Among the channel’s CEOs leading the charge on employee wellbeing is Six Degrees chief exec Simon Crawley-Trice who seeks every way possible to ensure the wellness of his people.
Six Degrees has responded positively to the wellbeing needs of its employees and proved that it is possible to nurture physical and mental wellness while succeeding in business at the same time. In fact, the company’s health strategy underpins its expansion plans. “Our people are our best investment,” stated Crawley-Trice. “Six Degrees aspires to be the UK’s number one supplier of secure technology services and we can’t do that without all of our people working effectively together – so we need to protect them.”
Health and welfare has been a big focus of Six Degrees for a number of years, particularly helping employees to think about their wellbeing, to talk about it and to take positive action. The business has an employee group called Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives which drives wellness initiatives across the organisation. These range from Tough Mudder weekends and Step Challenges to the provision of regular Lunch and Learn sessions. “We’re appreciating more and more the link between our physical and mental health,” stated Crawley-Trice. “In early 2019 we trained a number of our people as Mental Health First Aiders who now voluntarily undertake the additional role of supporting our team members in times of need, and guide them towards appropriate support. These volunteers also act as a signpost for information and resources for the wider Six Degrees team.”
Mindful that one size does not fit all Six Degrees offers a monthly timetable of classes and webinars ranging from pilates and HIIT classes to financial wellbeing webinars. “Last month the executive team and I led wellbeing walks throughout London, encouraging our team members to take a much-needed break from the screen, get some steps in, while ensuring that colleagues who joined during lockdown have a chance to meet other people in a social setting,” said Crawley-Trice.
Six Degrees has a diverse workforce so its approach to wellbeing must be adaptable and flexible enough to incorporate as many methods of engaging employees as possible – including webinars, lunch and learns, newsletters and videos. “You name it, we’ve tried it,” added Crawley-Trice. “The activities that have been most successful, however, were those that were initiated by employees themselves. It’s been rewarding for us to create a space where people can work on themselves, bond, and in many instances help others.”
Six Degrees is going through a phase of transformation which can be difficult for some people, but the company is not seeing an increase in health issues, just the opposite. “We’re seeing more people engaging with the information and support that’s available and proactively using them to build their resilience,” added Crawley-Trice. “As we gear up for the next phase of our growth it’s been fantastic to see people better preparing themselves and supporting our ability to grow.”
For Crawley-Trice it’s a sure sign of success that Six Degrees’ Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives group is led and run by employees for employees. “Our people are engaging with each other, sharing their knowledge and experiences and having a good time while doing it,” he commented. “We’re more able to talk about physical and mental wellbeing as an organisation which proves that people are thinking about these important matters differently.”