Time to Talk website

Fisher German is leading the way in supporting colleague wellbeing by building an integrated digital support programme.

Across our 26 offices, we have prioritised positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace for a number of years and have made significant investments in online resources since the start of the pandemic last year.

We’ve now gone a step further, launching a ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ initiative which offers all 600 colleagues the opportunity to focus on different aspects of their own personal and professional wellbeing each week.

This includes webinars and interactive workshops from experts covering topics including stress, financial wellbeing, coping with change and practical ways to look after wellbeing at home, as well as Q&A sessions with registered dietitian, Helen Bond.

Health and fitness have also been prioritised, with a monthly online yoga class with instructor Lydia Paris and team walking challenges to encourage people to take a break away from their desks to exercise while it’s light outside.

Colleagues have also been invited to sign up to a four-week programme, designed by Estelle Read at Beee, focused on personal and professional resilience – 1 in 10 colleagues from across the business have been taking part each week, either live or by watching the recorded sessions at a time to suit them.

We’re now preparing to mark Time to Talk day on 4 February, which encourages people to talk about mental health and is a key date in our wellbeing calendar after we pledged to become a Time to Change employer in 2019, tackling the stigma around mental health in the workplace and providing support to employees.

Colleagues will join a live speed, networking session to chat to each other online about anything from projects they are working on in the business to hobbies and how they are coping during the third lockdown.

HR director, Maria Hawley, said: “Promoting positive mental health and wellbeing has always been a key priority at Fisher German, but it’s clear that the third lockdown is taking its toll on people, so we want to do everything we can to support our colleagues, tackle burnout and bring variety to their workdays.

“While we’ve held support sessions throughout the pandemic, our Wellness Wednesday initiative demonstrates a commitment from our business leaders to put colleague wellbeing first, and give individuals the space and time each week to prioritise their needs. This could be through one of our online webinars or workshops or taking part in a team challenge which encourages everyone to get active.”

The Leadership Team at Fisher German has now made a commitment to continue injecting funds into a variety of wellbeing resources into the next financial year, and continue to hold monthly online yoga classes and workshops even when its offices are able to fully re-open.

Communications manager, Eleanor Saunders-Brant, added: “We’ve kept the agenda diverse to ensure there is something that will interest people right across the business and we have already received a lot of positive feedback. Of course, we would prefer to see colleagues able to participate in these events face to face, but the pandemic has forced us to be creative and many of our programmes are now more accessible as a result.”

This pioneering approach has been praised by the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP), an initiative funded by Midlands Engine which aims to help employers in the region to support the mental health of their workforce.

Caroline Geraghty, MHPP Project Manager, said: “Fisher German is a good example of an employer that’s committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its staff, and we would urge other businesses to look at the free resources we offer to help them do the same. The Centre for Mental Health has estimated that 8.5 million adults in England will need support for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders and other mental health difficulties following the Covid-19 pandemic, so there’s never been a more important time to invest in the mental health and wellbeing of employees.”