Deryn case study

“We are extremely grateful to Breathe for helping us develop our wellbeing strategy in an open, inclusive and informative way”

About

Deryn is a leading public affairs agency based in Cardiff and helps organisations understand politics and policy. Deryn supports charities, businesses and organisations with campaigns, policy development, political engagement and government relations in Wales.

 

What was the challenge?

  • As with every workplace, we have experienced staff absences due to mental health difficulties. This is a challenge we have been able to manage in a supportive and inclusive way but it has highlighted that prioritising mental health and wellbeing within our workplace is important.
  • As a small team we often presume that staff members can “just ask” or feel able to communicate any issues – including those concerning mental health, stress and anxiety. We realised this wasn’t necessarily the case particularly when in reality work and home-life blur. 
  • We hoped that an externally facilitated wellbeing event would let our staff know that we take our employee wellbeing seriously and that it forms an integral part of our business. We wanted our staff to feel acknowledged and also equipped with strategies to support their mental health in work and at home without feeling singled-out.
  • Given the sensitivity and vulnerability of the topic, we needed a course without pressure to contribute to discussions that might be personally challenging. A conciliatory approach was required.

What were your goals?

  • We wanted to hold a general wellbeing event for our staff in order to talk about recent HR policy updates and to acknowledge the importance of mental health and wellbeing awareness in the workplace (and beyond).
  • We wanted to team-wide training to launch Wellbeing at Deryn and give it the prominence it deserves as a business priority not an add-on initiative.
  • We wanted a forum to share ideas – with every staff member being given the opportunity to be part of formulating what Deryn’s Wellbeing programmes might look like.
  • We were keen to stimulate discussion around causes of stress and acknowledge that work/ home-life are rarely distinct. We believed this was best achieved by an external facilitator who would bring expertise and neutrality to steer a session on identifying stress and anxiety, and present ideas on developing resilience and coping strategies that might help in the perpetual juggle of work/life.

What was the solution?

Thorough research and analysis, working together to understand the people, goals and any issues the business was facing.

Workshops allowed staff to contribute to the workplace wellbeing strategy to build a workable plan

Designed a bespoke solution, bringing together everything we learnt from business goals and the latest research.

Supporting the wellbeing strategy implementation and measuring the outcomes to ensure sustainable changes.

Training sessions explored the causes of stress and unhelpful thoughts and put strategies in places to support wellbeing.

Access to employee counselling – providing a safety net for the wellbeing of the team

Nerys - Deryn Director

Breathe facilitated two ‘Wellbeing in the workplace’ sessions which enabled us to explore the challenges our mental wellbeing faces both in a professional and personal setting. We looked at the causes of stress and anxiety and how we react individually. We considered coping strategies which provided participants with ideas to build resilience. This culminated in the development of a group workplace wellbeing strategy with staff contributing to build a workable plan. We have since won an industry award to recognise the work in supporting the wellbeing of our staff. We are now in the process of formalising our Wellbeing strategy and are looking forward to continuing with our partnership with Breathe.

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