It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from 15th to 21st May, so our Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jess Luce-Rackham, has written about how Your Own Place strives to prioritise team wellbeing and to embed values-led team support.
We embed our values into everything we do. From induction through to workshop delivery to partner relationships, our values of empathy and equity guide our work.
As the lead on the People Workstream, the question I continue to ask is: what else can we do to support the team to thrive?
We start at the beginning. From induction, we embed our values-led culture, including: time to build strong colleague relationships, a culture of trust (taking breaks, managing calendar, managing working hours), value-led meetings and person-centred support.
Throughout our work days and work weeks, we identify ways that we can make work enjoyable, engaging and supportive. Some examples at Your Own Place include: flexible working times, flexible working locations, birthday day off, TOIL, increases in holiday entitlement for long service, scheduled team time for relationship building, internal training sessions, opportunities to grow new skills and take more project ownership.
After reading about Mind’s Wellness Action Plans, I was impressed with its proactive approach to discussing wellbeing and reasonable workplace adjustments, rather than questions being asked reactively.
However, I knew this decision wasn’t mine alone. I wanted to hear opinions from the team, understand their buy-in to the approach and ensure Your Own Place’s values were echoed through any new tool implementation. I started by co-producing Your Own Place’s Wellness Plans with two team members, alongside working with Your Own Place’s Advisory Board. Our Advisory Board is made up of people with lived experience of housing challenges, and they’ve all been involved with Your Own Place workshops or services. They offer invaluable insights and keep us from getting too insular, from using too much jargon, and continue to keep us accountable and equitable.
We’re now rolling our wellness plans for everyone in the Your Own Place team – with positive feedback so far.
What did the Your Own Place Advisory Board have to say?
“It was good to be able to have a look at the existing plan and then use our lived experience to be able to think about which things could benefit from being slightly changed and which bits would be fine to stay the same from own opinion and be able to have comment on something that would be used within Your Own Place- felt productive to do something that would eventually be used. For me that meant that when Jess fed back to us about how our input had been integrated it was nice to see the benefit and also hear that it is being used and has been taken on board and received well. Felt very joined up between YOP and YOPAB and was able to see the impact that us commenting and sharing had” YOPAB member one (Leah)
“The inclusion was fuego. Really nice to see how it will be implemented and how I’m hopeful that it would benefit YOP. Real improvement from the original WAP, if I do say so myself” YOPAB member two (Beau)
Bringing together a progressive approach to policy, team input, and Advisory Board feedback forms a robust and constantly evolving approach to wellbeing and mental health. Everything begins and ends with our values — including our approach to internal team support.