Kent County Council ‘Our journey as a Mindful Employer’ (from December 2006) Elaine Mason Organisation & Employee Wellbeing & Performance email@example.com Sue Read Personnel Officer – Diversity
Our Strategy for Staff KCC is committed to raising the quality of life for all the people of Kent. We do this by providing customer-focused, efficient services and by continuously improving our performance. We set ourselves high standards and recognise that these will be achieved only through the passion, skill and motivation of our staff. We know we can only achieve this if we look after the health & wellbeing of our staff.
KCC’s objectives • Recruit and retain talented and able staff to provide the best services to the Kent community • Encourage and support the employment of disabled people within Kent
Our joined-up approach Working across roles to meet our objectives through: • KCC’s diversity team & employability agenda • Level Playing Field staff group • Work & Wellbeing – mental health, good people mgt • Personnel policy & practice • Staff Counselling, Occupational Health, Workplace Mediation services • Health & Safety – Managing stress at work • Learning & Development facilities • Kent Supported Employment • Partnerships – Jobcentre Plus, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Voluntary Sector
Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy • Refocus stress management policy applying HSE Management Standards as a framework for risk assessment • Flexible Working/WLB – hours and work base, buying/selling leave, carer leave • Fairness/Dignity at Work – Policy supported by ‘First Call’ • Promoting Mindful Employer charter & logo • Case management approach to sickness absence (retention & rehabilitation)
Mental Health & Wellbeing Services • Work Experience Placements for disabled people • Counselling, Workplace Mediation and RTW coaching pilot • Virtual Staff Club – Social activities accessible across the county at reduced costs • Help Fund – Loans or grants for staff in financial difficulty • Piloted Online programme - 24/7 support (stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression)
Services (continued) Kent Supported Employment • KSE have over 15 years experience, specialist knowledge and skills in the field of Supported Employment • There are 40 members of staff operating in 6 localities across Kent • Working with employers, voluntary organisations and training providers to enable equal access for disadvantaged people into employment • Job Role Customisation uses a person’s unique contributions and matches these to an employment setting
Managers’ views on KSE “You have responded giving 100% at all times, I am personally indebted for all your hard work and to other members of your team.” “With the support of KSE we were able to progress and move forward to a positive outcome. Help included dedicated support & advice, practical suggestions and funding, advice on training.”
Mental Health & WellbeingTraining & Development • Appraisal – adjustment conversation • Coaching framework – qualified internal coaches, coaching skills training for managers • Training – Managing Difficult Conversations Well • Work Placement for Disabled People & Guide for Managers • Training – Positive Management of Mental Health • Beyond Blue pilot for managers (KCC and SME’s) • Provide ‘Shift’ booklet on training events and online facility • Stress Management & Living Skills
What our staff say “It shows that returning to work is not as daunting as you might think and how accommodating the workplace can be regardless of your disability.” (‘day in the life’ – KCC) Sickness absence Return To Work quote “Being a member of Level Playing Field has given me so much confidence. It’s good to be part of something that’s making a real difference.” (co-chair LPF) “I now feel very positive and I know that without counselling I would have continued to think negatively about myself. My family and friends are delighted with how happy I am now.” (Support Line Counselling)
What our managers say “I feel better able to deal with members of staff and their problems.” (Positive Mgt of Mental Health) “I think this is a great scheme. The improvement in attendance & performance has had a positive impact on the whole team.” (RTW coaching pilot) “It was mutually beneficial and extremely rewarding to see someone lacking confidence in the workplace to open up within a supportive team.” (Day in the Life) “Discussing case studies and practising was very helpful in analysing both mine and their behaviour. I learnt a few things about myself.” (Managing Difficult Conversations Well)
What our data says Long term sickness absence around mental health, stress, anxiety is reducing although still the highest cause. Occupational Health referrals Mental health (including stress) 07/08 (32%) - 08/09 (29.3%) Increased manager confidence in all 13 areas including effectively managing people on a day to day basis. (Beyond Blue Pilot)
Current Challenges • Maintaining a culture of wellness in turbulent times • Maintaining and developing staff morale and engagement • Ensuring effective people management skills of all our managers • Building relationships with GP’s - ‘good work is good for you’ • Finding out what more we can do – researching need and best practice, listening to what staff say
Future Plans • Launching new Stress Management Policy • Gaining evidence for improved practice from research • Improving line manager skills and practice • Mindful Employer – Partnership working, sharing training & networking
Is our approach working ? • Feedback from Staff and Managers is positive • Working with good partners really helps • Retaining Two Ticks accreditation showing we are working to continually improve • Working to maintain the Mindful Employer charter – successful 2nd year review • Successful HSE Audit – recognised working to management standards Yes we are seeing the benefits, however, we know we have more to do to be a really effective Mindful Employer !