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The Scottish Business Resilience Centre has always emphasised on the importance of integrating a culture of wellbeing, and has taken various steps over the years to ensure the right kind of support was available to the team members, as and when they needed it. Since January this year, as COVID restrictions were lifted, we have been constantly working on championing the cause of wellbeing, diversity and inclusion within the workplace through various initiatives.  
Establishing an organisation’s culture of wellbeing, where company’s core values, aspirations and practices are fairly shared with their employees, unsurprisingly helps team members to see the path the organisation is heading towards. It is a universally known fact that a positive workplace culture draws talent, attracts engagement, impacts wellbeing and satisfaction, and influences high performance.

For a wellbeing culture to succeed, it is essential that companies embed wellbeing within their company culture. We have undertaken the following activities over the last few months to ensure we are taking action and walking the talk!

SBRC’s Culture and Wellbeing Committee

The conversation around initiating a wellbeing culture within the workplace is getting louder and clearer. We, at SBRC, now have an in-house, qualified Policy, Advocacy and Communications Lead, who will be leading on all the initiatives related to diversity, inclusion and equality. The culture and wellbeing committee includes team members from diverse backgrounds such as human resources, diversity and equality, business management, Police Scotland, cyber exercising, community building and engagement.

Some of the activities include:

  • Parents Club
  • Sponsored walk to support a charity
  • Educational talks with external speakers
  • Culturally inclusive events calendar

We meet regularly to discuss the on-going team-building events, and monitoring the progress towards a fair, safe and inclusive culture, with a focus on health and wellbeing and a more coherent and positive experience for all staff.

Team building event

Just last week, our entire team got together in-person, for the first time for a team building outdoor activity. We got together in the beautiful Scottish highland town, Perthshire, with Nae Limits Scotland, to participate in the adventurous white water river rafting, followed by an experiential and innovative wilderness challenge where we were split into teams and were tasked with building a fire and shelter with natural resources. We lucked out with the weather (you know, Scottish weather and it’s phenomenal unpredictability!) and overall it turned out to be a great day filled with laughter. We all agreed towards the end that it was hugely beneficial for our mental well-being since COVID induced stress while working from home in isolation, and has encouraged us all to be more productive and creative with a fresh perspective.

Four day working – 8 week pilot

As many of you may already be aware, during lockdown we started a 4.5 day week, with a half day on Fridays. We quickly noticed that staff were exhausted the first few months of lockdown and we kept Fridays for internal meetings, planning and training and everyone logged off by 1pm. There was a positive effect on moral, on work life balance and we achieved things we could only dream about over the last two years.

Since coming out of lockdown, we have spoken about how we can protect our work life balance, and most importantly our mental wellbeing. In addition to that, we all collectively agreed that with so many working mums in our team, the challenges that working mothers face particularly in those pre school years in their homes, balancing work and childcare can be excruciatingly challenging at times. Therefore, our CEO, and the Advisory board of our organisation, decided to go ahead with trialling the four day working for the months of April and May. We will of course be evaluating and monitoring it regularly to understand the benefits and adjustments around it towards the end of this trial period.

Some of the feedback received so far by the stakeholders, beneficiaries and team members is as follows:

“4-day week benefits. Just received at email from Scottish Business Resilience Centre about their move to a #4DayWeek retaining 5 days pay and the benefits they’ve already seen from reducing to 4.5 days previously: Increased motivation, morale, productivity and achievements. Congratulations to Jude McCorry and her team for initiating this incredibly important move. Not only is this beneficial for productivity and innovation but it can also help attract a wider talent pool (particularly females, neurodivergent individuals) which obviously results in higher productivity and innovation also.”

“Like so many working Mums, I worked part-time when my kids were wee, even though I was often doing full-time once you added in all the work I did when they were in bed and on Sunday evenings. My husband would often complain that I was paid for three days but working five. But I felt no one else saw that or cared. It goes without saying, it’s not just the Mums but the whole team who will benefit hugely from it. Hats off to you, SBRC for going ahead and setting a great example!”

“I feel recharged after having an extra day off especially for my mental wellbeing. I was able to reflect on the achievements of last week and in fact I was able to come up with new ideas. I do believe this is the way to go for the future of SBRC.”

“I had an entire extra day to do the household chores and spend quality time with my children. I did not feel guilty about booking a personal appointment and it was a day of rest and unwinding for me.”

“Initially I was reluctant in terms of how I would keep to the deadlines and if this would increase my workload even further. But I realised it was a matter of shifting my mindset and organising my time better.”

Bystander training – Police Scotland

Our colleague, Allen Paul, Police Constable and Business Resilience Advisor, SBRC delivered an expert, most interactive Bystander Training where the primary focus was on highlighting the importance Preventative Leadership. The goal of the in-house training was to engage the staff members in joining the dialogue around prevention of a crime, and supporting the victim of a crime, should a situation of such nature were to arise.

Some of the main points covered were:

  • Recognising the signs of a possible crime
  • Making safe interventions
  • Overcoming the fear of intervening in challenging situations
  • How to work through unconscious biases 

During the training, various informational videos were shared, along with thorough discussions on case studies from within the UK, along with supporting statistics to raise awareness around the subject of violence against communities. The session concluded with a visualisation activity, a mindful exercise, that gave us all an opportunity to reflect, introspect and commit to taking action in the hour of need.

International Women’s Day

On this year’s International Womens Day, SBRC put together powerful quotes from dynamic women shining in the field of STEM. We wanted to amplify the social noise around women smashing stereotypes and effortlessly breaking the glass ceiling in the field of tech and cyber! 

Through sharing the quotes, and celebrating our fellow female trailblazers, we wanted to remind ourselves that women who are role models and working on breaking the cycle of stereotypes in any and every field that does not portray equal participation, should be celebrated everyday.

Diversity and Inclusion training

There is significant growing evidence that diversity, equality and inclusion are vital predictors of job performance and organisational commitment. Earlier this year, our colleague, Nika Noakes, Policy, Advocacy and Communications Lead, delivered an in-house, virtual ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ training to all staff where some very interesting, and thought-provoking conversations were witnessed. The nature of the training was interactive, and several ice-breaking activities took place. Most of our colleagues agreed that it was a crucial exercise that enforces building key competencies necessary to encourage an inclusive diverse work environment.

Watch this space as we continue with our endeavours in building a more inclusive workplace where employees wellbeing is of top priority.