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16 May 2018

BY Sophie Griffiths


Putting staff well-being front of mind

At last week’s annual Barclays Travel Forum, industry leaders were asked for their thoughts on issues affecting the sector, including how to maintain staff morale.

Sophie Griffiths Leader image

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, and mental health charity Mind says research shows work is the biggest cause of stress in people's lives

The succinct response of “just be nice” triggered titters from the audience. But the question was a timely one.

The happiness of staff is an issue increasingly under the spotlight. Mental health charity Mind says research shows work is the biggest cause of stress in people’s lives, and with the UK marking Mental Health Awareness week this week, employers across all industries are being urged to take note.

A report by Deloitte last year highlighted that one in six workers is likely to be suffering from a mental health condition. In the UK, where more than 31 million people are in work, this equates to more than five million workers each year. Mental health matters to all sectors, including travel.

It’s a subject of which Travel Counsellors is already well aware. The homeworking specialist has been hosting mindfulness workshops and counselling for several years. To mark Mental Health Awareness week, TTG speaks to its operations director, as well as a series of experts for suggestions on enhancing workplace wellbeing.

And industry employers should pay attention because, as entrepreneur John Hays demonstrates, keeping your team happy means keeping your business happy. On Monday, Hays Travel celebrated breaking through the £1 billion barrier – a success Hays has attributed to his staff. “What still motivates me after all this time are the people,” he tells TTG this week. So much so, Hays is rewarding every employee with £100 for every year with the firm.

Looking after your colleagues doesn’t have to be expensive, though. As Anni Hood, managing director of Well Business Solutions, pointed out at the Barclays Travel Forum: “A culture costs you nothing.” Perhaps this week is the impetus we all need to start looking at how we approach staff wellbeing.

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