoke to HR Business Partner and Wellbeing Lead for Paragon, Kim Hill, about the different ways they put employee mental health and wellbeing first.
“Mental wellbeing is top of the agenda at Paragon” Kim explains. “We produce a monthly Mental Health Matters newsletter, and host all our wellbeing content on a SharePoint intranet site. There’s brilliant wellbeing ambassadors across all our sites, and a monthly all-company ‘Time Out’ chat allowing everyone to grab a coffee and dial in for an open conversation. Every morning we send out a wellbeing email, which is designed to be fun, but always contains a wellbeing message. People tell us that it’s great when the first thing you get in the morning is something inspiring that sets you up for the day.”
Proactively tackling issues with specialist groups
Paragon has taken wellbeing one step further and established specialist groups, headed up by trained volunteers from across the business. Employees are then signposted to the particular support needed, including for eating disorders, young people’s mental health, grief awareness, suicide awareness, and alcohol and drug awareness.
Two recently launched, popular resources are the Let’s Talk Menopause group, and the Mens’ Room group. Both are WhatsApp-based, with a monthly video call to encourage everyone to get together, share experiences, and support each other.
“It’s so important to us that everyone knows we are there to help,” says Kim; “and we value the feedback we get that indicates we’re on the right track. People have told us that they feel so much better for reaching out; and that by sharing personal stories across the business, others in the same situation have felt comfortable to ask for help.”
How the Printing Charity’s helpline complements Paragon’s mental wellbeing commitments
Part of Paragon’s support includes offering full-company access to the Printing Charity’s free, confidential 24/7/365 employee helpline. Helpline details are clearly signposted throughout the Paragon business, and shared on the mental wellbeing Sharepoint. It’s also the first resource Kim and her colleagues signpost someone in the organisation to when they need further support.
“With the helpline, we trust that someone will be at the end of the phone for our colleagues immediately to provide in-the-moment help and support,” she says. “The helpline is a key part of our mental health support as it closes the gap with the ‘print’ part – it is specifically there for people in our industry. Signing up was an easy decision, as we could see exactly how it would layer additional benefits onto the mental health support we already offer. It provides our team with straightforward access to invaluable resources such as counselling, which we as an organisation can’t provide.”