Specialist recruitment organisation Robert Walters Group is preparing to launch a global employee wellbeing initiative for 4,000 staff, in order to improve individual wellbeing and encourage peers to support each other.
The #BreakTheCycle campaign has been created in response to Robert Walters Group’s recent research, The importance of mental health strategies in attracting top talent, published in January 2019, which found that 76% of UK employees feel uncomfortable discussing mental health in the workplace, with 82% citing anxiety over how they may be perceived by colleagues as a key barrier to open communication.
Stephen Edwards, chief marketing officer at Robert Walters Group, said: “We are in the business of helping [organisations] recruit and retain valued employees and so it only feels right to address this issue at home first.
“The onus is really on the employer to introduce initiatives that encourage wellbeing; this includes raising awareness of the role employees play in each other’s wellbeing and encouraging staff to connect with and check in on their fellow colleagues.”
The initiative, which will run for a year, challenges staff to #BreakTheCycle by doing something fun, active, meaningful and inclusive with colleagues, centred on the number 60; this could refer to 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 60km or 60 attempts, for example. The number 60 was chosen to reflect the statistic that 60 men die by suicide each hour.
To launch the campaign, cyclists the Hairy Handlebars will complete a 6,000-mile bike ride from Robert Walters Group’s London headquarters to its operating site in Tokyo, in aid of men’s health charity Movember. The Hairy Handlebars, whose cycle ride is being sponsored by Robert Walters Group, will depart from Covent Garden on Thursday 21 March 2019.
Edwards said: “The issue of male mental health and wellbeing has gone under the radar for far too long, and we want to remove any last stigma attached to this. Working with Movember and sponsoring the Hairy Handlebars is only the first step in us championing positive mental health in the workplace. We look forward to seeing the Hairy Handlebars stop off at some of our offices around the globe and showcasing what it means to #BreakTheCycle.”
George Cullen, one of the Hairy Handlebars, said: “The [organisation’s] commitment to giving back to local communities and investing in their own employees means they reflect the message we are trying to spread by cycling from London to Tokyo.
“Men’s health, particularly mental health, is something that is not addressed enough and the #BreakTheCycle campaign is an amazing initiative aimed at bringing people together to help each other out in the workplace.”