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Maintaining morale in the new normal

21 May 2021

In collaboration with the Charities Committee and Enrich

We have all become accustomed and dependent on virtual initiatives over the past 15 months. As restrictions are easing and we are finally looking ahead to the bright light at the end of the tunnel, we took the opportunity to engage our people and our corporate network in a fundraising activity.

On the 13th May we hosted a virtual relay, 'Run London to Liechtenstein', in support of our charity partner, The Fore. The route from London to Liechtenstein represents the connection between us here in the UK and LGT Group headquarters in Liechtenstein. The relay involved teams, with up to ten people, covering 50kms collectively, encompassing team work to pass the virtual 'baton' and cross the finish line. We had 30 teams, both internal and external, taking part, and together we covered 1,500kms. The event was a success, teams were positively engaging with one another and we raised over £11,500 for The Fore. The virtual relay took place during Mental Health Awareness week, where the theme was nature.

The aim was to raise funds to support small charities navigate the challenges created by the pandemic, but at the same time we were able to bring together people, albeit virtually, all in the name of fun and charity. The charity sector has suffered through lockdown, with less fundraising events and activities to help raise awareness and money to support them. The Fore are a seed funder for the non-profit sector, providing finance and professional expertise for entrepreneurial small charities. Similarly, working remotely for what is now a very extended period of time has caused employees to become fatigued by Zoom and other online social platforms, dependent on them for meetings, socialising, and events. Whilst the virtual relay, of course, had to be hosted through technology (the 'Virtual Baton' app), it provided an opportunity for people to work together, and to encourage and support teammates once again. The teams became competitive, battling for 1st place on the Virtual Baton leader board.

Ben Snee, CEO, LGT Vestra "We are delighted with the success of the Virtual Relay. With the support of our 265 participants, we are thrilled to have raised £11,625 for our Charity Partner, The Fore. The Fore provide grants to small charities who need access to unrestricted funding now more than ever.

Maintaining morale can be challenging whilst working remotely and we have worked hard to come up with ideas that support our people during lockdown. We are therefore really pleased to have been able to extend this teambuilding opportunity externally. It has been great fun to bring people from within our business together with our external business contacts in support of such a fantastic cause.”

LGT Vestra Virtual Relay

The relay provided an opportunity for people to take a break from their desks on a Thursday afternoon and the photos showed our relay runners embracing the flora and fauna - city and landscapes, coastal paths, dogs and birdlife. Even rain showers and busy schedules didn't deter people; everyone was committed to the cause: to raise money for The Fore and not to let their teams down.

During the same week, also marking Mental Health Awareness Week, we were delighted to welcome Felicity Aston virtually for an internal talk. This was the second instalment in our 'Good to Talk' series, part of our wider employee wellbeing programme, Enrich. As well as a record-holding Polar explorer, Felicity is an author and former climate scientist. Having spent three years in Antarctica as a climate scientist, Felicity led record-making expeditions to both the North and South Poles and, in 2012, became the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone. In 2015, she was awarded the Queen's Polar Medal and appointed MBE for services to polar exploration. Felicity gave a fascinating insight into her experiences, and feedback from her talk shows how our employees can relate to her perspectives on resilience, motivation, and mind-over-matter.

Hosting initiatives like these, in times where we cannot always be of support to one another physically, are important in helping to cultivate a positive environment and culture for our people. We are proud to have been recently recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ 2021, following independent research from by renowned institute, Great Place to Work.

Watch the Virtual Relay post-event video here

Read more from The Brief.

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