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by wrich

This week, two Chester business owners have come together in the creation of a brand-new role designed to put staff wellbeing at the forefront of the company’s priorities. Mike Dunn, owner of  Excel TM and Jennifer Hodgson, Founder of MODA PR – based in Chester and London have  teamed up in a new role in house at Excel TM named “Head of People & Culture”: 

Typically a HR derived role, the duo wanted to turn this on its heads & bring then role into the post  covid era – redefining the description & really homing in on what the staff members at Excel really  needed to do their jobs well, be productive and predominately stay on top of their mental health &  wellbeing. 

Mike Dunn – Founder of Excel TM, Jennifer Hodgson – Founder of MODA PR  Photo Credit: Chris Randles, Digital Exposure

The two business owners started their   journey around a similar time – during the first lockdown so both share an understanding of what effects the last  eighteen months have done to the normal  working culture. 

Jennifer, who was previous praised for letting her staff from wherever they  wanted in the world stated – “The world of work has changed  significantly since the covid 19 pandemic.  We have adapted to new ways of working  and our lifestyle has changed. We have  also never before realised how significant  taking care of our mental health is. From  taking the leap to employee to Managing  Director and overseeing staff in a high  pressured environment – this comes with great responsibility and now more than  ever we need to be prioritising our staff’s  wellbeing. This is why when the  discussion of collaborating on such  pivotal role came up – we jumped at the  chance. Mike has continually shown how  he goes above & beyond for his staff and  to see his growth has been phenomenal – we’re very proud to be working with Excel  TM on the next step of their journey” 

In the role MODA PR – typically an external agency will be coming in house working with the staff  towards company goals, offering a safe space for confidential discussion & assisting with the  public growth and media relations of the company. 

Mike stated – 

As someone who has suffered with mental health in the past and struggled to speak up, I find it  more important than ever for our staff to feel like they have a voice. This is one of our key roles at  Excel TM Group. By implementing this role we have learned & understood that different members  of the team have different needs both in and outside of work. From listening and understanding we  have implemented a number of policies including – 

  • 1-month full paternity pay for men
  • Paid counselling by the company to support staff
  • Work from home days
  • The excel wellbeing package – £30 a month in vouchers to support the team on whatever they want.

If the last eighteen months has taught us anything it is that we should listen to what our team want  and need. We shouldn’t assume that our traditional ways of working are always going to be  successful – we need to learn & adapt. Spending time with your team is one of the greatest  investments we can make.