Mental ill health has been a major concern for businesses in the UK for some time, and the current crisis only exacerbates this. In recent months organisations have been forced to change the way they operate, causing employees to experience sudden and unplanned; social, economic and work-related challenges. The uncertainty really tests our resilience, but one certainty is that the mental health of your teams has never been more important.
At Illuminate, we offer a range of services including the development and delivery of a mental wellbeing plan, delivery of workshops & webinars and 1:1 wellbeing assessments & advice to minimise workplace risks, keeping staff happy, healthy and productive.
Right now, our clients are specifically worried about:
- The heightened stress and anxiety levels, for themselves and staff and how this will impact on productivity, focus, concentration and attendance
- Low morale and engagement due to the changes to the way of working / job role – many of our clients find that the loss of purpose and routine impacts on their self-worth
- Furloughing & losing key members of staff – we have seen organisations lose valuable team members through poor communication
- How we all re-integrate back to the ‘new normal’
The coming months will see many employees returning to the workplace after very little physical contact with anyone other than their household. Our brains our now programmed to isolate and stay away from danger. Danger being people. This could be a tough transition, and one which many will not be ready for mentally. We all adapt at different rates and have different tolerance levels. Do you feel your business is equipped to manage these differences proactively and sensitively?
For the majority of us, home working will continue for the foreseeable future. This brings with it the challenges we have faced so far around distractions, loneliness, boredom, blurred boundaries, loss of routine, poor focus and motivation, and family conflict, amongst others.
As a business owner or HR professional, the above may be tricky to manage as you will be continually adapting and having to plan, risk assess, and communicate new ways of working. People may expect you to have all of the answers, which is impossible right now, therefore if we are as open and human as we can be, and show empathy and understanding, we will move through this together with our teams, rather than alone.
Where our clients haven’t had the resource internally or the specialist knowledge to offer the training or upskilling staff need around resilience / mental wellbeing and where they have been unsure about whether it is safe for an individual to return to work due to their health condition, and what support they are expected to implement, they have found it invaluable to bring in our services.
Like most businesses, our specialists have adapted how we work to offer online remote support, both 1:1 and group-based. Feedback has evidenced that online support can be truly effective, despite the heavy subject matter. Our clients have found this support to be critical in managing anxieties, boosting resilience, and equipping leaders with confidence and skills to keep everyone in the right mind for business and minimise risks longer term.
Starting the conversation around mental wellbeing now will help your business thrive in the short and long term.