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Promoting Health and Wellbeing Through Employee Ownership

Articles 13 May 2021

Keeping active and staying healthy has perhaps never been so important. Supporting our fellow employee-owners health and wellbeing has allowed us to embrace and promote their untapped talents and potential.

People are at the heart of everything we do. We live and breathe a powerful desire to improve lives and that means creating and sustaining a firm foundation of support even within our own business. Thankfully, we have a collaboration of dedicated colleagues with a heartfelt eagerness to share their knowledge and skills. This is furthered by being an employee-owned business, as it creates a culture of mutual respect, community and support across the group.

With a deep commitment to supporting people to make positive life changes and improve their wellbeing, it’s vital to ensure our colleagues have help in their times of need as well. The ability to maintain internal self-care is imperative in providing and sustaining support for those who need and use our services.

Developing new health and wellbeing skills

Our Health and Wellbeing group is one of our employee-ownership initiatives run by a team of dedicated volunteers. This group provides several online activities for our colleagues, including Zumba, yoga, mindfulness, and a regular film club. Many of the sessions are recorded and available to colleagues to view at a time that suits them.

Seetec colleagues also got involved with our online fitness group, set up during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage people to exercise and improve their wellbeing. This group helped our people connect, with many of our colleagues taking part in our Step into Spring 28-day challenge to get active whilst supporting nominated charities.

Frank started running in January to focus on getting him through lockdowns during the dark winter months. Before this, he had gone for occasional runs but had not done this regularly. Frank, part of our Mayo team in Ireland then joined our online fitness group in February and really benefitted from the mutual support.

Encouraged by their management team to exercise during their working day – one of the benefits of working remotely – running has played a big part in Frank’s positive lifestyle during the lockdown.

Frank said,

 

I started running three days a week and never looked back. Most weeks I run 5km five times a week. I set myself a goal of running the Operation Transformation Virtual 5k in February and completed it in 25 minutes.

Frank aims to participate in more virtual events over the next few months and encourages everyone to get active to benefit their health and wellbeing.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a strong drive within our business to promote better mental and physical health. Meditation, Friday activities, and confidence classes for clients were all regular and very successful sessions.

Jolanta, part of our team in Dundalk, works in collaboration remotely with her colleague Louise to deliver online mindfulness sessions. She is also an employee champion, helping to integrate and represent the many voices and perspectives across the group. Jolanta said, “I was delighted to take this opportunity to organise more mindfulness sessions. I was already doing some for my team and the feedback was really positive. It seemed like a great idea to expand these sessions to include all our Seetec colleagues, but I never expected them to be so popular.”

Jolanta has an eagerness to learn as much as she can about mindfulness and its role in promoting positive health and wellbeing. She says, ”I’m continuing to take courses and gather reading material to improve and deepen my skills.”

Jolanta and Louise run the mindfulness sessions once a week using suggested topics. Initially, they were planned to be short-term, but the sessions proved to be so popular that they are now a regular occurrence. Jolanta says that they help to dispel the stresses of a busy working week in a restful and gentle way. She is now exploring the future potential for these sessions.

The importance of mental health in difficult times

The pandemic has shone a spotlight for all of us on our need to maintain our wellbeing, having a profound impact on both our physical and mental health; the two being inextricably intertwined.

Examples like Jolanta’s highlight our colleagues desire for more understanding about the mind/body dynamic, the impact on health, and how we can help ourselves by harnessing our minds and living in the present moment.

In the coming months, we will need to dig deep to combat the profound and long-term effects of riding out a pandemic. The impact of social isolation will require a deep inner resolve, and the harnessing of essential self-care and mental health skills to help us move forward in a positive way. Being an employee-owned business will certainly help us on this journey, as we are already a community of individuals sharing the same values and working towards the same aims.