Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach

14 May 2021

Mental health and wellbeing – at Payne Hicks Beach it is for life, not just for the pandemic

From the start of the pandemic Payne Hicks Beach has focused on ensuring its people are supported in terms of technology, effective working processes (some of which have by necessity been adapted) but also in terms of their well-being. In national mental health awareness week, the firm reflects on the last 15 months of its well-being programme.

“At the beginning of 2020, no-one could have predicted the mental challenges that a global pandemic would impose on us all. As a people-focused business, the partners recognised early on that the forced change to personal and working lives would place an increasing strain on individuals. The reduction of personal interaction within teams meant that the signals that might get easily picked up in an office environment would be much harder to detect over a video call,” said Janice Okuns, Head of HR.

Working with Poppy Jaman OBE and Jaan Madan of City Mental Health Alliance and Re-Balance, the firm designed and rolled out a programme tailored to the needs of all its people. The programme includes innovative weekly 15 minute sessions taking place on Tuesday mornings and Thursday lunchtimes. Deliberately designed as short sessions they combine physical and mental exercises and have been incredibly popular. 

These have been complemented with specific events to help provide the most relevant support as the impact of the pandemic has evolved - Upcoming sessions, for example, are focused on leaving lockdown and cover ‘How we set/re-set boundaries’ and ‘What the future holds’.  A Wellbeing hub on the firm’s intranet provides an easy single place for all staff to access a wide range of resources and videos, find help and support, and also enables booking for future well-being events.

“We have had great feedback about the programme and its content – and I along with a number of the partners have seen the real benefits. Whilst we start to frequent the office more in the coming months, the mix of office and home based working will continue and our well-being programme for our staff will continue to evolve as a result. It allows us to embrace greater flexibility for our people and deliver the best service for our clients,” added Robert Brodrick, Chair of the Management Board.

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