Have you heard of a ‘round-robin letter’?
Some people include these in the Christmas cards they send to their friends and family. In the letters, they describe the year’s key events for them.
While it’s easy to think of a round-robin letter as nothing more than an opportunity to boast (let’s face it, sometimes it is!), they allow your loved ones to stay in touch with the details of your life. In a world filled with fleeting social media updates and snatched text messages, a letter from someone you love can feel like a gift.
Writing a ‘review of the year’ also offers a valuable chance for you to sit down and reflect on the year that’s about to pass by.
So much has happened in my business during 2021 – not least a complete re-brand and the building of a trusted team – that I felt compelled to write a review of my own, although I won’t be including this in my Christmas cards!
A shaky start
2021 began with the UK deep in national lockdown, after what for many people was a lonely Christmas spent by themselves.
One of the first things we did in the new year was to write and publish a series of supportive eBooks, to help employees and their companies navigate the many trials of Covid-19.
Along with advice about how to manage home-working and promote wellbeing, the books also cover little-discussed topics, such as how to talk to someone who is grieving, and how to build resilience.
You can browse the books, and download them with our compliments, from our Resources and Downloads page.
Focus on mental health
I was proud that one of our clients was featured on BBC News in January, discussing the anxiety he had felt after being diagnosed with Covid, and the importance of speaking out and seeking help, instead of battling on in silence.
Sadly, February always sees a rise in suicide rates, which is just one reason why employer support should not be confined to the practical.
We decided to launch a regular newsletter, to provide ongoing advice and reassurance. We also added some more eBooks to our resources, this time on the subjects of mental health, and taking care of yourself post-Covid.
An alternative view on new motherhood and work
Maternity and parental coaching have always been close to my heart, so I was proud when we released our new selection of in-depth resources in the spring.
I also very much enjoyed interviewing Katie, a senior associate at an international law firm, about her experiences of new motherhood and the workplace. Like me, I think you’ll find her views both reassuring and refreshingly candid.
What is anticipatory grief?
Many of us think grief only happens after a death, but in reality, it can appear in many forms, and start a long time before the moment of death or change arrives – such as the moment we receive bad news.
We created a checklist for employers, to help them determine if their employees were struggling with anticipatory grief in the wake of Covid, and developed a suite of guidance materials for additional support.
I was also proud to be featured in this article, which discusses effective ways to deal with health crises at work.
Confidence to Return rebrands as Beyond EAP
On 1st June, Confidence to Return officially became Beyond EAP.
Initially, my sole intention had been to support new mothers back to work (hence ‘Confidence to Return’). However, the new brand needed to reflect that our services have evolved over time, going beyond the confines of traditional EAP to support employees facing some of life’s toughest and most traumatic challenges.
I think it does just that.
EMDR: therapy fit for a prince
One of the first tasks for Beyond EAP was to focus on therapies that help people overcome trauma.
A trained EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapist, I understood its power to help build emotional resilience in those who have suffered pain and distress.
Then, in September, Prince Harry was shown undergoing EMDR therapy during a recent episode of ‘The Me You Can’t See’, broadcast on Apple TV.
This event boosted the therapy’s popularity, so we prepared some informative resources to help more people both understand and benefit from EMDR.
Building a trusted team
With the company’s rebrand came a welcome expansion of the areas of support we provide.
It was always my intention to build a trusted team of experts, so that together, we could provide a comprehensive ‘one stop shop’ service that means the trust we build with employees remains unbroken.
This is particularly important in cases where the direction of our bespoke sessions has to change quickly. A sad example would be a programme of maternity coaching sessions having to move to miscarriage support.
I delayed adding to the Beyond EAP team until I could find just the right experts; those who share my values, and who would be happy to work to the high standards our clients have come to expect.
Happily, I found those just those experts in Jane Smart, who delivers our bespoke parental coaching, and Jane Mitchell, who is a trauma support specialist.
The two Janes were warmly introduced to Beyond EAP in October and November, and since then we have used our combined expertise to provide employee support across a wider and more diverse spectrum of challenges.
Some of the complex emotional issues we support are areas not often discussed openly, such as abortion, menopause, and post-diagnosis of a terminal illness.
A trained mediator, I have also recently added employee conflict resolution to the support we provide at Beyond EAP.
As 2022 approaches, we very much look forward to being of service not only to the many global firms we currently support, but working with many more talented employees, helping them retain their successful careers.
Regardless of the challenge, our enduring aim is to help every employee feel valued and supported, as they build the resilience and confidence they need to re-emerge into their lives and work.
How has your year been?
Thinking back over the past twelve months, and taking time to reflect upon your successes, will help you welcome 2022 feeling relaxed and content, ready to face whatever the year decides to throw at you.
Should you need support, we at Beyond EAP are here for you and your employees. In the meantime, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.