Jessica Easterbrook, Lead HR Consultant at East Sussex County Council, shares how her council adapted to the changes brought about by Covid-19 in this blog series.
What a difference a week makes when we are working in these ever-changing times. As we try and navigate through these, I am clear that wellbeing is the essential foundation to supporting staff. With physical and mental health being placed at increased risk, wellbeing is more important than ever before. At East Sussex County Council, we have flexed our approach to explore different methods, techniques and technologies to engage employees – keeping our community connected. My goal is to work with staff to create a virtual environment that can foster support and innovation in a time of heightened anxiety and continual flux.
Here is a flavour of what we have done so far:
- Promoting and repurposing our existing ‘It’s Time to TALK about Mental Health’ campaign and supporting resources and how this can work in a virtual space – check out our short introductory film here
- Signposting to our online evidence-based toolkit including; gratitude diaries, wellness checklists and plans that can be easily completed at home or over skype.
- We now have almost 100 Mental Health First Aiders trained in our corporate community and we are actively encouraging this volunteer workforce to reach out to their colleagues, details of our Mental Health First Aiders are also accessible online for all staff. HR are pushing out tools to this group on a weekly basis via a dedicated Yammer group, suggesting activities that can be used in team meetings.
- We have put together dedicated HR FAQs with a ‘Wellbeing – Support for Staff’ section so this info can be accessed and updated from a centralised location.