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As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, most organisations are finally addressing mental health considerations through Wellness programs.

But how well are they doing?

It’s worth thinking about how these programs are being received, by the very people who are affected on a regular basis.

Some of the comments I’ve received in my daily dealings with my learners include:

  • Our organisation has weekly one hour sessions and the whole company attends
    • How effective are these meetings? Are the organisers telling, or inviting contributions? Does anything get recorded or resolved?
  • We have a wellness support committee now, we never had one before!
    • On the surface it appears that it is a ‘socially responsible organisation’ …and that’s great; but what are they doing, and are they being collaborative and consultative?
  • My organisation doesn’t ask us how we are, they just tell us what they think we should hear
    • Presenting stats to back up facts and prophecies may not be the best news to hear from a person who is feeling low, it may just reinforce that life is troubled.
    • Not involving, observing and supporting staff may lead to unrecognised issues coming to light and compounding the feelings of aloneness.
  • I think it’s a waste of time – it doesn’t matter what they say, it doesn’t help me!
    • Angst arises when people are talked at, not talked to. Struggling emotions need recognition and support. Sweeping statements and assumptions sometimes do more harm than good.
  • Talking about it is just a reminder to me that it’s an issue everywhere else.
    • Mental wellness is a very personal and individual concern. No one wants to be pigeon-holed or dismissed as one of many.

There is no easy or one-of answer to mental wellness. Organisations would do well, if they are really serious about making a positive and effective difference, to think about the following:

  • Get to the root cause
    • Ask questions, even if it is every day, to understand how people are feeling
  • Isolate cases and treat them with the respect they deserve
    • It’s a very personal concern, no two cases are the same
  • Train the managers to observe and identify
    • Managers work closely with their staff – give them the training to know how to spot key words and actions
  • Follow up
    • Catch up after meetings – to identify what impact the ‘words’ had on people
  • Stay current
    • Keep up with case studies and good news stories and communicate those
  • Care more
    • We all have a duty of care for our colleagues – take time to ask ‘Are you okay?’
  • Motivate
    • Help others lift their spirits by gentle motivational tactics like praise and smiles!

I acknowledge there are some amazing wellness programs being actioned and here is a perfect example of that from Laura Branch at Landbay Partners Ltd.

Diane Edwards

Here at Landbay we understand the importance of putting in place Wellness Strategies to support our employees and following the Global Pandemic employee wellbeing is even higher on our HR Agenda than before.

Ensuring employee wellbeing is a top priority and has been at the centre of the business since it was established and the importance of making wellbeing strategies meaningful is key.

Any business can put in place wellbeing activities to support their employees, but what really sets Landbay apart is that our wellbeing strategies are built upon our employee’s individual needs. By doing this, we offer wellness events each week, also known as Wellness Wednesday’s which incorporates a range of activities that have been picked specifically by our employees to ensure that they relate to each individuals interests and needs.

If I could give advice to any company, it would be to allow employees to have a voice around matters that affect them directly, it certainly goes a long way and helps to create a happier and more engaged workforce.

Laura Branch

Diane Edwards

Diane Edwards

HR and Learning & Development Tutor