News, Blog, Employment, Awards, Careers | Friday 22nd July 2022
Zitko Group has dedicated July to focusing on and improving our EDI policies, specifically regarding mental health and disability awareness.
The pandemic caused a shift in society’s perception of individual needs and, as the effects from the disruption are still being felt, the need for empathy and special considerations is greater than ever. This need rightfully extends to the treatment of staff by management.
Zitko has always understood the importance of EDI in our business, however the unprecedented upheaval of the last few years has caused us to focus on its implementation with renewed determination. That is why we have a number of measures in place to make our company inclusive to those with disabilities and mental health conditions. Our Work From Anywhere policy enables staff to carry out their duties from wherever is most suitable for them, meaning anyone can be part of our company without the constraints of inadequate accessibility playing a role. In addition, our Flexitime policy was implemented so Zitko can fit around the individual, not the other way around. Whether it’s because of a disability or a mental health condition, people need time away during the workday for a multitude of reasons, each reason being unique to the individual and their circumstances. It could be a medical appointment, some physical therapy, a sensory timeout, a jog or even a nap. Not everyone is able to function effectively during the same eight hours, day in and day out. To expect them to do so is unreasonable and ableist.
To ensure that our people know their needs are always our priority, Zitko has also provided each member of staff with private healthcare which includes mental health support and guidance. We are committed to preventing the topic of mental health becoming taboo in our company, which is why we have a Mental Health Champion who leads our Mental Health Team in keeping personal wellbeing at the forefront of the business. Already we are seeing the positive effects of these policies as they enable our people to be confident and forthcoming with sharing their struggles. Three members of the Zitko team have written insightful and deeply personal pieces on their own mental health and how Zitko has helped them, with others talking openly about their experiences on LinkedIn.
However, as employers we must realise that it can’t always be the individual’s responsibility to share their struggles with their managers. Often, the symptoms of mental health conditions are suppressed out of shame or fear of drawing attention, meaning senior leaders need to get better at intervening. This is why the Zitko Leadership Team is about to embark on the Mental Health First Aider Course and will then train our next generation of managers on what they learnt. This is being done so we can spot the signs and better understand poor mental health in others.
These efforts aside, we recognise there is still more to be done before Zitko is totally inclusive to those with disabilities and mental health disorders. We may have only scratched the surface for now but we are committed to bettering our practices and policies until we are an industry leader in EDI.