eCompliance, a cutting-edge safety software company in the heart of Toronto, is home to a team of mighty Safety Nerds, as we like to call ourselves. Being a highly collaborative bunch, working from home during this pandemic has been quite a shift. Our senior leadership team decided to take a proactive approach and put our mental health first with a range of initiatives and activities to help keep us going through these challenging times.
To help you keep a positive outlook, we have decided to share some of the things we have been doing, which have not only helped us persevere, but have brought us closer than ever.
1. Talk More – Constant Communication
Open and regular communication is key. Not only does this give senior leadership a chance to provide the team with the latest updates, but it also creates a platform to induce a sense of calm and assurance that we will come out of this pandemic stronger.
Firstly, company-wide weekly virtual meetings have become the norm. During these virtual sessions, Adrian Bartha, the Founder and President of eCompliance, shares important insights from the EHS industry and words of wisdom which keep us motivated. This is also a chance for all team leads to share their members’ efforts and accomplishments throughout the week. As we come together during these meetings, we are not only given an opportunity to see each other virtually, but we also get the chance to celebrate each other’s achievements.
Secondly, individual team meetings and daily touchpoints have become part of our regular routine. This helps bring teams together and keeps us in constant contact, elevating our mood and keeping our bond strong. During these sessions we have the chance to check in with one another on current and upcoming projects, in addition to discussing various plans of action.
Finally, the CEO of Alcumus, eCompliance’s parent company, communicates to the entire team in the UK and Canada through weekly video messages. In these messages, we get an expanded company wide view of how all our sister companies have been performing in the market, as well as highlights of what’s to come.
By keeping the channels of communication open, being completely transparent, and staying strong throughout this experience, our leaders have induced a sense of calm and reduced levels of anxiety and fear. This has done wonders for our mental health, keeping us reassured and optimistic.
2. Go Inward – Mindfulness and Positive Mental Health Initiatives
Being mindful and grateful has been another key factor in boosting the team’s mental health. Through a mindfulness session, a positive mental health webinar, and daily moments of gratitude, we have been able to de-stress and reduce our levels of anxiety.
Reza Zohouri, a Business Development Representative on our sales team, led a mindfulness meditation session which was both educational and practical. During this insightful session, Reza explained what mindfulness is and what it is not, in addition to scientific evidence around the benefits of the practice. The group then engaged in a 30-minute guided meditation, facilitated by Reza, which allowed the team to focus on the present, alleviating our sense of stress.
“Mental health implies a sense of stability and peace. In a fast-paced world, including a pandemic, maintaining a stable and peaceful mind can be challenging. Practicing mindfulness through meditation, for example, helps create space in our consciousness which helps us become present with whatever feelings, thoughts, and beliefs may not be serving our well-being. By identifying what is not serving our well-being, we can let go and reconnect on the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs which do serve our well-being with greater attention; thus, strengthening the stability and peace of our mental health,” says Reza.
Basmah Sidi, People’s Success Manager, will also be hosting a positive mental health webinar where the team can come together to learn about best practices involved in maintaining an optimistic outlook during this time. “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” says Basmah. “This live webinar will offer a platform to discuss the importance of mental health and share our experience and coping tools that help keep a positive, emotional wellbeing especially during these unprecedented times.”
Practicing gratitude is another technique which the marketing team has been using to stay positive. At the end of every daily touchpoint, each team member says one thing they are grateful for which helps us focus on the things we do have, rather than what we don’t. Having an attitude of gratitude helps us start the day with a positive outlook and allows us to look at the bigger picture, as we count the blessings in our lives.
3. Eat well – Nutrition Information Session
As it is extremely easy to start developing unhealthy eating habits while working from home, management at eCompliance has also made the effort to bring in a nutritionist for a virtual information session. Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Jason Madden, joined the team for a 45-minute session to explain how what you eat impacts how you feel, both physically and mentally.
The team learned how the stress hormone, cortisol, affects the body, and what to do to lower it. This includes several things from an efficient amount of sleep to certain changes in diet, like reducing caffeine and alcohol intake. With Jason’s guidance, we have not only been able to balance our bodies and minds, but we now have the tools to feel more energized and healthier.
Basmah Sidi, who played a large role in introducing Jason to the team, had this to say about why nutrition plays such a big part in mental health: “Understanding which type of foods are healthy versus foods we should avoid, helps boost our energy and increases our focus. A nutritious meal does not only benefit our physical wellbeing but our mental wellbeing as well. Part of maintaining positive mental health is giving our mind the right amount of nutrients for a balanced, emotional wellbeing. These include omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins, and tryptophan; all found in foods that are part of a healthy diet.”
4. Stay Connected – Social Events
Connection is a core human need and staying socially connected helps boost positive mental health. Our Social Committee has done a tremendous job providing a platform for team members to come together to relax and socialize in what they lovingly call “Virtual Happy Hour”, every Friday afternoon.
During these 30-minute sessions, all are welcome to join in some fun and laughter as we play a game of The Price is Right, Jeopardy, and most recently, charades. With the team encouraged to blow off some steam with an engaging activity, we leave feeling happier and more optimistic.
“Creating a workplace culture that values mental health is always a top priority for eCompliance and this has become even more important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilitating a weekly Virtual Happy Hour and planning activities and challenges each week helps keep employees feeling engaged and connected to one another. Plus, everyone gets to take a break and have a good laugh!” says Lizzy Rothschild, a key member of the Social Committee and Training Specialist on our Customer Success team.
What’s more is this highly creative crew is helping organize a virtual company talent show, where team members can show off their unique abilities. There is no limit to the fun and creativity the Social Committee has in store, to keep us entertained throughout our time apart.
The Bottom Line…
As we are collectively going through this defining experience, coming together in these innovative ways and placing importance on our mental wellbeing, is what is truly keeping us going each day. This pandemic has strengthened all of us here at eCompliance and made us more like family, as we continue to do all we can to support each other during these unprecedented times.
Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, once said, “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, and great companies are improved by them.” We are honored and proud to say that eCompliance is one of these great companies which has become stronger and closer than ever before in the midst of COVID-19.