Mind Matters: Mental Health in the Workplace
It is often said, because it is true, that Insurance is a people industry. Whilst the role of technology is increasingly important, the future of our industry, and therefore the success of the Tasker Insurance Group, is still very dependent upon people, the people within our business, our clients and our trading partners.
So, for me, a key focus when I joined the business was unsurprisingly on its people. Not just the technical capabilities of the team, although this is clearly very important, more than that, I was keen to understand how people felt about working here. Did they feel supported within their roles? Did they understand the relevance of their roles and what they did each day individually and collectively?
Or, in short, did they feel they had some purpose? Did they feel valued? The culture of an organisation has an enormous impact on how people feel and how people feel is a key determinant of how they behave and perform.
I found that as a business we were extremely siloed, different companies within the same Group running as separate businesses. Across the three locations of our business, Dartford, London and Manchester, there was little to no togetherness. We were missing an opportunity. We needed to change this, we needed to change the culture, we needed to bring everyone closer together and to create a sense of common purpose.
So, in June of this year, we had our inaugural Annual Conference. It was a chance to get everyone together, for us to share our vision and strategic plan for the Group, a chance to discuss the immediate burning issues and priorities for the year ahead.
It was also though a chance for us to go beyond the barriers of our own business, to think beyond our own wants and needs. We decided to challenge ourselves on our corporate social responsibility (CSR), something we didn’t want to over-look any more.
It turns out that CSR is important to most people, they value the chance to work together, to use their collective skills and influence for a worthy cause, beyond the priorities and objectives within the business plan. So, at our conference, all 80 or so members of the team that were there had the chance to vote for our chosen CSR Partner from these four categories:
- Mental Health
- Children and Young People
- Elderly People
- Medical Research.
And with over 86% of the total votes, Mind were comfortably chosen as the charity that we wanted to work with for the next 12 months, and for good reason.
Mind are the leading mental health charity in the UK. They offer services, such as the Mind Infoline, information and advice services and they campaign tirelessly to ensure that those who experience a mental health problem get both the support and respect they deserve and need.
Mental health has really come to the fore in recent times, through the open support given by Prince William and Prince Harry and the increasing awareness being provided off the platform of elite sport, public sentiment is changing, and mental health is quite rightly gaining significant public support, meaning it’s losing its social stigma.
It is no surprise that the team at Tasker Insurance appreciate the real sense of purpose that comes from supporting Mind and in turn therefore, as an organisation, we will do everything we can to support our staff whilst they undertake fun activities to raise money for them.
Almost two months on and our CSR team have made great headway. Conscious that many initiatives like this fail to deliver, they have been fantastic in their response since the conference. Through a combination of group events and team events, keeping the balance between one united team and a little healthy competition, they have a clear plan to raise as much money as possible for Mind over the course of the year.
To me, it is a privilege to be able to provide the platform for people to work together for such a worthy cause. It creates real positive energy within each office and across the Group. It brings people together and helps us to keep a sense of perspective within the corporate world we work in.
For the next 12 months, at the Tasker Insurance Group, we are proud to be working in aid of Mind, for better mental health.
Some key facts about Mental Health:
- 16 million people in the UK are currently living with a mental health problem
- The average wait time for young people to receive effective treatment is 10 years
- Only 6% of the UK health research spending goes on mental health.