OPINION: Bosses – treat your staff with kindness

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OPINION: Bosses – treat your staff with kindness

For Mental Health Awareness Week, Zoe Sinclair of 'This Can Happen' speak about the impact of the lockdown on workers, and why employers need to support staff

Zoe Sinclair

Mental Health Awareness Week could not have been timelier this year. A small positive coming out of lockdown is more people than ever before are talking about their mental health. It’s not surprising to know that since the strict isolation measures were announced, mental health-related searches such as ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ have risen dramatically, causing breakout trends on Google.

So how, as an employer or manager, can you ensure that you are supporting your colleagues in the most effective way?

They must feel you are giving them priority over business performance. Depending on how many staff you have, try to speak to them daily. Remember not all the conversations have to be about work. You will need to increase communication to remote workers and the tone should always display trust. Ask employees how they are and listen non-judgementally before asking about work.

Zoe Sinclair

Senior people should share vulnerability to inspire their workforce – it is not a weakness. Everybody needs to be kind to themselves as this will build resilience during tough times.

We have all been affected during this time to some degree, so give your staff the opportunity to talk. Isolation, lack of privacy, parenting and being afraid to go out are some of the concerns they will have among many more, and these are all legitimate.

Faith and mental health have, in the past, been a thorny issue.  However, the Jewish business community is becoming more switched on thanks to the wonderful work of Jami and the work going on in schools. We must take steps to ensure a kinder, more responsible approach to our staff and their needs – there is no longer such  a thing as ‘business as usual’.

  • This Can Happen’s Its Workplace Mental Health Conference will take place online between 23 and 25 November. For details and free mental health resources, visit www.thiscanhappenevents.com


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