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Commerce and Industry

The Journal For Business to Business Marketing

Humber Business Week event seeks to redefine resilience 

Josh Connolly

Humber Business Week event seeks to redefine resilience whilst also considering the obligations employers have in respect of hidden disabilities and neurodiversity in the workplace 

Ed Jenneson

Employers from across the region are signing up for a Humber Business Week event which will look at redefining resilience both personally and within the workplace plus protecting people and organisations from the legal pitfalls arising from the Equality Act, with a special focus on the impact of neurodiversity in the workplace. 

Rollits, which has offices in Hull and York, has brought in Josh Connolly, one of the UK’s most influential mental health advocates, to speak at the Employment Workshop – Boosting Resilience in your Teams, which takes place in the Circle Restaurant at the MKM Stadium from 11am until 2pm on Tuesday 7 June.

Josh regularly features on BBC, ITV and Channel 5 news and also speaks at the House of Commons in order to contribute to government mental health policy. 

Ed Jenneson, head of Rollits’ employment team, said Josh was hand-picked for the event because of the impact of his work as a resilience coach. Josh runs  workshops and coaching clinics with a unique style and an incredible ability to engage his audience and invite them to think of new ideas in respect of resilience.

During lockdown, Rollits supported colleagues and clients with a series of online events which included social activities and input from HEY Mind. 

He said: “Put simply, this event is not to be missed. The demands of life and work have never been greater. Stress can result in absenteeism, burn out and staff turnover. Avoiding stress in modern life is impossible and therefore ways to manage stressful situations is increasingly important. 

“A survey by Mind highlights that 54 per cent of sick days are due to stress, depression or anxiety, 25 per cent of people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and 21 per cent of adults in the UK have had suicidal thoughts.

“We will look at the personal, business and legal issues around this. We’ll cover the steps that employers can take to mitigate against potential discrimination claims, in particular we will focus on the impact of hidden disabilities including Neurodiversity and provide guidance in respect of equality, adjustments and an employer’s duty to ask further questions around an employee’s health where appropriate.

“In respect of resilience, Josh will share his personal story and journey of self-discovery. Josh suffered a number of childhood traumas which have shown up later in his life. His raw honesty and ability to look inwards will leave the delegates with a new idea of resilience.

“This in turn can empower individuals and teams to discover their inner resilience, enabling them to become self-aware, connected and effective.”

Freya Cross, Head of Business and Corporate at The Deep and national chair of the Flexible Space Association, said the event organised by leading law firm Rollits LLP will help to drive further improvements in stress-busting techniques.

The Deep Business Centre houses more than 40 businesses who between them have over 200 employees, not all of whom were able to work from home. 

One of the steps Freya took was to appoint a mental health First Aider as a mental health champion, and they embarked on communicating key messages about Covid safety and on leading staff and client online birthday celebrations complete with video of The Deep’s penguins and organising regular visits to the site by the Business Centre’s wellbeing dog.

Freya said: “The absolute priority was to make sure clients were safe and we approached that with the realisation that not all the challenges people are facing will be visible. 

“We worked on simple steps to promote wellbeing and we shared those with colleagues nationwide as part of the Flexible Space Association. I’m looking forward to the Rollits event as another learning experience because the focus on health and wellbeing is here to stay.”

Alistair O’Sullivan, Managing Director of performance marketing agency Diony, said he hopes lessons learned from the session will help him sharpen his company’s offer in the fight to recruit new talent.

Alistair placed people at the heart of his company’s recent move to new premises, pursuing a strategy of making Diony an exceptional place to work in terms of its office and its culture.

He said: “As we grow our business and expand our team we want to be as attractive as we can in terms of our culture, beyond the salary to how we can help people in life.

“We offer people the opportunity to train in whatever interests them, we have wellbeing days every month and we are training up our first mental health First Aider. We have a brilliant retention rate but it really can be a challenge to get people here in the first place so we’re thinking outside the box about how we can pull in more talent and I’ll be looking at this event for ideas that can help us.”

Places are limited and booking is essential by Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/boosting-resilience-in-your-teams-including-equality-and-neurodiversity-tickets-277575725467 or by visiting the Humber Business Week website

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