When I saw Dan Fish’s post sharing his new wellbeing initiative, onesies, I was intrigued. How could a onesie be part of a wellbeing strategy? Well leave it to Dan, and Invosys, to find a way to take wellbeing to the next level with this initiative, and to weave it into the other wonderful ways they are supporting the wellbeing of their people.
In this blog I’ve asked Dan some questions about wellbeing at Invosys, a company that weaves innovation into their business solutions, and as you’ll see, into their wellbeing strategy and programmes.
Why is wellbeing important at your company?
Dan: Wellbeing has always been a big part of the Invosys philosophy from day one, as our CEO Rob has always said that it’s a foundation of what we are built on - if you want a successful business,it starts with all our employees. To me it’s like an ecosystem, if staff are well looked after and respected by management, in return we should have happy, healthy, engaged and motivated staff who are not just employees, but invested within the company. Everyone knowing and working towards our ‘why’, our mission.
What is your wellbeing strategy?
Dan: The big focus areas of our wellbeing strategy are mental health, financial health, physical health and learning, which is about removing barriers for people to broaden their horizons. We equally focus on all of these, with initiatives supporting each of them in different ways.
What wellbeing initiatives have you been doing?
Dan: We do try and keep our initiatives fresh by not following trends - we like our people to be wowed. Here are a few of them:
Financial wellbeing – We partner with a financial advisor to offer sessions to our employees to help them understand and manage their finances at different stages of their life.
Health insurance - We selected a health insurance provider that has a proactive approach to health, offering health incentives to encourage employees to lead healthy lives. The more healthy activities you do, the more rewards you get.
Personal interest allowance – Each employee is entitled to a grant of £400 each year to learn or develop a skill that may or may not be related to work. We do ask our employees to contribute 30% so that they are invested into it. Lots of people have subsidised driving lessons with this, learnt different languages and some more left field activities including circus skills and pole dancing classes.
Virtual drinks and team beer/gin/wine tasting - In the summer, we enjoyed zoom drinks on a Friday at 4:30, which became a great way to talk about the week while drinking our favourite beverages. Since the further lockdowns have come into place, we’ve moved to more of a team focus with virtual drink tasting sessions done either in teams, or who’s birthday it is in that month, and have gone down really well.
Mental health first aiders - At Invosys we previously invested in training a number of mental health first aiders. But because now more than ever it’s important that people are not just aware of mental health, but can also see the signs of when any of our team are struggling and try to help, we’ve just invested in more training for another five members of staff.
Some extras - During the first lockdown, we offered an Amazon incentive to all staff - the choice of a Tablet, Firestick or Smart Speaker along with subscriptions to Amazon Prime (which includes Amazon Prime Video) Amazon Music and Audible (audio books) We wanted to do something to try and alleviate lockdown boredom so that our staff could relax or learn when they weren’t working, and it went down really well.
And the onesie, why did you decide to send out onesies?
Dan: We were trying to come up with a way to make lockdown 3.0 a bit more bearable for our people, and we thought that a onesie would compliment our Amazon offering. What could be better than snuggling up in your cosy onesie after your work day and watching a good movie or listening to a good book? It also shows our employees that we care about them even if we don’t see them every day, and in fact, some wear them during the day as we’ve seen on team calls.
Have you done anything that hasn’t exactly worked to plan?
Dan: During lockdown 1.0 we had a focus on daily exercise and we learned that you “can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” I think the big lesson here is that as a company we can offer all of these wellbeing programmes and initiatives, but that we shouldn’t try and force people into doing something they don’t want to do - they are there for people to use as they choose. The key is choice and not forcing anything as this can have the opposite effect to actual wellbeing - there is no one size fits all solution.
I have also learned that if something works, it's not going to work forever. For example, Friday drinks were a novelty that people really enjoyed at first, but numbers dwindled and it felt like it was becoming a chore for people. So if something stops working or stops having the desired effect, we shouldn’t be afraid to make a change.
Thanks Dan for sharing your story, and for you and James Kilby for having such an innovative and meaningful approach to wellbeing. Keep the ideas and onesies coming!