The Doyle Collection's Bristol hotel has signed the Time to Change employer pledge, committing to address the stigma around mental health in the workplace.
Pat King, chief executive of the Doyle Collection, and Mark Payne, general manager of the Bristol, signed the pledge in front of staff in the hotel's ballroom, promising that the hotel will raise awareness of mental health in the workplace.
To demonstrate its commitment, prior to signing the pledge, the 187-bedroom hotel appointed six wellbeing champions who organised monthly team activities, including a wellbeing lunch, and helped upskill team members and leaders in matters of wellbeing and leadership soft skills. Six employees also completed a two-day mental health first aid course.
The champions have also introduced ongoing activities to maintain the focus on mental health throughout the year; for example, a ‘time to talk' day in February, a mental health week in May, a wellbeing festival for the month of June and a belonging day to celebrate diversity and inclusion in August.
Other initiatives include length of service days (additional days off work for those who have worked for the company for over a year), an Employee Assistance Programme (allowing staff to speak to an external provider confidentially if the need arises), and a step forward day (an annual day's paid leave to enable employees to give a day's work to a charity or good cause of their choice).
Payne said: "Working in the hotel industry is great fun, but it can also be tough as we are often working long hours, under a great deal of pressure, late into the evenings and at weekends when most people are with friends or family. Therefore, it is very important to us as a company that we do all we can to support every employee's physical and mental health, which is why I am proud to have signed the Time to Change pledge."
King added: "I am extremely impressed by the positive steps that the Bristol has taken to further support team wellbeing over the last year and I am therefore delighted to add my signature to the Time to Change pledge."
Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change, said: "We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone's attitude makes a difference and it's fantastic to see organisations like the Bristol taking the lead."
Time to Change is a campaign affiliated to mental health charity Mind and more than 1,000 businesses in the UK have signed its employer pledge. Other hospitality businesses that have signed up to the pledge include PizzaExpress, Greggs, contract caterers SSP and Compass Group, Soho House and six Marriott hotels.