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Picture yourself walking for miles on end while carrying a heavy weight without getting any rest. In truth you wouldn’t manage to get too far, as naturally fatigue will soon start kicking in and your muscles would get worn down. We’re usually aware of our physical needs, yet it’s easy to forget that our minds work in the same way. We experience peak performance and have the best emotional wellbeing when we take care of both our mental and physical health.

At Hero Gaming we have created a holistic wellness programme built around our people’s needs and aimed at supporting employees in all aspects of their wellness. We’re conscious of the fact that it’s all a chain reaction and one element cannot improve without the other. We frequently monitor the pulse of our people through check-ins and our engagement tool CultureAmp, this way we can tailor our wellbeing initiatives to create the greatest positive impact and which are best suited for a specific point in time.

In this article, we’ll be going through 4 key elements of our Holistic Wellness Programme at Hero Gaming.

Encouraging More Physical Activity & Mindfulness

Being active is not only great for your physical health, but it has also been proven to improve one’s mental wellbeing by causing chemical changes in the brain which in turn improve one’s mood.

At Hero, we continuously focus on exploring new tools and initiatives aimed at targeting different groups of our diverse workforce to become more active. All our employees can benefit from a yearly Wellness Allowance that they can use on general wellbeing. From data we’ve collected over the past year we’ve found that many use it on their physical wellbeing such as on gym and class memberships, fitness gear, home gyms, and mindfulness apps. For those who need that extra encouragement, we also organise regular challenges and tournaments that encourage all heroes to be more active be it through walking or running challenges, football, paddle and table tennis.

To help our teams achieve their goals, both personally and professionally, we kicked off our Wellbeing Programme for 2022, by collaborating with Emma Hogg, Psychotherapist, and founder of The Life I Chose, to talk about how to create the goals and the mindset that will enable us to achieve the growth we want to accomplish. To build on this workshop, we launched a #feelgoodchallenge which was aimed at targeting different aspects of our people’s wellbeing including mental, physical, and emotional health. With our busy and sedentary lifestyles, we all need to make time for our bodies to be active and for our minds to disconnect so that we can truly rest and unwind.

Enhancing Social Connectedness

The various initiatives that are organised at Hero Gaming don’t only aim to support wellness but also target social connectedness. Good relationships help with building a sense of belonging and provide emotional support. Having a great support system at work boosts resilience when facing challenges and increases the ease and rate at which we bounce back from difficult situations. At Hero Gaming, we give a lot of importance of creating the right moments and experiences for people to connect not just on a professional level but also on a personal one.

Through team building activities, weekly get-togethers (traditionally called ‘Beer Fridays’), and regular events and workshops, we managed to create what many heroes like to call a ‘family-feel’. Last year’s company trip to Spain gave us a fantastic opportunity to share positive experiences together and to connect with each other on a deeper level.

Building relationships doesn’t just come from social events though. Different projects allow us to get to know new people and create new bonds. Moreover, leaders at Hero Gaming are committed to regular 1:1s with their team members where they take the opportunity to discuss not only work-related matters but also career goals, personal and professional development and offer them any support needed. We also support our leadership team with external 1:1 business coaching through our trusted coaches and training partners, which offers support on both a personal and professional level.

Offering Mental Health Support

Through our partnerships with Richmond Foundation in Malta and BlueCall in Sweden, our heroes based in different locations are provided with confidential therapy and emotional support sessions and are given the opportunity to talk to a therapist both in person or remote whenever they need that additional support. We also offer full support to our heroes who prefer to go directly to their own therapist, whom they would have already built a relationship with.

We understand that two of the stumbling blocks for people to seek help is the is social stigma around mental wellbeing and the financial aspect of it. Therefore by offering financial support and a confidential service, we aim to encourage more use of mental health support services.

Engaging in a Flexi-Model

For us at Hero Gaming, flexibility and a work-life blend has always been key even in a pre-pandemic world. We’re strong believers that presence does not mean performance, so by creating clear targets and objectives and having continuous communication, flexibility improves productivity rather than hinders it.

People need different types of flexibility and use it in a different ways. Some can’t work from home because of distractions and want to be always present at the office, others need to work from home in the afternoons on particular days. Some want to manage their day differently as they need to leave work to pick up the kids from school, others need to start their day later in the morning, take their dog out for a walk or hit the gym. In our fast paced and dynamic lifestyles, flexibility is no longer a luxury but has become a way of life.

At Hero, we also offer other family-friendly benefits, like extended maternity leave, paternity leave, and unpaid parental leave beyond the legal entitlement. Parents can request reduced hours too if they need more flexibility for a better work-life-blend. Is it also an option for our people to use their sick leave to take care of a child or dependant when they are unwell. Occasionally we also have little helpers visiting the office too! As employers, our responsibility is to offer a space where people can be productive without having to worry about their personal commitments. This is where flexibility and supportive benefits come into play.

Whilst booming sales and profitability are key aspects of any successful company, goals can be better achieved when people feel good, have clear minds and are able to focus on their tasks and build meaningful relationships with their colleagues! Monitoring your employees’ wellbeing, creating holistic wellness programmes and offering the right support is crucial to the success of any organisation and are also building blocks of a thriving culture.

At Hero Gaming, one of our 3 strategics pillars is People and we aim to support our business, by offering an employee experience, environment and culture which enables performance, collaboration, recognition and personal growth for all our Heroes.

Leona CassarSenior People Partner