Sofa retailer empowers staff with innovative, skills-based mental fitness training modelled on sports psychology
DFS Group has joined forces with Fika Mental Fitness to embed mental fitness training into its employee experience - aiming to improve staff engagement and productivity, and proactively train its people in how to be the best versions of themselves.
Mental fitness skills development platform Fika is built on the premise we should train for mental challenges just as we train for physical challenges - yet as a society we haven’t been equipped with the knowledge or skills to manage and improve our own mental fitness.
Offering courses like ‘Return with Optimism’, ‘‘Find Good in the Bad’, ‘Plan Your Next Step’, and ‘Harness the Power of Stress’, Fika empowers staff with the knowledge and skills to proactively build their mental fitness, improving their engagement and output and protecting them from injury.
DFS Group chose Fika because of its unique embedded approach, including mental fitness training across multiple moments in the employee journey, from onboarding through to leadership training.
The retailer was also drawn to the psychological approach underpinning Fika Mental Fitness, which is proactive, goal-oriented and focuses on building skills, strengths and mental muscle. Modelled on sports psychology, as well as solution-focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy, this approach has been shown to appeal to employees who don’t typically engage with wellbeing initiatives.
Fika has been shown in randomised control trials to improve user self-efficacy and positive emotion and prevent mental health decline.
“What we tend to see in our industry is that the people who need mental fitness training the most are the least likely to seek it out,” said Helen Coyle, Head of Reward at DFS Group. “They often lack insight into the state of their own mental health, let alone being inclined to seek support with it.
“Fika offers a perfect solution for that demographic. It’s positive and empowering, it’s about training and building fitness, not fixing illness, and because it’s designed to be embedded into the employee experience it can be rolled out as formalised training to improve people’s career pathways.
“At DFS we train our colleagues in how to prevent injuries when lifting sofas - we don’t wait for the injury to happen and then offer treatment. It’s time to apply that mentality to our people’s mental health - and Fika offers a proven, highly engaging way of doing that at scale across the group.
“We’re confident they’re exactly the right mental fitness partner for us and we’re delighted to be working with them.”
Fika will begin by working with DFS Group’s leadership team to co-define a vision for what mental fitness should look like at DFS, as well as determining the best ways of integrating mental fitness into key moments, both digital and physical, within the employee experience.
Fika will then begin implementing its bespoke mental fitness training programme for the company, beginning with key teams within the DFS Group Support Centre, before rolling out mental fitness to other teams across the group’s 5,600-person workforce.
Gareth Fryer, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Fika, said: “We’re very proud to begin working with DFS Group. Fika Mental Fitness is evidenced to support people through challenging transitions, improving their sense of self-efficacy, positive emotion and life satisfaction. We look forward to delivering all this and more for DFS Group - helping their people learn new mental fitness skills, for life.”
About DFS Group
- DFS Group is the largest sofa retailing specialist in the UK, with over 50 years of experience.
- DFS Group trades three separate brands: DFS, Dwell and Sofology and it employs over 5,000 people across retail, design and manufacturing, supply chain and group support functions
- The DFS Group’s purpose is to bring great design and comfort to every home in an affordable, responsible and sustainable manner
- DFS is proud to be named a Sunday Times Best 25 Big Companies to Work For
- In 2021, DFS formally embraced its diversity and inclusion agenda by launching ‘Everyone is Welcome’ - a strategy to ensure that our employee make-up reflects the diversity of the society in which we operate. We believe a big part of making this happen is through prioritising colleague wellbeing, and our ambition is to enable every colleague to proactively live happy, healthy lives at every stage