workingmums.co.uk has published a brand new white paper on its recent roundtable with employers on the mental health challenges of working during a pandemic and beyond.
On September 8th 2020 a roundtable brought together diversity and recruitment experts from a range of organisations and sectors to discuss the importance of addressing mental health and well being in the workplace during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People hosted the round table, and welcomed everyone by speaking about the organisation’s commitment to sharing and promoting best practice in diversity and flexible working. Having moved on from the initial crisis management stage of the pandemic, she said that mental health was a crucial area for employers and organisations need to start looking to the longer term with regard to the support they provided and how they encouraged a resilient workforce.
Guests from Capco, Santander, Pitney Bowes Ltd, Ocado, Odeon Cinemas Group, SMS, FDM Group, Nockolds Solicitors, Sage and the Mental Health and Well Being Network were all in attendance and discussed challenges within the sphere of mental well being and how they had been dealing with them.
There were clear sector differences in the transition to homeworking during lockdown, and has since been a lot of fear about returning to the workplace and school. Different employees had faced a range of different challenges, and it was important for employers to invest time and money into supporting a range of issues.
The attendees shared their different approaches to supporting staff. Some had appointed mental health first aiders (or coaches), whilst others had reached out to external services and consultants to support staff. Several employers also recognised the importance of emotional intelligence in uncertain times, and had been having emotional intelligence sessions with line manager so they were better able to recognise issues amongst their teams.
There had been a big emphasis on communication, especially in the early days of lockdown, had been vital. This included keeping in touch with furloughed workers. Employers had used a number of different methods to stay in touch, especially with those members of staff who were out in the field and not usually office based but still affected by the issues raised by the pandemic.
They also discussed how important it was to embed mental well being as a key cultural issue, and how getting senior leadership buy in was essential to success. The power of positive thinking was also raised, as was the necessary adaptability to change.
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