Ubisoft UK celebrates Level Up Partnership & Commitment to WellbeingPosted: 25 Jul 2023
Celebrating our commitment to wellbeing and our partnership with Safe In Our World as a member of their Level Up Mental Health Campaign
Since 2018, Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington have been running a wellbeing programme based on the four pillars of Safety, Awareness, Prevention and Support. During this time, we have sought to raise awareness of mental health at work, and the factors that contribute to our mental health at work, and we made a commitment to provide wellbeing support to our team members as outlined in a new Health and Wellbeing Policy. After that time, we continued to put many other initiatives in place, and we took part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index in 2020 to receive valuable feedback to help us continue to build on our programme. One of the recommendations we were given was to make an external commitment to supporting mental health.
In September 2022, Ubisoft joined Safe In Our World’s Level Up Campaign to show a commitment to supporting wellbeing, and to unite with other industry employers to raise awareness of mental health across the industry. Our two studios, Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington, have been working with Safe In Our World to further our wellbeing programme, share best practice and raise awareness across the UK games industry.
Some examples of what we have achieved since joining Safe In Our World include:
Launching in-house mental health training
One of our team members has trained to become a licensed Mental Health First Aid Instructor through MHFA England and has trained 50 team members and managers in our studios since September 2022, as well as training 10 members of the Ubisoft CRC team. This training is ongoing and will continue this year. Additionally, our MHFA instructor also became a Mindfulness Champion through Breathworks and has delivered internal mindfulness sessions as well as creating and delivering a Managing Anxiety session for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023.
Recruiting 20 new Wellbeing Champions to provide support
We had an existing Wellbeing Champions team before joining the Level Up campaign, but we ran another recruitment campaign in January 2023 and doubled our team from 19 to 38 Wellbeing Champions, representing all job families and levels of seniority across our studios and roughly 10% of our total studio population. We feel 10% is a standard that allows for flexibility of choice in who our team members can speak to about their mental health and other wellbeing related issues.
Offering further training to develop our Wellbeing Champions
All of our Wellbeing Champions have had Mental Health First Aid training, however since joining Safe In Our World, we have also offered them Workplace Sleep Ambassador training through The Sleep Charity, Neurodiversity and Mental Health training through Expand the Circle, and Loss and Bereavement Training through the Cruse Bereavement Charity. This allows our Champions the chance to further their knowledge and skills in supporting wellbeing and specialise in certain wellbeing topics which they may have more personal interest in promoting.
Expanding our private medical insurance to include gender dysphoria cover
We support our trans employees and have expanded our medical coverage to include gender dysphoria – this cover includes diagnosis, mental health appointments and endocrinology consultations. Our insurance policy already included a virtual GP service, physiotherapy service, fast track consultations with specialists, psychiatric cover and a Stronger Minds mental health therapy option and there is an option to add dependents if desired.
Sharing more 50 personal stories and articles from our Wellbeing Champions
Our Wellbeing Champions have written and shared more than 50 articles, many of them including personal sharing, on topics including financial stress, bereavement and grief, maternal mental health, alcohol harm, suicide prevention and many more.
Organising more than 20 wellbeing events, both virtually and on site
We ran physical health checkpoint sessions for our team members to receive individual lifestyle advice from a nurse practitioner, we also had a range of social events on site with our Wellbeing Champions and 17 webinars on topics like Suicide Prevention, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Social Anxiety and more.
Expanding our financial wellbeing offer
We launched a new flexible pay app, Openwage, to help our team cover short term costs, as well as hosting several workshops on financial topics, offering free lunches and expanding breakfast options and continuing our one-to-one pension meetings with financial advisors.
Taking part in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index 2023
We took part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index again, launching the employee survey on Time to Talk Day in February 2023. We are pleased to have received a Gold Award from Mind and two of our Wellbeing Champion Leads jointly won the Wellbeing Champion award in Mind’s Employee Recognition Awards. We received some valuable feedback that will continue to work through over the coming year.
Launching a wellbeing room on each site
Both of our locations now have a wellbeing room. Our wellbeing and sensory room at Reflections studio is designed with neuro-inclusion in mind with a rocking chair, adjustable lights and sounds, scent pots, fidget toys and many other items that can be used for stimulation or relaxation. Our wellbeing room in Leamington is in progress and will be updated soon.
Sharing best practice in the industry
We took part in a Level Up Podcast to talk about our Sleep Ambassadors programme, delivered a talk on Supporting Wellbeing in Game Development at the Ukie hub crawl event in Newcastle upon Tyne, and joined a Safe In Our World panel for stress awareness month in April 2023. We also shared a stress risk assessment template and contributed to an article that month to raise awareness of managing stress at work.
Fostering an inclusive workplace
Inclusion is key to wellbeing, and we are continuing to work hard to create a fully inclusive and supportive environment for our team and Ubisoft’s Employee Resource Groups offer peer support for team members who are less represented. We have launched local chapters of UbiProud and the Neurodiversity ERG and have plans this year to create new local chapters for other Ubisoft Employee Resource Groups as well.
We are proud to be partners with Safe In Our World and hope to collaborate on many projects in the coming years and take part in industry-wide initiatives to improve mental health, raise awareness, and reduce stigma.