22nd November 2021

Supporting our people during this difficult time.

At Yealands, like many teams and businesses across the world, we’ve been impacted in multiple ways by the Covid-19 pandemic. As always, supporting our people in New Zealand and globally is a priority. With all the changes happening, focused on the little, as well as the big things to try and make a difference.

Brodie Cornelius, Yealands Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager, explains how the Yealands whanau are supporting each other, and helped each team member focus on what’s important to them:

Creating connection during a time which has felt disjointed, confusing and tough on our mental health, has made the need to work collectively in supporting each other through the good and the bad, more important than ever.

Our dedicated covid-response team – was focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of Yealands people and their whanau. We communicated fast, with simple messaging and made sure all our people stayed in touch with someone. A game of Chat roulette, and Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” kept us talking to each other.

We delivered office equipment to improve working conditions, gave out frozen family meals to take away the stress of cooking for a night or two and shared tips and tricks for better home ergonomics.

We’ve also made sure that our Yealands families have been a part of our thinking – the Seaview Vineyard farm animals have become minor celebrities with the kids! The wider New Zealand team wrote letters which were included in care packages, delivered to their Auckland colleagues. The packages included brain games, essential oils and of course, chocolate! Our family day during the school holidays, which gave all of our Auckland team the Friday off in October, the sun played ball too.

In all seriousness, we understand the toll Covid-19 and separation from friends, family, colleagues and routine has had on mental health. We’ve normalised discussions around this as much as possible and looked at tools to support the team including a ‘Kind mind challenge’ where we set aside 30 minutes for daily mediation alongside inviting stories and open dialogue between colleagues with many inspiring journeys posted on our company Yammer too.

Hosting an online blues and comedy session helped break up the day. After all we are a winery, we’ve had ‘Get Savvy with Abbie’ where our Auckland team caught up with Abbie and the winemaking team, matching Yealands wine with a food and discussing our thoughts – this included the “cheeky slice and sip” which included Hell's wrath pizza and Yealands Merlot.

All of this has maintained connection in a time when it's needed most for the team at Yealands.

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