In support of National Mental Health Month we rallied around to bring you the very best workplace mental health tips, initiatives and strategies from HR professionals that you can implement, too. We asked our friends over at McCullough Robertson, Go1 and one of our very own intelli team members to share what their organization is doing to promote good mental health, as well as what they do to take care of their own wellbeing.
Watch the video or read on to find out.
What does your office do to promote good mental health?
Deanna Futia, McCullough Robertson
Deanna Futia from the HR team at McCullough Robertson share three workplace mental health tips, initiatives and perks employees at MCR benefit from.
- Encouraging exercise
All staff have access to a subsidised gym membership through Fitness First (which is nice and conveniently located just across the road from the office).
- Employee assistance program
This 24 hour -service is free and available to all staff.
- Healthy days program
This initiative allows all staff to take a personal day off work when they need to take a day for themselves.
Cameron Cliff, Go1
- Being open about mental health
The biggest thing that we’ve learned during this period to try and de-stigmatise mental health is to be open with each other by talking about it all the time.
“It’s about letting people know that we don’t think less of them if they’re going through anxious periods, and letting them know that it doesn’t reflect on what we think of their ability to do work”
Offering the right training at the right time.
- Checking in
We make sure we check in with our staff to let them know we’re there and that there’s a cycle of support available. There’s an employee assistance program, online yoga classes, exercise classes, or even beer-making classes — a range of things they might be interested in that they might not have had time for before.
And then having team members share what they’ve learned has had a big impact on our culture and tends to improve mental health as a whole through being more open and connected in the workplace.
Gemma Murdoch, intelliHR
Our very own Customer Success Manager Gemma gives us the inside goss on what her team does to create boundaries between work and home life.
- Signing on and off for the day
In our team we now sign on to Slack, our direct-messaging platform, when we start our day and when we’re finishing our work day. We also let everyone else in the team know when we’re going on lunch in the same way.
Working from home as we have been over the last couple of months, it’s been really easy to just stay at the computer all day. I think there’s a tendency to think of it as a Big Brother tactic, but what it’s actually done is increase the visibility over the fact that other people in the team are taking a lunch break or stopping work. And seeing that active log-off, especially from my manager, who’s in that group as well, and from other team members, has been a prompt for me to take a break.
You see all of your colleagues and teammates signing off and you think, “I should probably sign off for the day as well.”
It’s also been valuable in helping us to know when we can and can’t contact each other as, when everyone is working from home, we don’t have that same visibility to know when someone is free. If I know they’re on a break, I’m not going to interrupt them, I’ll let them have that full hour of time to themselves, I think this has really improved everyone’s wellbeing across the team.
What’s your mental health and wellbeing secret?
Deanna: Get outside everyday
My mental health and wellbeing secret is making sure that every day I take a break and head outside for a walk just to get some fresh air.
Cameron: Get moving, get connected
- Move around
The biggest thing I’ve found that’s good for my mental health is moving. I know that’s very hard for a lot of people in lockdown at the moment, but so I’m not seated in my bedroom working the whole time I make sure I get up every half hour and walk away from my desk to get the blood flowing around my body.
- Check in with family and friends
I’ve got a rolling roster of friends I can speak to. I wrote down a list of the people I value highly, including my friends and family and I make sure I’m checking in with one of them once a day. Because I know I’m a social person, making sure that I have contacted them and am learning about their lives and what they’re going through means a lot and it helps me stay healthy.
Gemma: Go outside for morning coffee
For someone who’s worked remote even pre-COVID, I absolutely stand by still going out to get my morning coffee. I’m very lucky to live in an area that has a couple of really great coffee shops nearby and when I wake up and I start my day, I make sure that I leave the house before I start any of my work.
Walking to a cafe and grabbing a coffee really helps me build that separation in my mind between my house, as a place for switching off and relaxing, and my house as my workspace as well. Having that defined action that I do every morning to start my work day has really helped keep me sane!
So there you have it, the common thread running through all of our interviewee’s tips is to move your body! Whether it’s to go outside for a walk at lunchtime, grab your morning coffee, or simply moving around your house, why not take five minutes today to get the blood flowing and endorphins going?
Want to know how you can track, monitor and improve your workplace’s mental health and wellbeing? Check out intelliHRs continuous feedback tools.