For a long time, I’ve been pretty confident talking about my mental health. To many I meet, most will never know the extent to which it affects me. But over the course of my life and career, whilst normally kept in check through constant exercise and knowing when to consult medical professionals, I have been able to ride through the troughs.
Mental health is complex though, and no one person is ever going to be the same as the other. Stigma, fear of weakness or just different coping mechanisms is what leads me to believe, it is about putting tangible things in place to enable breathing space for those who may not be at their best, rather than a one size fits all approach.
As the old saying goes ‘Time is the most valuable thing a person can spend’. That’s why I believe the ability to know you have time when you need it the most is so important to our people. Particularly in this fast-paced world we all live in.
At Aspectus we have people who have joined as fresh-faced grads and now sit on the exec board. Our PR Week 30 Under 30 alumna is packed with brilliant people and our ranks are bursting with young, bright integrated marketing pros we really want to stay.
We understand that as our people’s careers grow at Aspectus, their life, circumstances and personal fulfilment needs changes as well.
We have celebrated engagements, marriages, seen people go travelling and come back, popped corks for house purchases, graduations, births and watched children grow.
At the same time, we’ve also been through hard times with our people, watching them say goodbye to loved ones and go through medical complications. Indeed, I lost my own mum after a year-long battle with cancer, just three weeks before my second child was born.
It was during this period, of trips back to Zimbabwe to capture last moments with her and during that strange period of grief, combined with the joy of birth that I came to truly believe time and support are sometimes more valuable than any paycheque or bonus.
I’m so proud to be part of an organisation that last month evolved its benefits program to incorporate a support package that will help all of our Aspectee’s journeys, across all our international locations during their time with us. We built it and launched it because we want to commit ourselves to our people and the challenges life throws at them and for them to know it’s OK to take time to focus on what’s most important because if you are happy at home, you thrive at work.
While it will always evolve, our Aspectus Life Benefits and Support now gives all our global staff, alongside an array of best-in-class parental leave, health insurance, holiday allowance, pension plans:
- A day off for big life events such as engagements, civil partnerships and weddings, graduation, house purchases and rental moves
- 12 hours of volunteering time each year, sabbaticals after five years’ service and support for further education
- We are also providing paid time off to all involved partners for miscarriage and fertility treatment
- When it comes to bereavement, we know it is never an open and shut case. That is why we promise six weeks paid leave, to be taken in any way they want (all at once or split over a number of years) – to ensure they have the time to grieve
- Mental Health Awareness training for every Aspectee on an ongoing basis
We are looking forward to continuing to evolve this as we grow, and our people grow. Because above all else, we want to be in their corner just as they are always in ours.