By Kate Langton, chief people officer, Phoebus
Could you give a brief overview of the company you work at, such as the nature of the business and how many employees?
Phoebus provides market leading banking technology solutions that streamline processes and communications for more than 25 leading banks and lenders, servicing more than £97bn assets under management. Phoebus was founded in 1989 and has seen tremendous growth over the last 33 years. We currently employ 132 people.
How does Phoebus prevent or support any employees with burnout? What employee benefits does it offer for this?
At Phoebus we take employee wellbeing extremely seriously, our company purpose is to CARE for people and we demonstrate this through our flexible benefits package. CARE is an acronym for Culture and engagement, Attract and retain, Reward and recognise, Employee growth.
We strive to prevent sickness and potential burnout through our health & wellbeing benefits and have several in place. This includes private medical insurance and a wellbeing choice benefit of £350 per annum to support wellbeing to suit individual colleagues. All colleagues have access to an Employee Assistance Program which is free for colleagues, and their family, 24/7 to support physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
Free personal training sessions are provided on site each week and there is a Friday football club with opportunities to discuss fitness and wellbeing. The office has a games room so colleagues can take an active break from work and unwind. It is kitted out with a pool table, darts and table tennis, and is where our personal training sessions are held in colder months.
We have eight professionally trained Mental Health First Aiders in place to support our colleagues and we provide a working environment that encourages everyone to feel comfortable to talk about mental health and health issues so we can proactively provide support. We even provided on site neck and shoulder massages prior to the Christmas break and had such great feedback that we will continue with this in 2023!
We also monitor and try to ensure that holiday entitlement is used regularly for wellbeing and we have a holiday purchase scheme where colleagues can buy or sell days.
How does it spot the signs of burnout in employees and what does it do to counter this, while managing productivity?
There are several aspects that we encourage to support this. We actively encourage our colleagues to talk about personal triggers and how peers or managers can recognise these, and we have a Wellbeing Action Plan template and guidelines to support this.
We have daily meetings which provide an opportunity to check on the wellbeing of people within teams. Although we have a hybrid working option we keep in contact with colleagues and encourage working from the office to provide support if it is needed. We have professional support available but also qualified colleagues that can provide direct support as required.
As a business we recognise that prevention is far more desirable and we have found that offering a supportive environment ensures that recovery time is reduced and productivity is less impacted. We therefore have a very low sickness absence rate across the organisation.
Why should other employers support their staff with this issue, why is it important?
Employers have a duty of care to their employees but it’s not just about box ticking. If you look after your employees and provide an open and trusting culture you will have a happier, more engaged and productive workforce.
Mental health affects many of us and it is an issue that we all need to take seriously. Many firms have trained first aiders to assist with illness or injuries suffered in the workplace, so why not include mental health first aiders too? Being able to identify when someone is not feeling okay or just knowing they can speak to someone confidentially within the company can be a huge benefit to them. Dealing with issues early on can mean improved mental health, less burnout and fewer days off.
Positive retention levels of colleagues and stable client delivery and service is achieved through reduced sickness absence, which is good for everyone – the individual, their family and friends, their colleagues and clients as well as the firm they work for.