Leicestershire County Council: menopause at work
Leicestershire County Council support colleagues experiencing menopause at work. Here’s what they did and how they did it, including training seminars, guidance documents on menopause and support groups.
When one of the team at Leicestershire County Council booked on a menopause event, they decided it was time to introduce guidance on the topic into their organisation. Here, Mandy Baughurst from their Learning and Development team explains more.
Why did you introduce menopause at work awareness and education?
After attending the menopause event, I thought it should be something we looked at more closely, and contacted Menopause in the Workplace for more information. I also researched the gender breakdown of the Council. Females aged 45 and over equated to 57.38% of the female workforce.
We decided to run an event and to develop a guidance document for managers to open up the conversation and get everyone talking about it.
Menopause in the Workplace have been so supportive in their advice and guidance. They helped us to formulate what would be appropriate for us as an organisation.
What did you do?
We ran an initial event for managers and people affected by the menopause, which had fantastic feedback. Of the 114 people who attended, everyone who completed the evaluation form said they would recommend this learning to others.
Since then we have included the information from the presentation and resources on our learning hub. We published a video called Menopause in Minutes, which has been very popular and provides a lot of information in a short time. This has been particularly useful for managers.
We’ve developed and launched our guidance document on the menopause. It explains more about the menopause, the support we provide and signposts to helpful resources and information.
For colleagues to share their own information, helpful tips and support each other, we started a closed menopause support group using Yammer on our intranet. We are now starting up drop-in support group sessions. It’s great to see how this is helping people.
We have another two events running in September. One for managers and one for people affected by the menopause at work, to further raise awareness and education and to help to embed the guidance document. This time we’ve booked a larger venue and are allowing time for individuals to speak to the trainers on a one-to-one confidential basis after the training.
While we encourage an open and enlightened approach on this subject, we also respect and protect each employee’s right of confidentiality. With that in mind, we also make materials available through our intranet to employees who don’t wish to participate in group settings. Staff can make appointments to speak to the Health & Wellbeing Advisors on a one-to-one confidential basis.
What results have you seen?
I’ve certainly heard lots of conversations about menopause at work that weren’t happening before. I receive many emails and enquiries about the menopause guidance document which was very well received. Menopause is also in our attendance management training with extra information on reasonable adjustments.
What have people said?
We’ve had excellent feedback, including:
“Thanks for a fascinating and professional event. As someone who is only just starting on this journey it was very useful. I certainly had some myths busted.”
“After attending the brilliant menopause workshop, I felt equipped with the knowledge to approach my GP for HRT medication.”
“One of the best events I’ve been to, and I have told lots of friends about it and encouraged them to address this in their workplaces.”
“Well done LCC team for recognizing the awareness of the menopause within your staff.”
“The seminar was very interesting and I feel I am better prepared to deal with my symptoms.”
“I thought this was an excellent course in terms of learning more about the menopause and options for managing symptoms.”
We have also run a couple of competitions to join the Yammer group and win a copy of the Menopause – A Change for the Better book, as well as buying 10 copies for our staff to borrow. We have had excellent feedback from the book:
“It was really interesting and comforting to know that there other ladies out there that relate to what you’re going through! I read the book last night! It is fab, very informative and funny!”
“The book is such an easy read, I couldn’t put it down.”
“Started reading the book on Tuesday, will have it finished over the weekend. It’s a great read, and puts a good light and different perspective on things. It’s funny as well especially in the areas that you can relate to.”
“The book is so well written and I love the cartoons, they are so funny and you can relate to them.”
What worked well or what would you do differently next time?
It was really good to get the support, advice and best practice from Menopause in the Workplace, which made our journey a lot easier and much quicker to do.
When developing the first training session I would have split this into two sessions; one for managers and one for those affected by the menopause. This is something that we are doing for the next events we’re running in September.
We got all interested parties together to discuss steps forward. This involved HR, Health & Wellbeing Advisors and managers supporting staff and some people affected by the menopause.
What are you doing to keep this going?
We will continue with communication around the menopause guidance document to make sure that it is embedded into practice and all staff are aware of it as a resource.
The Yammer group and drop-in sessions will continue, which will hopefully make staff feel more supported around the menopause.
We are looking at training staff up to deliver further manager sessions. Plus, we add more resources to our learning hub and these will continue to be available.
And, of course, we’ll keep talking openly about menopause at work!