CatSci is committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of our team. We are dedicated to supporting our employees in any way we can; we value people as an essential and precious resource, and their wellbeing is of utmost importance to us.
During the pandemic, many of us were isolated from friends and family, and even the interaction we’d usually have with colleagues was taken away. Due to this, we wanted to make a difference and start conversations with colleagues once again.
That was when CatSci introduced WellCat, an initiative to promote mental wellbeing. With virtual lunch time sessions, activities, events, speakers and more, WellCat enables colleagues to come together and connect, whether working from home, in the office or across the globe. Now that lockdown has finished, we have continued to run these sessions, and have many thriving activity groups that enable the team to bond over shared interests, such as a book club, fitness club, craft club and more.
We recognise that we spend a lot of time within the work environment, so it is imperative that we allow ourselves time to connect and engage with others.
We also run a weekly wellbeing survey to understand how our colleagues feel about working at CatSci, and how to improve our approach and ways of working. We operate an agile working policy, including flexible working options to allow employees to choose where and when they work best.
Another step we took to help our employees was to give a wellbeing bonus. This was a gift for the team to invest in their own wellbeing, and it was well-received by them. The results were wonderful to see, with members using it for garden upgrades, walking equipment, bikes, a surfboard, musical instruments and more.
We are pleased to be repeating the Wellbeing Bonus again this year. Our Mental Health First Aider, Julia Collier, advocates self-care being one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining good mental wellbeing. However, self-care for many can be a luxury, rather than priority. The Wellbeing Bonus is an opportunity for CatSci to enable their employees to move self-care back up the priority list. It is a small way we can give back to our team and encourage them to invest in their own wellbeing.
Julia is always available to have confidential discussions with our colleagues. Plus, employees are encouraged to utilise additional help that we offer, if they did not feel comfortable discussing some matters internally or needed further support. Talking is one of the most important things you can do, so we always encourage the importance of talking and opening up. Our Talent & Inclusion Manager, Seb York, runs frequent “Sharing Is Caring” sessions, where employees can share stories that might be inspirational or useful to others. Some people might want to open up about something important they have gone through, and some might want to show the different sides of them and share their passions. Whether people want to talk about important life events, how they dealt with difficulties, or succeeded in areas important to them, there is always a platform to share at CatSci, and everyone is invited to listen.
A testament to our commitment to our employees’ wellbeing, we were honoured to have won the Wales Business Awards’ Workplace Wellbeing Award in June 2022. This accolade reflects how passionate we are about all manners of our team’s wellbeing: staff welfare, mental health, individual and group support, and overall satisfaction.
Wellbeing is one of the main priorities for CatSci, and we will continue to support our colleagues in every aspect we can.