Another great article from PWC CEO Kevin Ellis on why a focus on mental health is so crucial for our workforces at this very moment.
“It was important to show our staff that this was a business-critical issue,” he said. “The healthy workforce is the most effective.”
It is no wonder we are all feeling a bit down… sitting at home week after week, constrained in what we can do, anxious about our health and of our families, worried about our livelihoods, frustrated that the routines that give our lives positive momentum have been curtailed and worse still that we may not be able gather as a family this Christmas.
We are fed up with zoom, with quizzes and virtual parties. So what can we do to keep our people engaged and positive through these dark days of winter?
Here at ComXo the frame of mind of our people is my foremost concern. We have implemented several initiatives that we hope will go some way to keeping everyone sane.
Firstly, we have rolled out a scheduled, weekly ‘Walk and Talk’ for every member of staff. This is when, with your supervisor or team leader, you get out from behind the computer, put your earbuds in and walk for an hour and talk on the phone. The talk is not just about business or performance but about you, how you are feeling, general chat, what you are learning, what you are grateful for…anything really but positive and uplifting human contact with a colleague.
Secondly, we have encouraged our weekly team huddles to be less formal and more up beat. So we start with a round robin of ‘Good news Check-ins’ this can be anything but it must be positive and preferably amusing or quirky. As MD, I also try to drop in on these huddles as often as I can to share my perspective and have a laugh.
Thirdly, we have sent goodies to everyone’s homes that encourage an activity. For instance we have had a virtual bake off where everyone got the ingredients for cakes and cookies and we have done the same thing with pizza.
For both, we used a local restaurant provider to support them and both gave us loads of instagrammable pictures for our @LifeatComXo blogs on Facebook and Instagram.
Fourthly, we have supported local charities who are themselves supporting local people who are having a hard time. This in itself helps us feel that we are being purposeful as a business and that we are a valuable part of our community.
My message to our people at ComXo is that challenge and adversity is an inevitable part of life. A pandemic like this is indiscriminate in who suffers its consequences. Whether it is the death of a loved one, a lost job or opportunity or being apart from our families. However, what it helps us realise, is just how important those things are and how as a mutual support group we can lift each other over and past these challenges until better days are with us once again.