Ahead of World Mental Health Day, our People Director Mizzy Lees talks about how to cope with the 'six-month wall' when it comes to looking after your talent.
World Health Mental Day 2020 is the Mother of all world mental health days. Never more than now should we acknowledge our own and each other’s mental health. Particularly in the context of the ‘six-month wall’ we are currently experiencing. @ProfAishaAhmed characterised ‘the wall’ in her recent (now viral) tweet. She told us that it is quite normal to hit a wall six months into a crisis, and whilst our instinct is to want to run away or worse ram our heads against it, what we’d be better off doing is seeing it for what it is, and to let it pass.
In the last six months we’ve quickly learnt to adapt to working from home, to being on furlough, to limiting our social gatherings, to being restricted by travel bans, quarantines, isolations, face masks and 10pm finishes. It has been relentless. But we are getting through it, we are resilient, and it will be ok. This is the message I am sending to my team on WMHD 2020.
At Mr. President we have some basic principles we adhere to when monitoring the mental health of our team;
1. Line Managers are key. Central to their role is a duty of care for the individuals within their team. Regular opportunities to ask, ‘How are you? How are you feeling? What have you been up to?’ are imperative, especially when WFH.
2. Publicly acknowledge well-being. There is a fine line between me appearing buoyant at the weekly company get together and making it seem like ‘everything is awesome!’ It is important to remind the team that this is a difficult time and if you’re not doing ok then that’s ok, let us know, we can help.
3. Encourage good health. It comes through nourishment, water, sunlight, movement, laughter and sleep. We should make time for all of these. Being at home all the time is not conducive with this, sometimes people need permission and encouragement to make space and time for themselves, again especially when WFH.
4. Always make exception. We try not to have too many policies on how to deal with personal circumstances or situations. We recognise that each of our team is unique, that they are all dealing with their own thing, that if we listen and lead with compassion, we can help in a much more positive way. And above everything their mental health is our priority.