Greene King has announced it is strengthening its wellbeing commitment to its team members throughout their career and life stages with the launch of its Menopause and Menstruation Support Policy this World Menopause Day (18 October 2023).
The company is continuing to build on its everyday inclusion and gender parity ambitions, and to be the pride of British hospitality, by focusing on the welfare of its team members
Menopause affects around 51% of the UK population so has the potential to directly or indirectly impact everyone at some point during a person’s career, be that themselves, a family member, friend or work colleague.
The new policy is designed to normalise the conversation and provide guidance for team members and line managers so they can meaningfully support each other, creating an environment where everybody can be themselves. It is about understanding menopause, perimenopause and periods, recognising the symptoms and signposting sources of help and support.
Greene King’s female employee-led inclusion group, Greene Sky, has been instrumental in fast tracking the new Menopause and Menstruation Support Policy following a series of listening sessions over the summer. This highlighted the need to normalise conversations about menopause and menstruation through better understanding and awareness and how meaningful, practical support can make a difference.
To kickstart the launch of the policy ahead of World Menopause Day, Greene King pubs managing director, Clair Preston-Beer hosted a panel discussion – How can a business like Greene King normalise the conversation about menopause? – with guest Helen Tomlinson, who is the Government Menopause Champion and head of talent and inclusion at Adecco, alongside Greene King’s chief financial officer Richard Smothers, Destination Brands marketing director Clare Vintner, operations manager Luke Tremlett and general manager of Watergates Bar in Chester, Andria Pomeroy.
Afterwards, Helen Tomlinson said: “I applaud Greene King on this new policy and its action to raise awareness of menopause and show meaningful support to its team members. The more people understand, the better it will be for everyone as it will remove the stigma and normalise menopause.”
In terms of practical support, Greene Sky’s listening sessions prompted a review of team clothing and as a result has seen investment in new menopause-friendly team clothing options which includes breathable workwear.
In addition, there is scope to make reasonable adjustments, on a case-by-case basis, such as some flexibility on working times and regular breaks, as these can have a big impact on an individual.
Greene King’s chief people and transformation officer, Andrew Bush said: “We recognise there is not a one size fits all approach as people have different experiences of menopause and menstruation.
"What we have done is listen to what our team members say about their experiences, how they want any stigma removed and for these topics to be part of an everyday conversation when needed. It’s about being open and honest about menopause and period health, how it affects people and how we can support people throughout their lives.
"This is more than just a new policy as it is designed to signpost the support there is around team members’ wellbeing when it is needed and build ongoing awareness to increase everybody’s understanding and normalise conversations about menopause. We are working hard and listening to our teams to keep learning and building on our success as a leading hospitality employer and addressing our policies to keep a focus on the wellbeing of our people.”
There are extensive online learning resources available to teams through the Greene King portals, including the new Menopause and Menstruation Guide and a recording of the panel discussion with Helen Tomlinson, and with the #LetsTalkMenopause hashtag, this awareness campaign will be ongoing and be part of everyday conversations throughout the business.
Further awareness activities include social and educational events, a Pint of Perspective podcast, Vlogs from across the business and a series of webinar sessions by Mission Menopause called Managing Menopause. There will also be an opportunity to try Over the Bloody Moon’s menopause simulator, a MenoVest, at support centres and depots. The outerwear garment allows wearers to experience the symptoms of menopause, such as intense heat, to appreciate and better support people going through menopause.
The new policy is the first step in Greene King’s journey to support its team members in this area. The listening sessions identified further ways and opportunities to help teams which will be considered for the future.