Understanding & responding to the needs of automotive people
“I had recently started working for a dealership when a supplier dropping a car off suddenly collapsed and had a heart attack right in front of me. The trauma of seeing this poor man collapse came on top of something else I was struggling to deal with.
“My partner and I have two children, and not long before the incident at work we had another, a daughter. She was born at 34 weeks and passed away after two days. We were devastated. It completely crushed us. After speaking to the team at Ben I told them about my situation and how I felt like I couldn’t cope anymore.”
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It’s only by listening to the people of the automotive industry and working closely with companies that we can remain relevant to those we support. Our understanding of the challenges facing automotive industry people means we have been able to expand and improve the support we offer - including our services and the ways we provide them.
We’re also focused on ensuring as many people as possible are aware of the free and confidential support they are entitled to from Ben, by being part of the automotive family. A big part of this is developing our relationships with industry partners through ‘Ben4Business’ - a tailored programme of awareness, training and income generating initiatives. We have also continued to define and achieve efficiencies in the way we work - to ensure we’re sustainable for the future, here for the industry people of tomorrow.
Understanding the challenges faced by automotive people
This year we conducted our second industry-wide survey, contacting individuals and employers, including business leaders and HR professionals, asking about the issues impacting them. We had an excellent response to the survey, representing an 88% increase on the previous year.
We are using these insights to determine how we develop our service provision to support individuals directly and help companies to support their people.
The survey highlighted that sleep and stress in the workplace are the most commonly reported issues that have impacted the health and wellbeing of automotive employees in the past 12 months. Businesses agreed that stress was a significant issue for employees and reported that poor mental health had affected employee ability to work.
This year we focused on strengthening and extending our key areas of free and confidential support, as well as our processes. This starts from how we best seek to understand a person’s challenges and any underlying issues impacting their health and wellbeing, to developing a tailored support plan and to providing one-to-one support to help them get back on track.
Support plans can include relevant information, advice and guidance but also counselling, life coaching or financial assistance, including ways to manage debt and money. We work with people to claim benefits they are entitled to and investigate specific funded support options. We support people with a wide range of challenges including illness, anxiety, depression, bereavement and loneliness.
Responding with an improved service
We broadened our support this year by launching new online self-help, tips, advice and tools on our website, to help people live and work well and prevent issues developing into a crisis. We developed new online support journeys which deliver low-level support but clearly signpost people to our helpline for more in-depth and personalised support.
We also further developed our life coaching and mentoring service - to help those who need extra support. This service helps people to stay on track and build confidence, self-esteem and instil good coping mechanisms.