Heather Deering, Morson’s Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Partner discusses the importance of mental wellbeing

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James Kenealey

by James Kenealey on


  • Morson's Health, Wellbeing & Engagement Partner delivers thought-provoking talk at Northern Powerhouse event

  • The panel covered the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace

Our Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Partner, Heather Deering delivered a thought-provoking talk at the ‘Future Gazing: A 2020 Vision for Recruitment in the Northern Powerhouse’ event last week. We sat down with Heather to find out more about the event…

As 2020 approaches, Recruiter and expert speakers held an event to look at how the government’s strategy for the Northern Powerhouse is progressing in the context of the recruitment industry.

The event was sponsored by NatWest and examined the current economic state of play in the North, the region’s climate for job creation and vacancy filling, and trends being led by innovative recruitment businesses.

Heather’s panel covered the subject of the importance of mental wellbeing and gave an insight into what Morson do around health and wellbeing.

"For me personally, mental health was a priority on my agenda moving into this role. Why? It was identified as a priority by our employees in the consultation period. It's quite rightly very big on society's agenda at the moment and we already had some great foundations in place to build on."

​Morson recognises that any working environment has the potential to exacerbate mental illness and that many areas in which the company operates may have stress-inducing factors, such as rapid working pace, physical demands and delivery deadlines.

“Research shows repeatedly that outcomes are better for people who are employed. Work is good for us. However, any working environment has the potential to negatively impact mental health or exacerbate mental illness and there are many aspects of a lot of our jobs that have the potential to exacerbate stress – examples being long hours, rapid work paces, tight deadlines etc. Some of these things we can’t control – it is just part and parcel of a role. What we do have control over is our organisational culture, our management practices and the support mechanisms we provide.”

Morson launched MorFit three years ago and its wellbeing journey is well and truly underway. Although still early days, staff can enjoy not just the use of the company’s gym in the basement of its Manchester HQ, and fitness classes, but benefit from Morson’s new much broader and all-encompassing programme. To drive its health and wellbeing agenda and to build it into a long-term strategy, Morson appointed its first health, wellbeing and engagement partner, Heather. Talking about how she transitioned into the role, she said:

“I spent a lot of time researching how to devise a successful health and wellbeing strategy – looking at theory, best practice examples and case studies from other organisations. There are six key themes that I identified:

  • Visible buy-in and commitment from out board and senior leadership team
  • We needed it to be employee led
  • We needed to work with external bodies for those areas outside our expertise
  • We needed to find and utilise wellbeing champions within our business
  • We need to work with a message of empowerment, not dictation
  • We need it to be measurable."

Health and wellbeing has many factors to consider and whilst implementing a health and wellbeing programme into your business is something that we believe every company should have, it’s not something that can happen overnight:

“Heath is multi-faceted and there are so many different factors that feed into our health and wellness, and the dimensions don’t exist in isolation. We’ve been promoting the message that these things are all intertwined for a long time and we want to ensure that we’re supporting health and wellbeing in a holistic way.

The thing I keep reminding myself and the people I’m working with is that this is a marathon, not a sprint and it’s not just about quick fixes. Of course, there have been lots of easy things to implement, for example partnering with a local health food restaurant to get subsidised healthy lunches delivered each day along with providing a budget for our branches to buy fruit for the office. But they are only one small part of the picture.”

Heather shared a glimpse into the wellbeing strategy for autumn and winter along with what might lie ahead:

No topic should be taboo. So, I want to take what we’ve done around mental health to remove the stigma and apply it to other traditionally uncomfortable topics, so our autumn and winter campaign is focusing on just that. We put on two really successful events – BreastFest and the Testicle Festival, which were focused around male and female cancers. We partnered with specialist charities to come in and deliver informational talks. We’re also about to launch a big piece around menopause and menstruation, things that maybe make people squirm a bit but have such a big impact on our day to day lives and wellbeing.

The thing I keep reminding myself and the people I’m working with is that this is a marathon, not a sprint and it’s not just about quick fixes. Of course, there have been lots of easy things to implement, for example partnering with a local health food restaurant to get subsidised healthy lunches delivered each day along with providing a budget for our branches to buy fruit for the office. But they are only one small part of the picture.”

Find out more about our health and wellbeing initiative here. Alternatively, if you’re looking for your next opportunity with Morson, click here to search for jobs.

Cx Jobs

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