Swindon Mindful Employers Network
MINDFUL EMPLOYER® was developed by employers in Exeter and launched in 2004. Initially intended as a purely local initiative, it has since developed throughout the UK and has been launched abroad. MINDFUL EMPLOYER has been recommended as good practice by the UK government and other national organisations.
The Swindon Mindful Employers Network is supported by many organisations including the UK College of Personal Development.
Mental health and wellbeing is now a hot topic in the local business community, thanks to the growing demand and reputation of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network. Even with challenging news on the economy in recent months, organisers behind the network are still seeing an increase in attendance at their events – concluding that mental health and well-being remains a top priority for Swindon firms..
Our own Melanie Richens who is the independent volunteer Chair of the growing network feels that the issues of wellbeing and the association with business performance is catching the attention of many employers in the town. “I am constantly surprised by the interest in this initiative. We used to get over 100 delegates at our annual conferences – now it is not uncommon to get that number at our regular meetings. It seems to me that regardless of which way the economy is heading – mental health and wellbeing policies are becoming entrenched in the management culture of very many employers locally. This is great news for employees, business success and the positive reputation of the town moving forward.”
The network has produced some memorable events and awareness sessions since its formation in February 2008. Topics involving managing stress, resilience, bereavement, asperger syndrome, employee engagement and absenteeism are among the many issues addressed at regular free meetings – which affords the opportunity for local businesses of various sectors and sizes to share experience and best practice. With generous support, the network meets at top class venues such as the Swindon Marriott, Jurys Inn Swindon and Nationwide House and is now viewed as one of the largest active business groups in Swindon.
David Latham, who manages the local initiative, believes the reputation and profile of the network is expanding as regular attendees recommend the group to their colleagues and business contacts.“Quite a variety of people from different backgrounds and skills are attracted by the sessions we stage. These include managers and business owners, HR and occupational health professionals, decision-makers and local influencers.”
While consulting employers actively involved in the initiative, the project team are planning some exciting themed events over the next few years which they believe will appeal to both regular participants and potential new attendees from Swindon business.“This has been a story of success – but we are not the sort of people to rest on our laurels” says Melanie.
The Swindon Mindful Employer Network is aimed at increasing mental health and wellbeing at work and is free to representatives of local employers in the Swindon area. Attendance is targeted at employers only and booking is essential for all our events.
A suggestion was made by Tony Nutley The MD of the UK College of Personal Development, that key conferences and guest speaker really ought to be recorded so that delegates could re-visit the materiel at a later date. So, after a few conversations it was decided to do just that, the first recordings were made during the Swindon Mindful Employer Network Conference 2017 “Leadership – Resilience – Wellbeing” which took place on the 9th October 2017.
These recordings are NOT BBC broadcast quality, but are good enough watch and get all the key points.
Geoff McDonald presentation followed by an interview/Q&A with Cormac MacMahon.
Geoff speaks with brutal honesty about his work-related depression whilst at Unilever – a taboo subject in even the most progressive organisations – and reveals how he is challenging the culture of silence around mental illness. Geoff’s background in HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is impeccable. During his 25 years with Unilever (with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global, working across Africa, Middle-East, Turkey, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organisation change, capability development with particular reference to marketing and business transformation with purpose at its core. Today, Geoff is a much sought-after speaker, inspiring and provoking organisations to put purpose at the centre of everything they do and to challenge the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.
This recording is not BBC broadcast quality, Geoff move about a bit and did not stay on the stage, that said – is a very though provoking and personal delivery.
Geoff McDonald – Life on Purpose