News, Blog, Employment, Awards, Careers | Tuesday 11th May 2021
HR Leaders in Security Roundtable
Since the start of the year, we have been running a regular roundtable for HR Leaders in Security, and one of the most common topics has always been health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Health and wellbeing effects everything, whether it’s engaging, supporting or retaining your staff; increasing their productivity, or attracting a new, more socially aware pool of talent to the business.
It has never been more important for businesses to implement good policies.
In our most recent roundtable, we deep dived the topic and shared ideas, experience and best practice on the things they’ve been doing to promote wellbeing in their teams and to employees.
Given that it is Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought of nothing better than to share the thirteen main ideas that came from the meeting.
Given they have come from senior HR professionals in four of the leading companies in the industry, we hope you find it useful for your businesses.
- Zero permission. As managers and business owners, you probably don’t expect your staff to ask you for permission to go for a walk, take a break or to come in a bit late if the kids play up, but do your staff know that? There’s growing evidence that employees working from home feel nervous about taking the breaks that they need in order to stay productive. By being clear and transparent with your teams that they don’t need to consistently seek permission, they can take a break when they need to.
- Non-Zoom Days. Exactly what it says on the tin. We’re all Zoomed out, on meetings or virtual meetings for what feels like 24/7, so companies are starting to implement days where no screen time is allowed.
- Training. There is a huge amount of training available at all different levels, from basic courses to suicide prevention and mental health. It is important that you give your managers the tools to spot the signs of someone in need. It’s not about training your people to be psychologists, it’s about giving the awareness to identify when people may need help.
- Communication tools. Communication tools like WhatsApp, Slack, Workplace and Yammer are proving extremely effective in giving employees a platform to share experiences. By giving employees the means to talk to others, maybe outside their divisions and their teams, but who share similar experiences, you create an organic support framework to benefit all.
- Share ideas. However you do it, in whatever format, make sure your people are sharing the things they do to stay motivated and healthy. It could be exercise breaks, dog walking, yoga, screen breaks, anything. If it works for one, it could work for others.
- Don’t forget the physical. If our body is healthy, it can help us to be mentally healthy. Don’t discount the importance of keeping your teams active and physically fit while focussing on their mental health. Not everyone can afford an office with a gym and sauna, but how about paying for your team’s gym membership?
- Engage a specialist. Retaining a PT, nutritionist, company doctor or psychologist is easier and cheaper than you think. You’ll see massive benefits by having an independent professional supporting your team in these areas. Your managers can even tap into their expertise if looking to adopt some tips and tricks into their day-to-day business.
- Stay social. Whether you’re working from anywhere, from home, going hybrid or back to the office, it’s hugely important to get your teams to be social, engage in team building, have water-cooler conversations or simply a laugh. Especially so given the 12 months we’ve all just had. You might have to work harder at it and get creative, but your people will appreciate the effort.
- Employment Assistance Programmes. EAPs are an essential tool in today’s workplace. These cost-effective solutions provide a 24/7 helpline with trained professionals at the end of the phone to support your teams on everything from mental health to financial problems and addiction. On top of this, many of the services will also provide additional resources or even free counselling as part of those packages. Multiple suppliers are available.
- Create an action group. Your company will have trained mental health associates, counsellors, or people interested in mental health and well-being. Engage them and get them involved. By meeting regularly, you can ensure you’re collaboratively working towards the mental well-being of the business, and not just relying on the HR or business leader.
- Feedback Surveys. Feedback surveys are becoming more and more common within the workplace. Up until now, many of them will have focussed on engagement and job satisfaction. However, since the pandemic, more and more are focussing on employee wellbeing and whether anonymous or public, they are providing HR professionals and leaders with the information they need to identify areas for improvement or support quickly. These can be run independently or in-house, but they must be run regularly in order to check the pulse of teams and employees.
- Signposting. There is a huge amount of free, readily available resource out there from organisations like The Samaritans, Mind, Suicide Prevention, Calm, all providing resources, support and training that is readily accessible and available to the individual or your business. By highlighting these resources, you are putting the freedom and choice in their hands for the times that they need it.
- Culture. Possibly the hardest, but the most valuable if you get it right. By creating a culture across the business of support and openness when it comes to health and wellbeing, your employees will feel readily capable of opening up and talking to the right person when they need to. The business leaders and the managers are all responsible for making themselves accessible to their teams and anyone from their businesses who needs support.