I think we can all agree that this year has been an absolute shitshow. For many of us, this is the first time we’ve experienced something of this scale, which has had an impact on everyone, one way or another.
On the bright side (finally, there’s one), it’s become crystal clear that a business’s employees are their greatest asset. Time has shown, the more a business looks after its employees, the happier they are, not only to themselves but to each other. Making strong efforts to reduce the likelihood of employees experiencing burnout is more important to a business’s success than it’s addressed. Not only does this boost company morale, but having a consistent approach to mental health and wellbeing, will inevitably increase your business’s performance as a whole.
In this article, I’ll be talking about some of the amazing things being done by businesses to support their employees’ mental health, including some examples as to why they’re getting it right.
Bupa are using technology to help integrate wellbeing into employees everyday life.
“Promoting positive mental health will not only enable businesses to continue to provide support through the ongoing situation but also build a stronger workforce for years to come”, said Mark Allan, commercial director for UK insurance at Bupa.
As you’d expect from a company like Bupa, it’s evident that they invest a lot of time and energy into looking after their people. This is even more vital this year, as we’re consuming far more information than normal, whether that’s through the news or social media. Adding this on top of your day-to-day responsibilities can quickly manifest itself into mental exhaustion, and increase the chances of adding to pre-existing stress and anxiety.
Bupa supports their people in a variety of ways – one of them being their Bupa Boost wellbeing app. Consisting of nutrition, personal fitness, mindfulness, and relaxation goals – making it possible to receive reminders to drink two liters of water a day, helping to prevent fatigue and feel more refreshed throughout your day. It’s always worth exploring what works best for your people, for the betterment of your employees’ lives and overall business performance.
Give honest and open advice to your employees to show that you truly care.
“60% of Gen Z and 65% of millennials said they would take a job offering plentiful perks, but not superior benefits. What’s more, where older generations thought discussing mental health issues at work was taboo, millennials and Gen Z are more open about their struggles", said Ari Bendersky.
Growing up, you were quickly accustomed to hearing things such as “you’re only young, what do you have to worry about”, which really wasn’t helpful at all.
I do feel the global pandemic has helped to start building bridges between younger and older generations, as we all experience this together. As someone from a Gen Z background, I spend a lot of time networking with people from various age groups. It feels as though, as a collective we’re stepping in the right direction in terms of being more open when it comes to having conversations around mental health and wellbeing, which is helping to build a culture of acceptance.
Salesforce’s B-Well Together program helps to address challenges with stress, anxiety and provides resources to help overcome adversity. The program was initially for employees only, however, this was opened up to the public so we too can learn alongside Salesforce’s people. B-Well Together hosts various speakers and wellbeing experts, providing tips, resources, and insights to support all touchpoints including, mental, physical, and social.
Breaking the stigma around mental health will help your business foster a truly inclusive working environment, as your people will feel more comfortable to show up as their true selves. Wearing a mask can be incredibly exhausting, and with an increase of acceptance, your company culture will inevitably see greater results.
Make it clear that you stand with your people and take the necessary steps to implement change.
“We believe that no stigma should be attached to mental health. We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different, so we pledge that the individual’s mental health needs will always matter to us“, said a spokesperson from Innocent.
Empathy is an incredibly crucial trait and skill, but can often at times be hard to come by. Understanding that the person you’re sitting next to (in normal times) or chatting to virtually could be facing challenges of their own can make a huge difference. In the past, I’ve been guilty of trying to juggle a lot on my own, until I realised this made me far more prone to burnout and added to my stress. Speaking to a colleague, health professional, relative, or a friend you trust can go such a long way in helping you stay afloat, during periods of added stress and anxiety.
Innocent runs two training programs aimed at promoting more clarity around mental wellbeing. One is available to all employees to improve overall awareness, with the other being tailored specifically for managers, to ensure they’re well equipped to best support their team. Innocent has reached out to the likes of mental health charity Mind, inviting them to their commonly known Fruit Towers to discuss how innocent can best support its people.
Your employees aren’t going to expect you to get it right all the time, but making well-communicated steps towards the right direction will help to build a sense of trust and confidence in your business.
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