Buddy-up system – Divide your team into groups of 2-3 and task them with checking in DAILY with each other. This can be a simple text or WhatsApp, or an email or phone-call. Leave it up to your team to decide. Advise each buddy group to contact you, or Vetlife if they would rather remain anonymous, if the daily check-in flags up any concerns. Set guidelines of time and frequency of contact, e.g. 9pm-7am, once-twice a day (for this express purpose).
CPD sessions – Develop a CPD calendar within the members of staff at home. Each member chooses a topic they’ve completed CPD on and creates a short presentation. This can then be presented at regular staff virtual meetings. The creation and delivery of a presentation counts and CPD, in addition to the CPD of the listeners. Include some social catch-up time before and after the presentation.
Newsletters – It’s important to keep in touch with your staff, even if it’s just a weekly brief e-news email. Include a wellbeing tips or suggestion on the newsletter. Ask staff to message in with their own wellbeing tips, which also helps to normalise the discussion.
Virtual classes – There are huge number of free online classes; everything from yoga to bootcamps and daily free PE for the family. Encourage your team to take part in these together, and share in a discussion afterwards. Having accountability and a community element helps to keep up with exercise. You could also try crafting and painting ‘classes’ and compare results. If one of your team has a talent, encourage them to share it if they would like to.
Virtual meetups – you can either organise team meet-ups on platforms such as Houseparty or Zoom rooms, or join veterinary meetups set up e.g. Vets:Stay, Go, Diversify – Vet Times host a 5pm tea club Mon, Wed and 8pm Friday.
Signposting – Many of your team will have concerns around job security, finances and loneliness during isolation. Creating a resource list to share in a weekly newsletter can help to signpost people to answer and support. Or you can signpost to the resources listed on the SPVS website.