This is a guest post from Splendid Communications‘ head of wellbeing Jane Latham about her ‘Feel Human at Work’ programme which aims to help staff ‘navigate life’s ups and downs with kindness’.
A few weeks ago, I was excited to relaunch my career at Splendid in a newly created role, Head of Wellbeing, having served as finance director for the previous nine years. This marked the culmination of a long journey of personal development, during which I had adopted a more mindful approach to living, and in so doing, found myself being naturally drawn into offering therapeutic support to those around me, both at home and work.
Having embraced the Human Givens approach to emotional health for as long as I can remember, it made sense for me to formalise this development by qualifying as a Human Givens therapist. Combining this approach with the Insights Discovery personality profiling methodology, along with my in-depth knowledge and love of Splendid, I have formulated a unique wellbeing programme called ‘Feel Human at Work’, incorporating a range of interactive workshops for all staff, as well as leadership training and one-to-one coaching. All of this aims to promote an open and inclusive culture of mental health and wellbeing across the business.
So, what is the Human Givens approach? As humans we are all born with a set of fundamental emotional needs, which at Splendid we define as the needs for security, control, status, headspace, belonging, teamwork, development and purpose. They can be thought of as rungs on a ladder of emotional health, as with Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. We also have a range of mental resources such as our instincts, memory and a lively imagination which can help us to get our needs met. These needs and resources are collectively the ‘Human Givens’. Emotional issues arise when, for various reasons, our needs are not being met in balance. Furthermore, the needs on the lower rungs must be met before we can fully focus on the higher rungs. Understanding and applying this simple yet powerful guiding framework helps to foster positive emotional health and wellbeing.
Meanwhile, the Insights Discovery methodology uses a simple four-colour model based on the psychology of Carl Jung to help us to understand our working style, strengths and the value we bring to the team. We are all a unique mix of Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue energies, which determines how and why we behave the way we do. Not only does this model help us to understand ourselves, but it also helps us to connect better with our colleagues, supporting more respectful, productive, and positive working relationships.
The Feel Human at Work programme will be rolled out over the coming year, to include a range of interactive workshops for all staff as well as leadership training and one to one coaching. A key theme is communication; learning how to adjust our behaviour to respect the emotional needs of others, and to bring out the best in the different personality-types we are dealing with. The aim is to equip everyone with the emotional intelligence to improve and strengthen their relationships with others both inside and outside the workplace.
There is also a strong focus on dealing with work-related anxiety, with the provision of a range of tools to develop emotional resilience; including breathing, relaxation and movement, mindfulness and visualisation techniques, various modalities of which I am qualified to teach. I am hoping to reintroduce regular live classes once we are back in the office, along with some other on-site wellbeing support initiatives. It is through the development of resilience that it becomes possible for us to freely express the Splendid values of passion and creativity.
Another key value at Splendid is collaboration, and with the support of the Splendid wellbeing team, I am currently developing a calendar of exciting activities and initiatives: watch this space for further news, but as an example, in Mental Health Awareness week, amongst other things, everyone will be learning some basic techniques in mental health frontline support.
Given last week was the first anniversary of us all working from home, I was really pleased to see in a recent staff wellbeing survey that the score for the statement ‘I feel part of the overall work community and accepted for who I am’ had increased over the last year and was now the joint highest score, along with ‘I feel proud that I work at Splendid’. I see this as a testament both to Alec and the senior team’s abiding passion for Splendid, and the people-first culture championed across the business. There were of course some lower scores too, especially around the need for a good work-life balance, and we are actively working on how to address these issues.
In summary, I believe I am building on strong foundations as I roll out this progressive wellbeing programme at Splendid, and I am looking forward to helping the team thrive as we re-emerge into the uncertainty of a post-Covid world. These may be strange and potentially unsettling times, but to end on a more philosophical note: life will always be full of ups and downs, and what really matters is how we choose to respond to these. One of the key lessons I have learned over the years is that, invariably, kindness is the answer, and it is often kindness towards ourselves that is most needed.
At the end of the day, we are all human.
For more on workplace wellbeing, check out our accessmatters session on avoiding workplace burnout with KDP Coaching’s Katie Phillips.