Edinburgh-headquartered Apex Hotels is preparing for the possibility of picking up a prestigious award this month, for its pioneering mental health initiative.
The family-owned company, which has 10 hotels across the UK, has been announced as a finalist in the Workplace Wellbeing Initiative category of this year’s Caterer.com People Awards – which take place later this month – thanks to the incentive, which sees a renewed focus on employee mental health.
Borne out of partnerships with MHScot and SeeMe, the Apex initiative will go up against three others at the ceremony – with the winner revealed on 20th September at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.
Following a complex needs assessment alongside a SeeMe consultant – including in-depth analysis of the wellbeing support already in place for Apex employees, and of anonymous feedback from staff on their experiences working from the group – Apex has created a wellbeing initiative aimed at supporting mental health concerns and encouraging open communication amongst colleagues.
Spearheaded by mental health first aid training for key staff members, the flexible and adaptable approach also involves a combination of employee surveys, 1-2-1 support sessions and an Apex App with ready-made support information.
It is designed to be tailored to suit the needs of the staff at each of the 10 UK-wide properties as well as at the group’s Edinburgh headquarters.
Jennifer Mathieson, HR Officer at Apex Hotels, was instrumental in implementing the initiative along with colleagues.
She said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see our initiative shortlisted for an award at such a prestigious industry ceremony. The initial aim was to work towards engaging team members by creating an initiative to improve mental health wellbeing across the group.
“Thanks to consultations with MHScot and SeeMe, we now have a successful and robust wellbeing initiative in place. What started with a focus on Mental Health First Aid Training has grown to include physical and financial initiatives as well, which aim to be supported by a Wellbeing Budget and Policy.
“More than 40 Apex employees are now certified Mental Health First Aiders, and those trained continue to work on further ideas to constantly set the standard when it comes to wellbeing. And the 80 per cent of our workforce who have downloaded the app have instant access to wellness information at their fingertips.”
Robert Allan, HR Director at Apex Hotels, said: “Jennifer and the team have done an outstanding job on implementing the foundations of what has grown into an exceptionally successful wellbeing initiative.
“Hospitality is an industry that never stops working round the clock and, with these demands come various pressures. As a group we promote a culture of honesty and openness to ensure our employee wellbeing remains at the heart of all we do. We are a business centred on people, and it is of vital importance that we look after and support our staff, physically and emotionally.
“The team does face stiff competition on the night, but I am confident their efforts will be rewarded.”