Mental Health Awareness Week
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we sat down with Miles Tilley, People & Culture Manager to find out more about how Wise supports employees mental wellbeing.
What is your role at Wise?
As the People & Culture Manager at Wise, I have touch points across the whole employee lifecycle – from an employee’s first day to their last. It’s my responsibility to ensure that Wise fosters a positive working environment and that our policies and procedures are aligned with this.
What mental wellbeing support is available to Wise employees?
At Wise, we appreciate that a person’s physical and mental health can impact each other, and so we’ve taken a holistic approach to supporting employees with both.
A crucial part of someone maintaining their mental health is ensuring that they can get enough rest. At Wise, we offer an enhanced annual leave package, plus employees get additional time off between Christmas and New Year’s, and they also get their birthday off. We also promote a flexible working policy so people can flex their working hours, giving them more freedom to balance their work and home lives.
On top of this, we also provide all employees with 24/7 access to a private GP service, which their partners and children can also have access to. Through this service, employees also get access to eight mental health sessions with a trained therapist per year without the need for a referral from a GP. Employees can access the service through an app on their phone, and it’s completely confidential.
Through our Private Medical insurance, as well as mental health support, employees are rewarded for creating healthier habits and getting exercise.
On top of this, employees also have access to financial benefits, such as financial advice and support and life assurance and income protection cover giving employees some financial peace of mind.
Why is it important for Wise to be able to provide these services to its employees?
We recognise that, as an employer, we have a duty of care to our people and want them to live happy, healthy, and well-balanced lives. We will do what we can to support this.
Offering the benefits that we do not only helps give employees peace of mind but also sends a message to our employees that their health is valued and that seeking support is encouraged.
I regularly encourage discussion around mental health and have tried to lead by example by talking about my own mental health struggles and how I’ve made use of the benefits we offer too.
What is Wise doing to ensure its wellbeing services remain of top quality?
The biggest thing has been promoting the benefits internally and making sure that they’re aligned with our onboarding processes so that people know how to maximise their use of them.
We’ve also signed up for Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index so that we can identify the areas in which we’re doing well and where we can make improvements – we’re eagerly awaiting our output report so that we can get into action.
Do you have any tips for Wise employees struggling with their mental wellbeing?
From my own personal experience, the biggest improvement came from talking about it. It might sound cliche, and I appreciate first-hand how it can be really difficult to break that silence at first, but I started with the people that were closest to me and that I trusted the most. It takes a huge weight off your shoulders.
It can also be difficult to seek professional help, but I’d recommend looking at what resources are available to you and how these can support you.
There are some easy ways you can also promote daily positive mental health routines, like making lists when you’re feeling overwhelmed, practising breathing techniques when you’re feeling anxious, or just making sure you get rest if you’re feeling low.
The most important thing is to always remember that you’re not alone and not to struggle in silence.