Workplace wellbeing starts with leaders, according to our panel

Written by Danielle Owen Whitford

To highlight world mental health day on October 10, Pioneera hosted a round table to lift the lid on mental health at work and highlight things people can do today to support positive mental health.

Alicia Aitken from ANZ, Ella Mansfield from MMC and Lynn Crawford from the University of Sydney, have many years of experience in leading people, dealing with stress/mental health and researching how we can do things better.

It was a candid, frank and always interesting discussion as to how individuals and leaders can create a psychologically safe environment and lead positive mental health:

  1. Workplace wellbeing and psychological safety starts with the leader. You don’t need lots of tools or processes to help you, you can simply start by caring about your people. Be consistent with caring and supporting people and take the time.

  2. Take note of the early warning signs. ANZ uses many systems/platforms/programs to help them do this, including Pioneera. This gives them the data and signals to take preventative measures and action, rather than wait till things happen.

  3. One size does not fit all and it's important to tailor things to what an individual needs. Things like “Covid leave” that USyd offered, go a long way to help people feel appreciated and supported.

  4. It doesn’t seem as taboo to talk about mental wellness or health now, given we’re all in the same boat, so don’t be afraid of raising things with your team or your colleagues.

  5. Organisational values play an important part in dealing with mental health, how do your values support people? 

  6. There is still some fear around mental health and talking about it. Be mindful if you’re talking to your team or people are raising things with you, people are still worried about being judged. And many of the panel talked about being vulnerable and sharing how they are feeling as well.

  7. Mental health is now being seen as part of the employee value proposition - employees are looking for mental health support in an employer and will choose and employer that helps them look after their mental health and genuinely cares about them.

  8. The research indicates that wellbeing and productivity is so strongly linked and almost indistinguishable. Wow!!

How are you supporting mental health in your workplace? Are you seeing the early warning signs? Connect Indie today, to help reduce stress and build wellness in your team.

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