10th October 2020

As an operator and employer in a 24/7, 365 days a year industry, we have a duty of care to our teams as well as a strong belief in the paramount importance of having an open forum on mental health.

While navigating a business through a global pandemic, it has never been more apparent that transparent communication and a commitment to the health and wellbeing of our people need to be a priority.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Day today, we wanted to shine a light on the initiatives we’ve rolled out this year to support our talented team working across the RBH portfolio. These are in addition to existing activities and beliefs we uphold to look after our people and effectively handle mental health concerns in the workplace.

Back in April, we launched a weekly Management Committee call where all our colleagues, furloughed or not, could join the call for a business update and to ask questions. To complement these structured weekly calls, our heads of departments kept in regular, less formal contact with their teams – and still do.

Encouraging virtual social activities has also been part of our strategy to keep our people engaged with the business and each other, examples include a Virtual Friday Pub Quiz and regularly using Microsoft Teams for calls, instant messenger chats and sharing online quizzes and brain teasers.

We have also encouraged our teams to use our learning and development portal during lockdown, to continue to build and broaden their skills and, again, to foster a crucial sense of engagement with the business and with colleagues.

These measures have added to our ongoing dedication to mental health awareness and action, such as our Tree of Life health and wellbeing programme which all hotels and offices commit to, and our efforts to inject industry-leading flexibility for our people to promote a good work/life balance.

We recently announced the promotion of Susan Bland to Managing Director at RBH and as a fellow advocate for a positive attitude towards mental health in the workplace, I know she’ll be a driving force in implementing our ongoing initiatives.

During these uncertain times, looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our teams is just as important as looking after the health of the business and the sector in general.