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  • Terry Edmunds

TtCW, Pledged Employer Case Study

Espanaro is a engineering consultancy and service delivery partner based in the UK, specialising in systems engineering, software engineering, and systems integration within the Defence sector. Our dedicated team, currently consisting of 10 fully remote employees.

Why did you sign the pledge?

The core of our company comprises individuals with military backgrounds, with a significant portion of our workforce currently composed of veterans and reservists. Given their distinctive experiences during active duty, prioritising mental health has been ingrained in our values from the companies inception.

Acknowledging the specific difficulties presented by remote work, we recognise that our employees encounter unique obstacles related to working from home, including blurred boundaries between work and personal life and the potential for isolation. Considering this awareness, we are committed to proactively tackling these challenges by prioritising mental health and overall well-being an important focus of concern.

How will you promote mental health awareness in your organisation?

At Esparano, we believe that fostering a supportive and healthy work environment is not just a priority but a fundamental aspect of our company culture.

Our foremost objective was to heighten awareness and diminish the stigma associated with mental health within the company. We encourage open conversations about mental health through an environment that fosters trust and approachability. To facilitate confidential discussions that may impact employees' work, we have appointed a dedicated HR personnel as the initial point of contact.

Esparano is committed to ensuring easily accessible mental health support for all employees. Through strategic partnerships with national mental health organisations and the implementation of an Employee Assistance Program, we offer confidential therapy conducted by a third-party therapist (Richard S Moore), this is provided via video calls and group sessions. Employees can conveniently and confidentially book these sessions through a dedicated link provided by the therapist. Recognising the importance of extending support beyond the workplace, these sessions are now available to direct family members of all employees. Our onboard therapist employs a holistic approach, incorporating techniques such as meditation, breathwork, and sound healing, to name a few.

To foster a sense of community and address specific concerns, we have scheduled a monthly group session on the last Friday of every month with the therapist. This session focuses on various topics, with particular emphasis on stress, anxiety, and depression. Not only does it provide an opportunity for team building, but it also creates an open and supportive environment for individuals to discuss their experiences.

Despite working remotely, we try our utmost to foster a sense of community and connection among our employees. We also use our Quarterly physical meetings as team-building activities to encourage social interactions and create a supportive network.

Understanding the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, we have implemented flexible work policies. Employees are encouraged to take regular breaks, manage their schedules according to their needs, and practice self-care. Additionally, we emphasise the importance of disconnecting from work after hours to prevent burnout and maintain overall well-being.

What are the long-term actions you will put in place to enable a positive mental wellbeing environment?

Going forward, we anticipate a significant expansion, necessitating a robust recruitment initiative. We have already developed an induction plan, reinforced by a CEO-signed commitment to employee wellbeing, supported by the TtCW pledge. This commitment underscores our dedication to fostering a healthy work environment. As an integral component of the induction plan, we aim to instil a mindset among new recruits that prioritises mental health right from the beginning.

We have embarked on leveraging social media platforms to share our company's initiatives in support of this cause. Our aim is to generate awareness, spark conversations, and encourage other organisations to join us in prioritising mental health and working towards destigmatising it.

In the future, we aspire to actively collaborate with businesses, sharing our success stories to encourage them to prioritise mental health. We believe that our organisation can inspire businesses to recognise the significant positive impact that focusing on mental health can have on overall productivity.

We will regularly gather employee feedback through surveys and anonymous channels to assess the effectiveness of our initiatives. Based on these insights, we will continuously refine and improve our strategies to better meet the evolving needs of our remote workforce.

By prioritising mental health and destigmatising discussions around it, we aim to create a workplace where every employee feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive both personally and professionally.

#TtCW Campaigning to #EndStigma around #MentalHealth in Wales.



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