The last year has fundamentally altered perceptions and expectations of work and those who believe going back to work means returning to ‘normality,’ will have to face hard truths. The most successful companies will see this global shift in working attitudes as an opportunity to attract the best talent, build cohesive teams, grow agile businesses by investing in their people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Currently most UK companies are focusing on a reactive and signposting strategy for their employees procuring wellbeing services and insurance products such as Private Medical Care, Employee Assisted Programs, Group Income protection, Group Life Insurance, Cash Plans and Occupational health. All these services are reactive, and engagement is low due to being company led or managed. The employees are apprehensive about engaging and in return the possible negative impact this would have on their career.
Another concern is by only offering a reactive strategy without a preventative learning strategy to coach employees to adopt a positive mindset and have the skills on how to control their anxiety, knowledge on how to deal with their depression or generally working towards a healthier work life balance which includes mind, body and spirit.
Please look at the Mood, Thoughts and Motivation Scale (MTM), you can see the scale works from 1 Crisis - not able to take care of yourself. To 10 Happy – coping well with everyday stresses. The scale is broken down into 3 areas Severe, Moderate and Mild. Most people fluctuate between Mild and Moderate and very few will stay in mild due to us all having to deal with the adversities of life. We all sample, loss in the family, illness, relationship breakups and daily pressures but it is how we cope, respond and move forward.
Companies are currently sending key members of the workforce to become trained has Mental Health first aiders, this has its place and is required as part of signposting process to a service or employee benefit. Having the knowledge to spot signs within the workplace to try to unveil employees that are struggling and need help and support is a great thing. They are well positioned to see the signs between 4 and below but not 5 in the MTM scale.
Companies need to not only survive but need the workforce to thrive to project growth moving forward. When employees have gone though the Occupational health services or EAP for counselling sessions. I ask you, what is in place to stop these people relapsing weeks down the line or feeling vulnerable and have no ongoing support because the insurance quota has maxed out? They need the tools and the knowledge through experts to lead them by the hand and to nurture them into adopting new habits and routines. They need to be motivated, inspired and have a sense of belonging to the core values and objectives of the company they work for. Without a Prevention is Better than Cure learning and support strategy they keep going around the severe merry go round. It is because how resilient we are mentally, help us stay between moderate and mild. But if we don’t have the right knowledge, coping strategies and treatments that helps manage the situation could prevent dropping into the severe end of the scale and into crisis.
We need to create a peer to peer support based on similar professions and responsibilities, outside of the company we work for, so employees can talk, share and relate to the same pressures and situational barriers that they face on a daily basis.
It’s Mental has launched the Passport to Workplace Wellbeing Employee Subscription Service. This evidence based proactive strategy engages with your employees through bite sized video notifications like 60 second mood boosts, daily wellfie and Self help sessions. The aim to teach your employees how to self-manage their physical and Mental wellbeing.
Our panel of experts includes Psychologists and Physiotherapists, mental wellbeing coaches and holistic therapists, Nutritionists and Fitness experts. available to support your people through workshops, 1-2-1 sessions, panel discussions and speaker events.
Together, we can turn stressed-out, overwhelmed employees into resilient, confident, and happy individuals and in return your company will enjoy the benefits of a more productive, cohesive and happy workforce.
Article by Stephen Robinson
Founder & CEO