As our teams and presence grows worldwide, in the United Kingdom, Valor Hospitality Partners has been working hard to set a precedent with a unique wellbeing policy which looks out for all.
As we all know, the hospitality industry can be pretty hectic at times, and our team members’ happiness is one of our top priorities. However, figures show that there are people in the sector, from all walks of life, who struggle with their mental health which is why we wanted to create a solid wellbeing policy to make sure our people felt supported.
A 2017 UK government report found that almost three-quarters (74%) of employees working in hotels feel stressed, and over a quarter (26%) suffer from poor mental health. Despite that, it found that 40% of those people still come into work.
Although a huge amount of progress has been made educating people across society about mental health, there is still a stigma surrounding it. Indeed, this was the view of 70% of respondents in that same government study.
At Valor, we reviewed our absence stats and identified that the causes of absence weren’t always physical and for those suffering with mental health problems, we wanted to ensure that we were fulfilling our obligation to look after our people. We knew that we needed the infrastructure in place to create a workplace that champions positive mental health, encourages openness and is supportive when issues arise.
We began by creating a health and wellbeing policy outlining our commitment to supporting improvements in health management within the business. The policy states that we will ensure that all work practices, the environment and culture will enhance and protect the health and wellbeing of employees.
Real action and change is what we needed, so we began by training wellbeing champions in each of our hotels so that the team knew they could speak to if they needed help or advice.
We have also rolled out mental health first aid training, with at least one team member qualified to a national standard in each of our 17 UK hotels. The training helps people to spot signs of mental health problems and provide appropriate guidance for individuals where it is needed.
“Wellness Wednesdays” was introduced in each hotel. Once a week we provide a focus on different wellbeing topics or activities from nutrition and financial advice, to physical exercise challenges and mental health coping strategies. We’ve got walking clubs, yoga, crafts, head massage, ‘waist watchers’, salary finance, health assessments, and running clubs. Mixing the mental with the physical, we know how to get our jog on or just get zen when we need to.
Elsewhere, we’re supporting campaigns to help employees give up smoking, encouraging local community involvement and introducing other suggestions made by our team.
Little by little, we’re smashing down the barrier for those who may be scared to speak about mental health and creating a more inclusive and happier workplace.
Tell Us: Has your hotel implemented wellness policies that cater to mental health? If so, let us know what your property is doing to create a happy workplace!