Think is a digital agency set up in 2004 with 2 members of staff and has grown to over 60 employees. Think has offices in Newcastle and London with further plans for expansion.
Tarek Nseir, Founder of Think says “Our aims is to be one of the UK’s leading technology company’s. What we do is help transform some of the world’s most successful businesses and the way they communicate through digital. We do this by creating long-term partnerships where we explore exciting opportunities, develop award-winning ideas, and define successful strategies, together.”
Think’s business thrives on people and with such significant growth and change there has been much unrest and stress within the organisation. This has added to an already considerable amount of pressure employees are under due to greater work demands and ever tighter deadlines. Think wanted to implement a wellbeing programme to support the staff and address some of the issues within the organisation.
Think’s workforce is young with an average age of 25 (excluding the board). Many have young families and with the high levels of stress which has undoubtedly created a steep demand for work-life balance.
Many in the organisation smoke (maybe as a stress release) and have poor eating habits.
Within Think currently there is a relaxation area with pool table and at the beginning of the week there is a ‘fruit drop’ funded by the company available for all the staff. There are sport activities, such as football and recently a sponsored cycle ride participated by some staff in the organisation.
Think want to bring wellbeing into the core of the organisation and to encourage staff to take control of their health and wellbeing with particular emphasis on mental wellbeing.
WHAT WE DID
- Address high (and rising) stress levels in the organisation
- Provide employee support for wellbeing and mental health
- Address self-limiting habits – particularly poor eating and smoking habits
- Create a culture of self-responsibility and empowerment
- Promote a preventative approach to health and wellbeing
- Deliver innovative lively and fun initiatives to a young vibrant SME
The plan was to address the high stress environment and the detrimental effects this may be having on the body and mental health. A key focus was to encourage self-responsibility empowering individuals to take a ‘preventative’ approach.
SOME OF THE WELLBEING INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN:
- An organisation health needs audit
- Staff survey to get staff involved and get their input
- Setting up ‘Wellbeing Champions’ in both offices
- Rumana Health Wellbeing Programme – training programme
- Personal goal setting and action plans from the workshop sessions
- Individual one to one clinics for personal coaching
- Use of fun applications using digital media e.g. facebook application which shows what you would look like in 10-20 years time if you continue with the same habits.
Tarek Nseir commented that “the Wellbeing Programme has been a great success, and staff have really benefitted from the programme as well as the organisation”.
A combination of the learning and awareness of ‘preventative’ initiatives motivated individuals to become more proactive in taking control of their own health. In the survey some individuals found ways to improve their energy levels, some found techniques to manage stress better and others found benefits to their personal health issues.
Taking time to observe personal and workplace habits and behaviours allowed individuals to become more creative in dealing with work-life balance and developing new ways of working. This allowed not only to enhancing personal wellbeing but team integration and working together more effectively.