The rise of social sustainability and responsibility is a welcome evolution to the industry - we’re hearing more from campaigns such as Flex Appeal, staff volunteering hours are becoming easier to facilitate and the subject of mental health and an employers responsibility have never been stronger or more informative.
Like the majority of digital agencies, we consider ourselves a supportive and socially responsible employer and team crafter. Chris and I saw beyond the quirky turf in Soho spaces, the pool table and the office dog. Those are all fantastic offerings, sure, however we wanted to grow our team from their personal cores as our priority. A positive team member will be your greatest ambassador - we found no substance in showering materialistic incentives on our team if we weren’t focusing directly on supporting their individual psyche.
We became aware of an incredible campaign from Mental Health Foundation revolving around encouraging mental health support mechanism conversations within teams and communities. They coined it Curry & Chaat, an arm of the Tea & Talk campaign following the formers predominantly female sign up percentage. Mental Health Foundation’s research on this topic struck a chord with us, for the stark reality of severe repercussions when workplaces do not address mental health support as an equal priority to physical health. We have risk assessments for our physical well being after all, we have emergency processes for physical dangers. So what are the mental health equivalents?
Each Friday, we invite the whole team to enjoy noodles on us. The extended lunch break is usually a calm time for us all to come together, engage with team members we work with less, revel in Chris’ latest curious ideas for the business and generally have a light hearted meal together. As noodles are our staple Friday luncheon go-to, we figured it natural to adopt Curry & Chaat to Noodles & Natter.
Between myself and our Content Producer, we held a discussion within the team on how we as colleagues and Directors can create a positive atmosphere and supportive workplace in terms of mental health. We ensured it was a non-triggering discussion for our team members, allowing an open flow of support mechanism suggestions between the team.
It was a nod to our organisation’s ethics that the team felt at ease within the space and each other to share their suggestions and appreciate what we have already implemented. It was encouraging as an employer to know that we were on the right track and our team patiently listened to each other with respect.
As we’re growing as a team, we’re eager to nurture the crux of a successful and happy team and believe this session offered the right tools to do so. We discussed language, flexible working, how we interact with one another, growth and skill development - more of which we’ll be releasing information on soon. Key takeaways from our Noodles & Natter discussion are featured in our video above.
If you would like to discuss social sustainability, let’s get the conversation started by email or picking up the telephone.
Let us be creative for good.