Bristow Employees Around the World Participate in R U OK? Day 2013
September 20, 2013
On Thursday, September 12, 2013, Bristow celebrated R U OK? Day, a company-wide day of awareness to promote connections and conversations on a personal level among individuals and to prevent small personal problems from becoming larger ones. The R U OK initiative serves an important role in Bristow’s pursuit of Target Zero safety.
Dressed in yellow R U OK? t-shirts, Bristow employees around the world took time to reflect about how they personally affect others, how they can impact the lives of their colleagues and how they can make a difference. With a focus on mental and physical wellbeing, HR leadership coordinated activities that included healthy meals, massages, guest speakers and other activities to promote wellness.
Following are highlights from several of Bristow’s business units:
Bristow’s Dyce Avenue location hosted local vendors that included Health Assured, National Health Service, Rowett Research for Nutrition & Health Centre, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Services, Weight Watchers and Rett Syndrome Research Trust.
Employees and vendors worked together to sell raffle tickets in support of the Rett Syndrome Research Trust UK and Samaritans. Eve Hayes, 13, who was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome was also invited to join in the day’s festivities. The highlight of her visit was the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of an EC-225 simulator and wear a headset.
“There was great participation during the day and initial feedback suggests employees are increasingly becoming more aware of the day’s significance. Employees have truly embraced the principles of looking out for one another, says HR Manager Ellie Runciman.
R U OK literature was distributed across the Bristow Academy locations, How to Ask R U OK?, How to Say I’m Not Okay and Coping With Burnout.
“Although our employees are not working away from home like many of Bristow’s global operations, it’s vitally important for all of us to check in with one another to make sure small problems do not become big problems. Taking a few moments throughout the year to check in with one another can, and does make a big difference,” says HR Manager Heather Jehnes.
Since Bristow began participating in the event globally in 2011, the Academy has seen a greater bond between employees develop. “Employees are becoming more aware of what R U OK? Day is all about because we are expanding our reach and doing a better job of communicating the message about R U OK? Day, Jehnes says.
Gulf of Mexico
Events included blood pressure screenings, basic BMI information, presentations on stress reduction and change management in the workplace.
To accommodate the varying work schedules of Bristow staff, events were organized across two weeks at Patterson, Galliano, Houma, Venice and Intra Coastal City. In total, approximately 350 employees had an opportunity to participate.
“The awareness and participation in 2013 was significantly higher than in 2012. Employees welcomed the events as an opportunity to participate in something together," says HR Business Partner Beverly Breaux.
New Iberia, Louisiana
Led by HR Business Partner Lani Harris, Bristow staff hosted local physicians, dieticians and counselors in New Iberia. Each expert presented information to staff on topics including life aspects that provide energy and those that drain you, the importance of digestive health, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and nutrition. Staff also participated in yoga classes, wellness screenings and fitness demonstrations.
“Most classes and presentations were at capacity for attendance. Initial feedback suggests that the New Iberia employees enjoyed all of the events, and are becoming more aware of the importance of the day,” says Runciman.
Bristow in Nigeria had nearly 700 employees and contingent workers participate in the day’s events and also hosted clients from ExxonMobil, Chevron and AGIP Aviation.
“The word R U OK? is now commonly used to start genuine conversation and give some helpful kind words or advice.”
“Since we began participating in R U OK? Day, the employees have shown an increased interest and concern towards each other’s wellbeing. The word R U OK? is now commonly used to start genuine conversation and give some helpful kind words or advice,” says HR Manager Femi Collins.
The Oakey Base staff were joined by the Royal Singapore Air Force (RSAF), with approximately 90 personnel participating in the day’s events. Rugby legend and R U OK? Day ambassador Ben Tune visited the base and shared his story about overcoming battles with mental illness.
“Tune shared his story on his battle with a pain medication addiction that lead to his eventual overdose, and the events that unfolded in its aftermath. He spoke about his recovery journey and the changes that he has since made. He encouraged all staff to get help as soon as possible and to watch out for the early signs. Tune also praised Bristow Australia for having an Employee Assistance Program in place,” says HR Coordinator Kylie Cardinal.
In addition to the base events, Bristow Australia also hosted a business unit-wide raffle that raised more than $2,300 AUD for a local mental health organization.
In Redhill, Nuffield Health Centre provided Bristow staff with rowing machines and instructors for Pilates and Zumba classes. A health expert was on hand to discuss the importance of maintaining a healthy work life balance.
“The day was an opportunity to encourage our employee’s to continue to look after themselves and their colleagues, to mix with one another and enjoy the day,” says HR Manager Yvonne Savage.
Savage credits R U OK? Day with helping to raise employee’s awareness about their own, and their colleague’s wellbeing. “It has heightened everyone’s awareness regarding looking after your fellow workers as well as yourself. A small effort can go a long way.”
Throughout the day, employees were exposed to a number of physical wellness activities including biometric testing and Body Mass Index (BMI) testing. Dieticians, physicians, massage therapists and staff from the Cancer Society of Trinidad and Tobago were on hand to discuss healthy eating practices, cardio vascular disorders and provide massages.
Sessions on road safety awareness were conducted by Arrive Alive. These sessions reinforced Bristow’s Target Zero safety program and served as a cautionary tale of the dangers and consequences of exhibiting precarious behavior on the roadways.
HR Business Partner Sally Lemet says R U OK? Day is viewed as an overall wellness day. “It is a day to reflect on the importance of wellness, both physical and mental, and to look out for our colleagues, encouraging bonding and conversations. It is not uncommon to hear co-workers ask each other “R U OK?” during the normal course of work, and this shows that colleagues truly do care and look out for each other. If only one person was positively affected, then it was all worth it.”
“Moving forward, when you ask, R U OK? If the response is an automatic “yes, I’m fine,” go the extra step and ask, R U really OK?”
Senior Vice President Administration Hilary Ware reminded Bristow employees to translate their one day of activities into a year-round awareness. “Moving forward, when you ask, R U OK? If the response is an automatic “yes, I’m fine,” go the extra step and ask, R U really OK?”