Since Business First Partnership was founded, we have been long-term advocates for mental health and are passionate about creating a company culture of inclusivity and support.
To mark World Mental Health Day this year, Commercial Director Chloe Clark has shared her thoughts on why employee wellbeing is so important and explains what BFP is doing to champion it.
Wellbeing in the industry
“At Business First Partnership the wellbeing of our staff is paramount,” said Chloe. “We are proud to be trailblazers in our industry for wellbeing initiatives and believe all other businesses should be doing the same.
“There’s a genuine staffing crisis in our industry but that doesn’t have to be the case. At Business First Partnership, we have fantastic staff retention rates – many of our team members have been with us for 10+ years.
“Offering flexible working solutions, promoting staff wellbeing and creating a culture of support are just a few things that all businesses could do to support their employees. We are proud to say we are doing all of those things and more.”
As part of our commitment to supporting the mental health of our employees, we appointed a dedicated therapist to offer all employees access to free, professional support inside and outside of business hours.
“Access to professional mental health support has made one of the biggest differences to the wellbeing of our staff,” insists Chloe. “It’s completely confidential and offers our employees a safe space to process whatever problem they may be facing. After an initial referral, you could be offered a one-off appointment or a course of treatment depending on your needs, without having to think about the cost.”
What we do differently
Like many other businesses in the UK, we made the switch to remote working during the pandemic. However, when most businesses chose to return to the office, we decided to remain remote because of the difference our employees reported in their work-life balance.
“One of the key pieces of feedback we receive is that the team value the ability to work around childcare and family needs and enjoy the work-life balance it offers,” said Chloe.
“We are particularly proud of the initiatives we have in place to support working mothers. We understand how difficult it can be to return to the office after maternity leave. To help overcome this, we offer flexible working patterns and job-sharing opportunities so that new mothers can return to work at their own pace.
“We have also created a dedicated support network to enable them to share their experiences with one another. The response we have had to this has been fantastic – it’s all about making them feel part of a community. In the last year alone 11 working mothers have joined our team because of the initiatives we have in place.”
Employee engagement and incentives
Despite working remotely, we are proud to say the Business First Partnership team is a very close-knit team. We host regular social events to encourage our employees to build relationships and bond with each other. Whether this is in person or over Zoom, we try to engage the team and bring them together on a regular basis.
Recently we launched a company-sponsored book club. Nearly half of the team has joined and the club meets once per month.
We also introduced a rewards programme that offers every single team member a selection of benefits to pick from each quarter. Incentives on offer include shopping vouchers, theatre tickets and family days out.
Chloe added: “We realised very quickly that if you look after your staff, they will look after you so championing wellbeing is a no-brainer for us. We would encourage other businesses to do the same and see what difference it can make.”