ISE Partners facilitated discussion on ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing’ best practice.
Critical information around Duty of Care.
Wednesday 20th May
We were once again joined by Matthew Blossom, expert consultant from award-winning HR, health & safety and employee wellbeing specialist, Peninsula Business Services.
We’re familiar with the statistics that over 91 million working days are lost each year due to mental ill health, and costs UK employers over 30 billion each year – more than for any other illness.
More recently, employee insight consultancy, Karian and Box, have discovered that over a quarter of UK PLC employees are feeling unsupported by their organisations in this time of crisis. In one of the largest surveys so far undertaken since restrictions came into place, nearly 30% of respondents said they felt unable to juggle their work and personal lives during the lockdown and over 40% reported feelings of anxiety.
As we discovered in our Return-to-Workplace Zoom Room last week, employee mental health and wellbeing is your organisation’s responsibility, whether those employees are working on the premises or working remotely. In Wednesday’s session, we will explore the fundamentals of what you need to have in place for staff but also some tips for checking in with your teams, with useful resources to share.
This session will be attended exclusively by those who are actively managing offices / HR for investment, professional services and fast-growth tech companies.
Key takeaways from this Zoom Room:
Regular check-ins with both work-from-home and furloughed staff are key
Whether this is via email, a phone call, a Zoom chat or an easy to use survey. We’ve posted a useful toolkit into our LinkedIn Group, kindly produced for us by Jo Hooper, a mental health at work specialist, for approaching these catch-ups.
Encourage your employees to take care of themselves
They don’t have to share concerns with you if they don’t feel able to, however, have they had an opportunity to share worries with friends and family? Are they taking enough exercise? Keeping an eye on their alcohol consumption? Point them in the direction of free or company paid-for resources, whether that be for fitness, mindfulness or meditation.
It’s easy to set up sessions for your team with experts – at ISE we get together for a HIIT exercise session every Wednesday 8am, and a desk yoga session every Friday 9am for our team and candidates. We have also enjoyed a guided meditation session together. Get in touch
for practitioner details, which we can happily share or, join our Instagram live sessions @ise.partners.
Ensure there’s provision of mental health support or signposting to clinical help where needed
You, as the ‘competent person’ from a H&S point of view, are not expected to be a counsellor. This could be pointing staff in the direction of your healthcare provider’s Employee Assistant Programme or to some of the multiple, free resources. Great websites for employers and employees alike include Mind, Samaritans and Mental Health At Work.
Consider producing, implementing and communicating a mental health at work plan
So that employees feel they can speak up in a culture which will be supportive and encouraging of open communication. Again, Jo Hooper’s kit is a useful starting point for this or indeed this government review. The US are much more open than the UK at talking about counselling, therapy and mental health in general so we can take a leaf out of their books on this!
Ensure communications outwardly to employees are logged
Emails are useful for this. As an employer if someone in your workforce further down the line develops issues, you will be able to clearly demonstrate that your firm was taking wellbeing into account every step of the way.
Remind your employees of the value of taking holiday
There’s nothing that recharges the resilience ‘battery’ more than decent, planned time away from the screen and work pressures. Consider giving furloughed staff an extra week’s pay as a supportive gesture.
Create opportunities to bring the team together socially
We heard great tips on the call surrounding quizzes, creative get togethers, Friday “pubs” and much more. We’ll share our ISE Quiz template for anyone who’s stuck for ideas and will be asking for members of our LinkedIn group to contribute ideas of activities that have worked well.
Supportive communications from leadership go a long way to promoting a sense of staff wellbeing
This reinforces those “we’re all in it together, take each day as it comes” messages which can arrive at crucial times for people, helping to reduce anxiety as a result. Get your CEO/Managing Partner on Board!
Matthew Blossom has offered a free one-to-one phone consultation to ISE’s network to follow this session. To discuss this, and for more resources, please email Jen.White@isepartners.com.
Our regular get-togethers are called Office Managers Quarterly. OMQ is the best complimentary network in London, for business linchpins to come together, share their experiences, and broaden their professional toolkit. Sessions are normally held in our lounge at 120 Regent Street. Since its inception in 2017, OMQ has attracted a diverse group of office and operations managers, HR professionals and the like, who hugely enjoy mingling in this relaxed setting. Be the first to hear about our complimentary events and market insights: sign up to our mailing list.
You can also apply to join our private LinkedIn Group. Idea and resource-sharing for those who are actively managing offices / HR for investment, professional services and fast-growth tech companies.