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Leading contract caterer Elior UK keeps mental health on the agenda with new initiatives to support employees

As a leading contract caterer, Elior UK, continues to remove the taboo of mental health in the workplace with new initiatives designed to boost and maintain employees’ confidence and resilience.
One in four adults in the UK will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime(1) and nine out of ten people with mental health problems report they experience stigma(2). As a large employer with different departments spanning finance, sales and marketing, HR, learning and development and of course culinary services, Elior continues to remove this stigma by opening up the topic of mental health in a new employee communications campaign, group training programme and its charity partnership with Heads Together.
Wendy Elliott, senior learning & development business partner, Elior UK said: “As a society, we can no longer tolerate the view that mental health is a weakness. As an employer, it’s our job to make sure our employees feel they are listened to, supported and cared for, so they can cope with challenges both in and out of work.”
“Our continued initiatives are making this a possibility, for instance our ‘oktosay’ campaign has encouraged employees from all sides of the business to share their own stories and normalise the subject of mental health.”
Elior’s newest mental health initiatives include...
‘Shine’ and ‘Resilience’ programmes
Created by a third-party developer for Elior’s Head Office employees, these bespoke sessions equip employees with the resources to work through professional and personal challenges, boosting contentment, resilience and confidence in and out of the workplace. They were born out of feedback from employees’ annual performance reviews and an internal survey around how management can best support personal development. Offered in a group session format, the programmes guide employees in a series of exercises to encourage open-minded, positive thinking.
‘Oktosay’ internal communications campaign
Launched for World Mental Health Day 2018, the ‘Oktosay’ internal communications campaign provides a platform for any Elior employee to share their own stories of mental health, making the topic more freely spoken about within the business. It’s proved a great success, receiving positive feedback from employees across the business.
Heads Together charity partnership
Since 2017, Elior has partnered with mental health charity Heads Together. Set up by The Royal Foundation, the charity combines a national public awareness-raising campaign to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health with a series of innovative programmes to make sure that people are able to access help when they need it most.
Not only has the partnership encouraged a wider conversation on mental health within Elior, employees have found creative ways to raise money for the charity. To date, nearly £40,000 has been raised by book clubs, cake bakes, themed days, marathon running and more that ultimately brought employees closer together.