This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, developing resilience training schemes and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.
The Inner Temple launched a Staff Wellbeing Programme in 2016 to promote a mentally healthy workplace. A group of volunteers organised events, lectures and a newsletter and the Inn took part in Mind’s first “Workplace Wellbeing Index”.
The full report was received in April and is helping the Inn to focus its Wellbeing Programme on the main areas for improvement.
What was the business (other case) for action?
Following their Equality & Diversity training in Spring 2016, a member of staff suggested that the Inner Temple should work on fostering an open and supportive culture where people felt comfortable speaking about mental health issues.
After reading the Wellbeing at the Bar Report they recognised that several members of staff were under pressure at work which, if not dealt with, could turn into harmful stress.
The Inner Temple already provided an Employee Assistance Programme and Health Insurance but they felt that they could improve their proactive support.
A proposal was put to the Executive Committee and it was decided that, as a good employer, they should set up a Staff Wellbeing Programme to support staff. It was felt that a mentally healthy workforce would perform better and take less unnecessary sickness absence.
What did the Inn do?
Their first step was to ask for volunteers to join a focus group to help implement the wellbeing initiative. They then signed up to the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index in order to identify areas for improvement. They received the full report in April and are using their recommendations to improve their policies and procedures to support mental wellbeing.
In the meantime they have organised several wellbeing events for staff. These included short massage sessions to highlight National Stress Awareness Day, a Macmillan Cake Sale, seminars to promote our Employee Assistance Programme, and a Mindfulness Lecture. They have also started a quarterly staff wellbeing newsletter and have experimented with social media (sharepoint & yammer) to create a wellbeing hub and to set up staff groups – e.g. a lunchtime running club.
Mind will be delivering ‘Managing Mental Health at Work’ training to all managers and supervisors this year. Following this Inner Temple are planning to make Wellness Action Plans available for staff to complete if they wish.
What were the results?
The Staff Wellbeing Programme has been well received so far. More than anything, staff have welcomed the opportunity to interact with others outside their immediate circle.
It is very early days so they are unable to say whether there has been an impact on performance or sickness levels.
The Inner Temple achieved a Bronze Award in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index – this recognises that they have started the journey to better mental health at work by developing and implementing initiatives that promote positive mental health for staff. They received several specific recommendations from Mind including updating (or creating) some policies, focusing on awareness raising and anti-stigma activities, encouraging lived experience leadership, ensuring managers are adequately trained, and continuing to develop preventative measures and initiatives. They are currently working on an action plan to implement these suggestions.
“Inner Temple has embraced wellbeing both at the grass roots level and in top down leadership, introducing a range of wellbeing education events and activities for staff, as well as highlighting existing support via its EAP. Like others across the Bar, Inner has demonstrated its long-term commitment to this agenda by signing up to Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index enabling them to access support and resources, create action plans, and to measure their own performance over time and against others.”
Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group
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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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