Introduced to improve mental wellbeing and help counter the chronic staff shortage that the hospitality industry in London continues to face, multi award-winning M restaurant group has announced a new scheme whereby each full-time employee will be gifted four fully paid working days a year to be used in a variety of ways. Staff and managers may use the days in whichever way they want, including a ‘mental health day’ to lower stress levels or to enjoy some extra rest after a tough week.
‘M-indful days’ will be encouraged to be used for all sorts of reasons, if someone knows they have a party planned – they might notify the company that they are ‘taking a ‘M-indful day’ to recover from an overindulgent night, eradicating an environment of guilt and resentment from both sides. For employees who do not use all or part of their four days, the remaining M Days will be added to their holiday allowance and ultimately paid if not utilised.
33-year-old Andre, who has been with M since the groups inception in 2014 states: “The hospitality industry must catch up with other industries and adopt an environment where a younger generation of employees have solid mental wellbeing and are inspired to perform to their finest when at work. M-indful days will help nurture this environment. All too often we see amazing talent in kitchens, bars and restaurants in London burning out and leaving the industry – I challenge the rest of this industry to make this a standard practice.”
As part of this M-indful initiative, M will also be the first hospitality group to offer its employees access to Spill, a new app which enables its users to consult a personal counsellor at the touch of a button without booking an appointment. Spill allows users to exchange text messages with an accredited counsellor whenever they need to share their concerns or let off some steam. Use of the app is completely anonymous and the monthly cost will be covered by M as an employee benefit.
This, along with M-indful Day project, is the latest of four initiatives which has made ‘M’ once of the best employers in hospitality. The brainchild of M Executive Chef Michael Reid – The M & Bookatable by Michelin Young Chef of the Year contest began on 3rd July. Supported by the UK’s top chefs, Michael has scoured the UK for the next generation of young chefs to nurture and champion their talent. Throughout July, each of the 12 finalists are enjoying a ‘Pop Up Night’ at M Victoria St and the winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 31st July.
The Martin Williams founded hospitality company also adopts and encourages recruitment through Charity and social change focused organizations.
Recognising the opportunity of improving the restaurant group through introducing charitable partnerships into the DNA of M; Mannini and Reid have driven huge opportunity and success for individuals within their employment, introducing a series of individuals to M through apprenticeships and work experience by partnering with Terrence Higgins Trust (Live Positive), School of Hard Knocks, The Hive and The Clink projects. M also partners with ‘Not for Sale’ – a non for profit organization founded by David Batstone which fights human slavery through the creation of self-sustainable business models that offer themselves as an alternative option for ex-slaves throughout the world.
Furthermore, since 2018, M managers at all levels are assigned up to six extra days of fully paid holidays per year upon reaching key people-related bonus targets such as staff retention and great staff survey results to further incentivise a culture of learning and development.
Mr Mannini surmises: “These initiatives together with other HR related projects at M are another step towards a newer, smarter and more appealing hospitality industry, which at this stage sees itself forced to change to survive, it’s time that both the industry and government see this way of working as a standard.”