Ricoh UK, a hardware, software and services firm employing 2,000 employees across the UK and Ireland, has a variety of commitments in place to support employees across all levels with their mental health as and when they need it.
Its initiatives include the Mental Health at Work Commitment, endorsed by Business in the Community and Mind, which features a set of actions to improve and support mental health, and to create a culture which promotes health and wellbeing. Alongside this, the organisation has also developed a wellbeing champions programme, which provides training to selected employees to provide colleagues with mental health first aid and signposts to further help if necessary.
Additionally, it has a wellbeing hub where staff can access resources, tools, training, and an employee assistance programme, as well as a Everymind Wellbeing app which is designed to provide tailored, individual experience and 24/7 support.
It is important to understand that dealing with mental health can be a long road and there often is not an immediate fix, says Marco Pezzani, national customer service director and executive sponsor for mental health and wellbeing at Ricoh UK.
“Accepting this and taking a long-term view by providing support through implementing initiatives focused on wellbeing and mental health can help to open up conversations and remove stigma,” he adds. “Our global mission is to help individuals feel fulfilled and lead purposeful working lives. In practical terms, this means that as employers, we must be mindful that work is only one aspect of an employee’s life and that people may be facing unseen challenges which may impact on their mental health.”
In order to support staff who have worries about cost of living increases, Ricoh UK has developed initiatives to ease the burden as part of a recognition that there can be clear links between financial, mental, physical, and social wellbeing.
These include a 30-minute free consultation with an independent financial advisor, producing internal guidance and signposting to useful resources, tips and ideas on helping with the cost of living, access to the MyEva app, which is used by a third of its employees who have given positive feedback on it, and offering access to Elements Everyday, which provides cards for discounted fuel for those travelling into the office, as well as a range of other discounts and benefits for every day products and services.
This not only helps to encourage staff to travel to the office should they wish to do so, but also ensures it does not impact the cost savings they are making on not using the energy at home, says Pezzani.
He believes that it is important to support employees in this way because stress, burnout, anxiety and depression can have numerous negative effects on daily life. “It’s part of our pledge to our employees,” he explains. “We want them to find fulfilment at work and supporting them should they experience poor mental health is crucial to this. The key to avoiding issues is communication and opening up channels of support. It’s only by communicating with staff and being present that you can begin to help them.”
Pezzani advocates a holistic approach based on inclusivity, understanding and safeguarding of mental health, as well as guaranteed stable and continuous support.
“The key to this is providing open opportunities for dialogue and accessible signposting to platforms and tools that can help employees address how they’re feeling and the challenges they’re facing,” he concludes.