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Managing mental health at work: Training for People Managers with Lorraine Murphy, entegro HR Generalist

Uncertainty breeds anxiety, and for over the past year we are living in uncertain times. This can take a toll on our mental health, including at work. As an employer we have a duty of care for our employees, but we also wanted to provide additional support to our People Managers to empower them even more so in supporting their team members mental health.

We conducted online sessions for our People Managers which focused on what is mental health & well-being, some causes of poor mental health, how to have conversations with team members around this and responding to any disclosures they may receive. The session also set out the practical steps that People Managers can take to create a mentally healthy workplace and help prevent poor psychological well-being in the first place.

What we really wanted to highlight was what practical measures our Managers can undertake such as:

Being vulnerable. As the majority of our team are not just working from home but globally, we have had no choice but to be transparent about our lives, whether our children or pets have joined meetings, or our co-workers have gotten glimpses of our homes! When managers describe their challenges, whether mental-health-related or not, it makes them appear human, relatable, and brave. 

Model healthy behaviours. We have asked our People Managers to be more vocal and visible around their own self-care and relaxation.  More often than not, managers are so focused on their team’s well-being and on getting the work done that they forget to take care of themselves. By actively showing that they are taking part in our company wide activities, turning off email, going for walks etc. will encourage their team to do so to avoid burn out.

Build a culture of connection through check-ins. Intentionally checking in with each of your direct reports on a regular basis is more critical than ever. Now, with so many people working from home from all over the globe, it can be even harder to notice the signs that someone is struggling. We outlined how to start well-being conversation; going beyond a simple “How are you?” and asking specific questions about what supports would be helpful. 

Even after this pandemic we want to ensure that we have created a mentally healthy workplace where all levels of employees feel safe and comfortable to seek support and help should they need to.

Posted on 19 Jan 2021.

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