Watch the webinar
- James Harding, Co-founder, Tortoise Media
- Tony Danker, Director-General, CBI
- Poppy Jaman OBE, CEO, City MH Alliance
- Jack Curzon, Director, Mercer
- Lauren Adams, HR Director, CBI
- All felt a little bit better when the vaccine was announced, and we should still be optimistic.
- Have been struck about how quickly business leaders started talking about mental health – was the top priority for CEOs he met as part of his early ‘listening tour’ of CBI members.
- Been a ‘big surge of humanity’ among the business community.
- Idea of ‘business at the service of the nation’ and frontline of the mental health crisis.
- On Brexit – have published a new paper called ‘smoothing the cliff-edge’ and sets out 48 concrete things which need to be done before January 1st on different issues, sectors, businesses.
- Top tips for mental wellbeing: everyone should take time to process what happened this year, businesses need to come back more mature on this next year, with better processes in the way employers handle these issues.
Poppy Jaman OBE
- Every board and CEO is dealing with accumulative stresses of everyday life e.g., social injustices, life changes – can no longer say it’s just government, personal, charity responsibility.
- Almost 10% of people accessed mental health support via their workplaces at the height of the pandemic – good but needs to be much higher.
- Need to focus on prevention rather than dealing with crises.
- Forwarding thinking businesses have in-house counselling and coaching and employee assistance programmes which are culturally sensitive.
- Can be as simple as asking someone ‘how are you?’ – over the past 9 months this has been the golden question and one of the good things to come out of the pandemic. It helps create a safe space for people with lived experience.
- We all have mental health, important for people to know their signs and have safe dialogue with their managers.
- Things that have worked well regarding managing workloads: blocking our lunch hour in diaries, not sending emails past a certain time, leading from the top.
- Focus on building a ‘sense of belonging’ and ensure everyone feels like they own a stake in the company.
- Mercer focus is on how employers can establish employee need and how company can deliver that. Big part of this is connections – limited social connections now, many just having zoom calls whereas used to have coffee catchups, face to face meetings, events etc.
- Need to have solutions which are as diverse as your people.
- How do you keep tabs on people on a way that’s responsible but not intrusive? And how can you best segment support depending on staff need and location? For example, those working off-site or retailers behind the till. They need to be spoken to in different ways – need to think creatively about communications and also the culture you want your business to build.
- Top tips: take a step back and ask yourself ‘why are we doing what we’re doing?’ what are our objectives?
- Could also implement simple things like meetings where you don’t have to turn your camera on, give people take days off for birthdays etc,
- Also, emotive things e.g., food and drink, and getting together. Zoom cocktail and cooking lessons for example.
- Spoke about her own lived experience of mental health issues in the workplace.
- As a small organisation, the CBI carries out a survey of staff wellbeing, training for line managers, and takes a preventative approach, and communicates internal and external support.
- Also highlighted the importance of making mental health part of the culture – this year has taught us that we need dedicated resources for different groups e.g., for those with caring responsibilities, working families and childcare responsibilities, for people who are shielding and/or are vulnerable.
- Lots of resources externally and on the CBI website: Mental Health at Work, Mind, guest article on mental health by Peter Cheese, Chief Executive, CIPD.
- Top tips: posting advent calendar throughout December with a tip on taking care of your wellbeing e.g., go for a walk, reach out to a colleague. But can also do in January.