Initiative and Chamber member since 2013, Brady George, MD at Almeda Facilities believes we shouldn’t let tough economic times derail mental health progress.
The managing director of a Bristol-based facilities management company has called for increased openness about mental health in the workplace and a broader interpretation of the meaning of corporate social responsibility.
Brady George, managing director of Almeda Facilities, is concerned that in an increasingly tough economic climate some companies are overlooking their responsibility to their employees, not realising how much this can impact their business.
He said: “For many people corporate social responsibility is easy to deal with – it means giving your employees free fruit, right?
"Of course this is a good start, but corporate social responsibility is about much more. It’s about creating a culture that nurtures mental health as well as good physical health and it requires more than just box-ticking.
“With Brexit on the horizon, fluctuating interest rates and new regulations, it’s natural to worry about the facts and figures. But don’t forget who drives the success of your business – your staff.
Brady George is concerned that in an increasingly tough economic climate some companies are overlooking their responsibility to their employees.
“Start by creating a company mental health policy. This will show your staff that you take mental health seriously, outline standards of acceptable behaviour and ensure that everybody knows where to go for support within your business.”
In a recent study carried out by mental health charity Mind, 30 per cent of respondents disagreed with the statement: “I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed”, while 56 per cent of managers said they wanted to do more to improve staff wellbeing but lacked the guidance.
Mr George said: “Business leaders have a duty to educate both themselves and their staff about mental health and there are a variety of resources and training courses available through charities like Mind. By enrolling yourself and your employees on these courses you encourage a culture of openness.”
Companies that are failing to openly address the issue of mental health in the workplace, added Mr George, risk employees attending work when they are too ill to do so.
"[This could] potentially pose a health and safety risk in some industries – or, conversely, increase absence rates as employees are forced to take time off rather than discussing an issue."
Almeda have a mental health policy to support their staff. Their work also brings communities together, encouraging the promotion and discussion of new ideas and possibilities for the greater good.
At Almeda, they like to get out into the local community and give something back. They feel that it’s a great way of enabling staff to gain a deeper understanding of the communities they work alongside, as well as their associated challenges. They are only too pleased to roll up their sleeves and get stuck into projects that they, and Almeda as a whole, feel passionate about. They are also involved in a number of corportate social responsibility projects including Inner Flame, the Matthew Tree Project, LinkAge, Knowle West Media Centre, re:work and Funky Spaces.
COMPANY: Almeda Facilities
WHAT WE DO: Almeda offers leading facilities management for commercial, manufacturing, sports & heritage properties, ensuring sustainability, safety & compliance.
HISTORY: The Almeda story began in 1981. A family company then and a family company still, they started out as a Bristol electrical contractor. As they evolved, it became clear that their customers’ needs were changing and since 2007 have proudly provided comprehensive, wide-ranging and diverse facilities management services to both long-standing and new customers across all business sectors.