Mental Health Awareness Week: Our committed approach to staff wellbeing

12 May, 2021

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As employers, we play a really important role in being an anchor and support for staff during their hardness moments. We know that our people are instrumental to our success at Pick Everard, which is why we take our responsibility of care for staff very seriously. Our HR Manager, Glenda Creasey, discusses our approach to staff mental health and wellbeing.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, one of our biggest missions has been to ensure that staff mental health and wellbeing has been cared for just as much as any physical health would be.

Stress often plays a huge role in how we are feeling mentally and since the outbreak of the pandemic, people have understandably been under more stress than ever. With so many people working remotely, it is also much harder to pick up on the signs of that stress through a screen.

This is why we chose to focus on this topic throughout April this year – Stress Awareness Month. Throughout the month we brought forth a number of topics, highlighting the impact stress can have on us and how we can help manage it better despite these uncertain times.

However, recognising stress within our colleagues and the impact that has is something that we took on board from the very beginning and plays a continue part in our ongoing work, particularly as people experience and respond to external pressures in very different and individual ways.

We have armed ourselves with knowledge, equipping ourselves to be able to identify problems much more quickly – both in others and ourselves. This stretches beyond our central HR function to line managers and the wider business, who were provided guidance and training in how to spot changes in our colleagues and how they could help.

Recognising that we have had to be more reliant on staff recognising and taking stock of their own wellbeing, we have worked hard to keep our channels of communication open and transparent so people can speak up whenever they need to. This includes upping one to one time with managers and increasing access to mental health first aiders.

Within our People Hub, we have a dedicated area for wellbeing, signposting to external services for additional support – such as Samaritans, SaneLine, and Mind.

Human connection is central to our wellbeing, which is why the pandemic has impacted so many people’s mental health. Overnight our teams went from buzzing, busy offices to isolation at home so it’s been important for us to maintain as much connection as possible through technology. We have implemented broadcasts and introduced our ‘Call a Colleague’ initiative to keep people talking to each other – ideally about things outside of work to help reflect the natural conversations that would happen in the office.

The most important thing we can do as a business is to ensure that our staff feel like they have a voice and are listened to. The issue and stigma around mental health in the construction industry is well documented, which is why we have been taking part in Pagabo’s industry-wide study using Moodbeam One devices.

We know that the full impact of the pandemic on the UK’s mental health is yet to be fully realised, but it’s up to us as employers to do what we can to make sure that our people stay healthy in every way.

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