Posted: 23/06/2021

Boost your employees’ wellbeing to attract and retain the best staff


Thyme & Tides’ Iain Hemming looks at how the business is looking to improve its staff’s mental health and wellbeing

wellbeing

In the last two years, we’ve incredibly sadly lost two young and vulnerable people on our team who, shortly after leaving us, committed suicide. So we decided to look at what we can do for our staff while they are in our care. 

We’ve come up with five pillars to the way we approach looking after our team while they’re at Thyme & Tides. 

Two of us in the team – of around 12-15 people – have become mental health first-aiders. We are now armed and able to recognise changes within our team and have been trained on how to broach subjects and signpost to relevant services. 

Secondly, after six months’ employment, we are now offering full, top-level Bupa health cover (physical and mental) to all staff. This is funded 50% by us and 50% by the individual, but it works out at about £20-a-month per staff member. 

We’ve increased the length of breaks and the frequency, and we’ve also invested in a rest area so it’s a nice place to be – it’s no longer full of stock, there’s better lighting and air conditioning.

Gut health is also important to wellbeing, so we’re offering free salads, yoghurts, muesli, and the usual refreshments for staff breaks. 

And finally, from July we’re running a six-month net-profit bonus scheme for all members of staff. We want the staff to be invested in the business, and to invest in them.

We sat down with our team and told them that Thyme & Tides is all about them – they make the business – so we want them to be tip-top going forward. It’s about having a holistic approach to being a responsible employer and retailer.

I’m not looking for any plaudits here. I’m sharing this because everyone needs to look at how they approach the wellbeing of staff. Whether you’re an independent that’s had a good or a bad pandemic, we’re all still struggling to recruit and retain people.Making a change would be good for the health of the whole industry.

Read more on the food & drink industry’s staffing crisis in the July edition of Fine Food Digest, in print and online.


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