2020 & 2021 have been hard on most, if not all, of us. And no less so for the thousands of workers who were maintaining the extensive rail networks throughout, enabling the general public to perform their essential duties. Network Rail and South Western Railway not only acknowledge these pressures but are actively seeking ways to support their colleagues’ well-being.
Introducing Colleague Support Pods
This week they have launched an innovative project to understand how their colleagues’ days are going and provide support to those that need it. The solution is designed to understand when things are fine, whilst also providing alerts when colleagues start to struggle – empowering those individuals to reach out for independent professional support.
Hear from the team themselves to understand more about the project: https://nrwessex.co.uk/files/SupportPodsLaunchVideo.mp4
James Collinson, Director at ViewPoint champions the project “This project represents a really innovative, and clever, use of the ViewPoint employee feedback system. Not only is it a simple way to share mood, but also for employees to reach out for support. It epitomises a genuine desire from these organisations to close the loop on employee feedback – this solution goes way beyond ticking boxes to facilitate very real actions; that have the potential to be life-changing.”
Putting colleagues in control
This innovative project puts the employee at the heart of the solution, ensuring they feel in control through necessary information and clear guidance about what will happen next. All details collated are confidential, held securely, accessible only to those that need to know. The secure dashboard provides leadership teams with an overview of current feelings which they can use to guide workplace improvement initiatives.
ViewPoint features utilised
Live Alerts – know when employees are struggling and need support.
This feature is central to the solution for NR & SWR as they facilitate connecting the employee with the right support. When an employee requests support, an email is sent directly to the appropriate organisation, complete with contact details for the employee. That organisation can then make contact and start providing guidance and support as required.
Smiley face Survey – a simple starting question “How is your day going”
This question with the accompanying ViewPoint smiley faces provides an easy way for users to represent their current feeling; before further questions gently ease out the necessary details.
Branding – Attention-grabbing whilst conveying support messages
The kiosk branding also provides signposting for immediate support by way of telephone numbers or email address so that the employee can make instant contact if they desire.
Delivering feedback across the network
ViewPoint have been working with Network Rail to help them capture feedback for 4 years. Initially, a simple ‘how are the facilities’ question in restrooms, a light touch solution for passengers travelling through Kings Cross station to report their view about the cleanliness of the facilities. Projects have since grown, to cover more stations and utilising more machines – most recently supporting national teams ask about passengers’ overall experience whilst using station network-wide.
This latest project utilises the feedback solution to listen to colleagues rather than passengers. Over the past 18 months many have had to dig deep to help keep the country moving, and Network Rail in collaboration with South Western Railway, recognise the effects this may have on their colleagues. The Colleague Support Pod project arose to grant real-time support to employees if they need it, by connecting them with trained mental health and wellbeing professionals who can offer tailored and personal support.
At times life can get on top of us, be it work-related or financial, relationships, or health, managing these hurdles as we get on with our busy lives can be a struggle. More and more employers are becoming aware of the impact these issues have on their workplaces, and of their responsibility to provide support. ViewPoint solutions can help employers manage their responsibilities in a reliable and actionable way, whilst providing a clear picture of how their own workforce are feeling.