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Matrix Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, increasing awareness of wellbeing, developing resilience training schemes and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.

Matrix invest a great deal of energy in their equality projects and has already put in place lots of things to support the wellbeing of their staff and members, for example through an annual Health Week. However, they wanted to develop a greater focus on mental health specifically, encourage people to talk about their mental health in the workplace, and raise awareness of mental health issues.

They sought advice and support from Mind, the mental health charity, and in particular have made use of the Workplace Wellbeing Index as a framework for design and delivery of their Wellbeing strategy.

Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index is designed to support people to have good mental health at work and enable employers to know how to create mentally healthy workplaces for their employees.

Participation in the Index enables organisations to:

  • gain public recognition of a commitment to workplace wellbeing
  • benchmark in comparison to peers and other organisations participating in the Index
  • share and access best practice learning from other employers participating in the Index
  • be part of Mind’s movement for change in workplace mental health and a trailblazer in a sector
  • find out what employees really feel about how you support their mental health

*Although the Index uses the language of employer/employee the principles can easily be adapted to allow for a chambers model with both employees and self-employed members.

The Index survey enables any organisation to assess gaps between their policy and practice, and get useful hints and tips and marketing materials for use in developing and delivering any strategy.

What was the business (other case) for action?

Matrix wanted to promote good mental health because they recognised that chambers is a busy environment, and that this can have an adverse effect on staff and members’ mental health if they aren’t encouraged to look after themselves.

Matrix also saw an opportunity to bring together existing initiatives and to get involved in new activities.

They defined their overall goal as ‘creating a comfortable workplace where mental health issues are discussed openly’.

Matrix were also motivated by the creation by Mind of their ‘Workplace Wellbeing Index’. This is an assessment of an organisation’s wellbeing and mental health support. Through the Index, Mind provide advice and guidance on how to improve internal policies and activities. Matrix had previously used other indexes (e.g. the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index) to successfully achieve this aim. They were therefore keen to both support Mind and take advantage of this new Index.

What did the Chambers do?

Matrix:

  • Signed up to Mind ‘Workplace Wellbeing Index’. Participation required a staff survey and self-assessment of policies;
  • Organised a Mental Health Week with yoga, pilates, outdoor activities, colouring competitions and two workshops provided by Mind;
  • Organised ‘Managing Mental Health’ training for their Senior Management Team;
  • Signed up to the ‘Time to Change’ Employer pledge as a sign of commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues;
  • Circulated Mind resources on stress awareness;
  • Signed up to an Employee Assistance Programme, which provided counselling and support 24/7 for all staff and members;
  • Organised a wellbeing event for their clients.

“Matrix is clearly engaged with the wellbeing of its members and staff. We were particularly impressed with their use of national programmes like the ‘Time to Change’ employer pledge and an external quality benchmark to give their wellbeing work focus and structure. The use of Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index enables Matrix to measure progress year on year, and draw on the experience of others. Worth noting too is their decision to incorporate wellbeing activity into client marketing.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

What were the results?

Matrix’s programme has only just started but they have already seen that staff and members are more open when talking about mental health.

They signed up to the Index in September, and were required to complete their survey by December. They have already received the headlines results (the full results are still due) and they anticipate they will eventually be able to measure impact by assessing any reduction in sickness absence. They also intend to compare Index survey results year on year.

Tips

Matrix provide the following tips for others considering a wellbeing strategy:

  • Get advice from experts, such as Mind.
  • Invest in training your senior leaders to create buy-in to any programme.
  • Implement an EAP – it is good value for money and an easy way to provide support to people confidentially.
  • Use posters and leaflets rather than just emails to display your message.
  • Start with small activities and don’t do too much at once.

The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


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It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

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