McPin’s Senior Operations Manager Clare talks about the power of focussing on the potential positives and what this week looks like for our team.
This week is International Happiness at Work week. Given everything that is currently happening in the world, it seems a strange week to try and talk about happiness at all, but ‘awareness weeks’, however cliched, can open up an opportunity to focus on something potentially positive and beneficial, and that has to be a good thing.
A few years ago, when I joined McPin, I started the highly enjoyable custom of gifting something to the team during this week every year.
The first year it was journals, the next an extra day off (it was 2020 and everyone was at their Covid lockdown limit), and the next it was chocolate. Stay tuned to the end of the blog to find out what it will be this year…:)
An unexpected bank holiday. At McPin we recognise that the team all have different views on how they wish to spend this day, so we have given everyone the option of taking the leave on Monday 19th, or on another day within the next two weeks. I, like many others, will have to take the day off for childcare reasons, but I will be keeping an eye on my emails to check that the team that are working are supported.
One of my personal goals for the coming months is to improve McPin’s support for those going through the menopause. Vanessa, our Research Director, highlighted the Menopause Workplace Pledge as a good place to declare our intentions. I am a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words, and am aware of how signing pledges can be seen as the ‘action’ in itself, with no more work or learning to be done. So, on Tuesday I will be signing the pledge on behalf of McPin, and also booking to attend a conference on supporting menopause on the workplace in October so I can learn how to put practical steps in place that will truly help the team.
On Wednesday it is our monthly team meeting, held hybridly (is that a word? I think it must be by now) so everyone who is working can attend from wherever they are. These meetings allow us to refresh the sense of community that was somewhat lost by the move to working remotely. We use these times to come together to learn and share information about our current projects, seeking input and collaboration from our colleagues. Vitally, they also remind us why we do what we do, why we all committed to McPin’s mission and why Mental Health Research Matters.
This is typically my day in the office, where my wonderful team and I can see each other face-to-face and collaborate on ways to improve wellbeing and happiness at McPin. This Thursday we will be reorganising our annual Wellbeing Day, which unfortunately had to be postponed due to the volume of people currently in London. We hope to do this in October – a day to meet, chat and spend time with our colleagues whilst enjoying a break from emails and meetings. I will also be labelling up and tending to the 20+ plants that will have commuted in with me…
…Yes, plants! A gift for 2022 that hopefully symbolises growth, development and life. Plants also require action to survive and thrive – words alone will not keep a plant alive. Tending plants can provide a boost in mood and a reduction in stress levels according to the RHS, and I am hoping that the fabulous team at McPin will get as much pleasure out of these plants as I had choosing them.
By Friday this awareness week will be drawing to a close, but it is our intention at McPin to continue the pursuit of employee happiness all year round. For more ideas on how to do this, please see my blog about ways to improve wellbeing at work.