Mental Health Awareness Week: Creating a psychologically safe and supportive culture for our team

How do you get the best out of a team of creatives and marketeers? For us, we support their mental health and well-being. Behind the scenes, we’ve been working hard to create a psychologically safe environment for our employees, with great outcomes. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to share our story.

Mental health: An industry issue? 

In 2022 NABS, a charity supporting the well-being of creative, marketing and media professionals, reported a 128% YoY rise in mental health related calls to their support lines – with 28% of their calls now pertaining to mental health. Following on from this, YouGov reviewed their data, and found that, of those working in creative and marketing roles, only 39% felt mentally healthy and 30% emotionally healthy.

A few years earlier in 2018, Ulster University studied individuals working in the creative industries in Northern Ireland, and found they were three times more likely to suffer from mental ill-health than the general population. And there have been countless studies about the correlation between those working in creative roles, such as a writers, and higher levels of mood disorders.

These figures offer interesting insights. From a pre-disposition to mental ill-health in creatives, to the demands of working in a fast-paced and at times, demanding environment, the importance of mental health within marketing cannot be ignored. And it’s a challenge facing agencies industry wide.

Being mental health aware  

As an organistion we strive to be mental health aware, and inclusive. Operationally we’ve put lots of things in place to support our team, which is particularly important as we work across different time zones. Between workload calls and team meetings, a concerted effort is made to ‘check in’ with each other and ask how we’re doing before getting down to business. A culture fostered by Helen and Jo, as a team we’re always looking out for and supporting each other – making it a great and unique place to work.

We also offer each member of staff a monthly well-being allowance which they can spend on their health and well-being. This could be a gym membership, a fitness class or a spa day; whatever is needed to recharge and recuperate.

Working with MOAI 

MOAI has been a fundamental tool in the development of our workplace well-being strategy. Founded by a team of clinical psychologists, the platform predicts, prevents and supports the treatment of common mental health conditions. Our team is periodically invited to complete a survey to assess their well being. These results are then analysed by the MOAI team against a raft of NICE, World Health Organisation and ISO guidelines. This is presented to us in a report, outlining any risk factors and highlighting where improvements can be made. This provides us with valuable insights we can act upon to make meaningful changes for our team.  

The platform also offers confidential support. Everyone within our team can book a triage call with a clinical professional at MOAI if they are struggling with their mental health and well-being. From here they are signposted to the most appropriate intervention, including services offered by MOAI.  

What did our latest survey tell us? 

In our latest survey we received fantastic results, reflecting the work we’d put into our well-being strategy. It highlighted that:

– Our team believe Coterie is a great place to work

– They feel supported

– And they feel empowered in their roles

And we were incredibly proud to see a shared compassion and culture highlighted in our latest report.

Along with lots of positive feedback, previous reports have offered learnings and opportunities for growth. We’ve implemented additional communications, implemented workload calls and acknowledged team wide challenges, such as sleep, through workshops.

Dr Oliver Shipston-Sharman, Chief Platform Officer at MOIA adds, “The team at Coterie is incredibly progressive and forward thinking in its approach to mental health. Driven from the top. they are incredibly engaged, constantly looking at ways – without ego – to improve.

As business leaders it takes a level of bravery to reflect, be open and to acknowledge problems. The result for Coterie is a highly engaged culture where it’s OK for team members to hold up their hand, say they are struggling and ask for support.

It’s a real pleasure to work with them.”

Officially a great place to work 

We want Coterie to be a great place to work for our team, and great team to work with for our clients.  

That’s why we are absolutely beyond excited that our positive workplace culture has been recognised by The Times in their list of Best Places to work for 2024. This prestigious award focuses on one metric, and one metric only; the happiness of employees. Why does that matter? Because we know that when we get this right, we’re able to deliver our best work and drive results for our clients. 

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