Name: LSI Architects
Location: Norwich and London
Founded in: 2002
Tip: “Engage with other companies. There’s a great deal of knowledge and experience already out there.”
The Architects’ Journal’s Life in Practice report found that architects regularly struggle with heavy workloads and long hours. This leads to people burning out and having to take time off to recover. As a result, LSI Architects wanted to better support staff mental health and wellbeing.
“We wanted to avoid staff working longer hours and doing more for less, which can result in high staff turnover and poor health,” said Katrina Parson, HR manager at LSI Architects.
The company started working with mental health charity Mind. The external perspective enabled LSI to create a structure that could deliver real benefits to the team and business.
“We provided every member of our team with mental health and wellbeing training from Mind. The sessions included strategies and mechanisms to keep us all well and resilient. Attendance was optional, but 98 per cent of our team took part,” Katrina said.
All directors and senior management also attended Mind’s managerial training on emotional intelligence. These sessions helped them to recognise mental health signs and provide strategies to improve communication and build stronger relationships.
In addition to the training sessions, the firm has increased breakout spaces to encourage people to step away from their desks. Weekly yoga sessions aim to engage employees in physical activity.
LSI recently received gold accreditation in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index. In the company’s latest confidential workplace wellbeing survey, 95 per cent of employees said they felt that LSI supports their mental health. This figure is up from 53 per cent in 2016.
“By building a business that’s values-led, we buck the industry trend. In the last 12 months, LSI’s employee turnover has been at less than 10 per cent, which is significantly below the industry average,” said Katrina.
“Feedback we get from job applicants is that they want to work for LSI because of our approach to developing our people and our focus on employee wellbeing.”