Ensuring we all feel well, healthy and happy at work and that everyone feels the difference is a top priority at Virgin Care.

Employees who feel that the employer cares about their overall health and wellbeing are more likely to be motivated, engaged and are less likely to leave. They also report suffering less anxiety, depression and stress, leading to less sick days and heightened productivity. 

We want to nurture a culture and environment where all colleagues feel supported through difficult times – both at home and at work – in the way that works best for our colleagues, who are located all across the country, sometimes in quite remote locations. So whether it’s through face-to-face conversations, workshops, our online wellbeing platform, or through our occupational health provider, we make a variety of support available to help our colleagues be their best. As someone famous once said, “If you look after your staff well, they will look after your customers. Simple.”

Read: What businesses can do to support the mental wellebing of employees, customers and communities

Virgin Unite, Better Chances, Virgin Care, Vikki

Here’s a summary of services we offer to our colleagues:

  1. Online Employee Assistance Programme portal offers self-help and guided support to manage all of life’s issues. The portal provides access to a broad range of fact-sheets, surveys, podcasts, a health risk assessment (HRA) tool, and links to additional services and resources.
  2. Employee Assistance Programme manager support guide explains how you can get support for your colleagues and yourself, a manager helpline and online support.
  3. Occupational Health Service helps people stay well, reduces work related ill health, supports colleagues with chronic conditions and facilitates an early and sustained return following absence. Interventions include physiotherapy, a workstation assessment and individualised equipment.
  4. MindCoach teaches how to use positive psychology to enhance better personal and professional environments. It is an interactive workshop about enhancing mental wellbeing and is available to everyone, no matter what level. We are weaving positive psychology into our leadership offering to ensure our leaders know how to best support colleagues mental health.
  5. MyWellness is our online health and lifestyle platform which gives people the opportunity to assess, improve and maintain their personal wellbeing in various areas including physical, mental and community health.
  6. Sickness and absence management e-learning enables managers to understand their responsibility when a colleague is off work due to sickness, the impact of sickness absence on the organisation and the triggers for monitoring and recording sickness absence.
Better Chances, Mental Health

As a health and social care provider, we know that taking care of mental health is vital:

  • 12.5 million days are lost every year in the UK because of work-related stress, depression and anxiety
  • The financial cost to UK business of mental ill-health is an estimated £26 billion per year – that’s equivalent to £1,035 for every employee. In some places it’s as high as £40 billion

As the Clinical Psychologist in our Learning Enterprise, I designed and lead our MindCoach programme. It is grounded in the science of Positive Psychology, the study of thoughts, feelings and behaviour with a focus on strengths, building a good life and taking the lives of all people up to “flourishing” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “average”.

Better Chances, Mental Health

MindCoach is an interactive workshop around enhancing your own mental wellbeing. It investigates ways of managing your positivity, energy and interactions in order to create better personal and professional environments around you. It teaches what it means to have a healthy mindset, boost resilience and cope with stressful situations.

Its aims are:

  • Gain a basic understanding of Positive Psychology,
  • Learn how to manage your own energy and positivity,
  • Understand different models of mindset,
  • Learn about the key aspects of resilience,
  • Know how to deal with stress when it arises,
  • Gain both knowledge and practical experience of the above

The impact of MindCoach so far has been great, with an average feedback rating of 9/10, high demand and extremely positive comments, such as “Mindcoach is the stand-out best intervention that I have ever been involved in as a genuine support to people.”

Better Chances, Mental Wellbeing

We’ve also begun working collaboratively with other companies to embed MindCoach into their wellbeing strategies, such as offering mental health support to Hurricane Irma survivors in the British Virgin Islands.

Due to the overwhelming feedback we’ve received from our MindCoach attendees, we have designed various packages to suit different needs of organisations both inside and outside the health and social care arena, because mental health affects everyone and we can all benefit from learning techniques to cope better with life’s ups and downs.