Mental Health in the workplace is of critical importance to any business. We know that we face specific challenges in the online community industry. Our people are really on the ‘front-line’ helping others online who are often confused, frustrated or even angry with a particular business. We’re committed to being a leading example of how to support Community Managers on this front.
That’s why we’ve created our first mental health and wellbeing policy at Standing on Giants! We completed a number of initiatives to get here, check them out below.
Creating a Mental Health in the Workplace Programme
The Mental Health Project Group
The first thing we did was create a project group made up of volunteers across the business. We mixed seniorities and teams to ensure an even representation. The project group set out an action plan and our overall goal:
‘Create an industry-leading workplace mental health policy with associated processes and support for Standing on Giants’
The project team implemented an anonymous company-wide survey to:
a. Get an overall impression of how our team viewed their mental health and wellbeing.
b. Hear what initiatives the team had experience before and what they thought we should implement.
From the results, we learned that:
- Overall, our team felt good about their mental health in the workplace and that we had a supportive and open culture which promoted good mental health.
- Despite this, the team wanted more clarity on the process if they were experiencing a period of poor mental health.
- They felt that company-wide training would be valuable.
- They were keen to see other initiatives to support individuals: counselling, wellbeing activities etc.
Based on requests from the team, our first initiative was to have a company wide mental health awareness training with charity: Rethink
The training was incredibly valuable in giving us a shared understanding of mental health and wellbeing, appropriate language and behaviour for ourselves and each other, and a number of useful tools and templates for us to use.
Policy creation and new initiatives
After the training we created our very first Mental Health and Wellbeing policy for Standing on Giants! This was implemented in May 2020 with the following guidelines and initiatives.
How we treat mental health
Mental Health is treated equally to physical health at Standing on Giants.
We don’t want our team to wait until they’re unwell to take time off. We introduced Personal Days to allow our team to proactively take time to do things that promote their wellbeing. These days can be taken without having to provide a reason, unlike a sick day.
We now encourage our team to create a wellbeing plan using a template from Rethink. This helps us all to reflect on what wellbeing looks like for us, what can trigger a spell of poor mental health, and what we can do when we need a boost. The team are encouraged, but not required, to share these with their colleagues so that we can all look out for each other.
Access to counselling
We introduced company medical insurance that covers six 1-1 counselling sessions per year.
An individual approach to ongoing support
We’re very proud of these initiatives but we acknowledge that there is no one size fits all solution when dealing with any health issue. We believe that creating a support plan on a case by case basis is the most effective approach if our team experience more serious periods of poor mental health which affects their work.
We thought this was a good start in promoting wellbeing in our team. We were very pleased that the measures were unanimously praised in our latest staff welfare and satisfaction survey.
We are also very proud that we were included by B Corp in their Mental Health best-practices guide for other B Corps! This was published publicly on medium here. We think we can safely say we achieved our goal of creating an industry leading programme!
We really hope this has given you some ideas on how you can implement some great measures to improve mental health in the workplace for your business.