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Posted: 25th January 2021
My first chat since I joined in September – but a Real-Life challenge to get started with. I’m CPO for a Global Business of 650 Folks. Privately-owned business – and suffering during this COVID period like the vast majority. I’ve looked at some of the Decks etc regarding well-being but they all appear to be a little “idealistic”. P&G and alike may well have great ideas but also have the infrastructure (and resources) to drive some Mental Health/Well-Being initiatives. There’s just 2 of us – GLOBALLY!! – and we are now seeing an increase across the board (but particularly in Sales) of Mental Health issues becoming more prevalent in both teams and managers.
Does anyone have anything they can share to help us kick-start our internal Well-Being approach (as opposed to Policy!) in order to support our teams. Our Health Benefit providers are pretty useless thus far.
Ideas/Pointers etc all welcome.
This must be a real challenge for you!
It might be worth taking a step back to get some insight about the causes of the mental health issues – as you know the expensive programmes and initiatives often don’t solve the problem! We need to understand what’s happening e.g. – is it unrealistic work demands, a manager that doesn’t show an interest in you, not enough time for family/exercise etc… A quick survey will give you so much data and then you can focus your efforts on giving your people what they really need.
If you haven’t already seen our webinar on this topic, you can watch it here. We’ve provided many examples of how progressive companies have approached this, but most of the examples can be applied in small businesses too. For example, encourage your managers to show they care by asking people how they want to be managed, by giving them some flexibility or simply encouraging leadership to connect with your people during a weekly zoom call to enhance their sense of belonging.
You might also consider providing your managers with this Toolkit: Asking the right questions- Health & Wellbeing, to help them get the conversation going with their people or adapt these questions for your survey.
Also, make use of external resources that you can point your people to so that they can manage their own health and wellbeing rather than creating your own – there are so many free resources out there like this one https://officevibe.com/blog/wellbeing-at-work or if you can afford a paid app like
Best of luck and let us know how you get on!
Disruptive HR Team
Thanks. I’ll try out some of these great suggestions.
I have also been tasked to work on this – it would be great to hear how you get on!
All the best,
At revolution, in addition to the traditional eap we asked for volunteers across all functions and levels to commit to being a wellbeing warrior, a community to reach out to others- more than line Managers and the people team. Anecdotally, we know our people needed something more than what the people team and line managers could give ( ie less formal) this community is available to anyone, globally everyday.
All warriors have had mental health training created with our business in mind, delivered by retail trust and we’re now delivering training to managers.
Encouraged walking meetings ( from the founders) top down counts!
diary cleansing( do you really need to be in that meeting)
Make well-being apart of your people’s goals
send positive affirmations
wellness allowance (£500 pa)
our warriors a tap in where-ever can- we talk about them as much as we can – team meeting, company updates, in our check ins….
Feel free to reach out if you’ve got any questions
Love some of these ideas and sharing some of the things we have added in this year and last.
As above we introduced walking meetings and encouraged this to be the case for 1:1s too so that it becomes more natural rather than orchestrated.
We introduced dedicated meeting free mornings on Tuesdays (9-1) so that the team can get on with completing work without disruption. Of course flexibility is needed but with effective expectation management with stakeholders we have seen some success.
We also pay for a mindfulness practitioner to hold an online session for the team each week to add something different.
Some teams also set meetings to end 5 mins early (e.g. 25 mins v 30 or 55 v and hour) to give people time for comfort breaks, to reset or generally avoid being truly back to back.
All of these are optional so it doesn’t become an accidental stressor if people feel their attendance is mandatory.
Hope this helps and best of luck!
Really great examples above, thank you for sharing.
Being a 24/7 business, one thing we have introduced is an email curfew between 6.30pm and 08.30am Monday to Friday – and no emails at the weekend (at all levels).
If people choose to work during these times, they are asked to set emails to send when the curfew lifts. If there is an emergency, we have dedicated senior team members ‘on call’ so there is always people with the skills and knowledge to deal with any issues or concerns that may arise when we have the email curfew in place.
It helps ensure people aren’t always looking at their phone and responding to emails constantly to help with work life balance. It has certainly helped me!
Very useful tips indeed, thx all. Among other things, we run a remote yoga class every Wednesday at 12.00 with this fantastic trainer.
Plus, we have issued all employees with a Headspace license.
@ Nicol Dean – can you please share more details on your mindfulness practitioner, contact details if that’s ok.
Sure – it’s more of a breathwork and meditation offering. If that works for you let me know where I can share the details.
We’re a small company and one of the challenges we’ve had is implementing MHFA’s as some of the people who’ve expressed an interest we also know are struggling with their own mental health. Instead we’re working with an MHFA and MBCT Mindfulness trainer to do 2 things – deliver a series of short workshops ranging from awareness of mental health both individual and line managers to managing mental health through mindfulness – she is also acting as our MHFA so people can approach her directly to book a time to talk with her.
I’m a firm believer that data is your starting point on all things like this. There is a wealth of tools and initiatives out there, but until you have the data then you could be providing the wrong solutions. Wellbeing surveys would be a great place to start if you don’t have the data already.
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