Throughout the lockdown period I have talked about the wellbeing of remote employees and how to best manage working from home, with mental wellbeing at the heart of those conversations.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and considering the current circumstances, it’s timely that this year’s theme is kindness. Just under three-quarters of employees across the UK believe the one lesson we should learn from the COVID-19 crisis is to be kinder as a society.
It goes without saying that when someone is kind to you, it has a positive impact on your mental health – and the same goes for when we are kind to others, you can’t help but feel good about making others feel happier. Kindness can help reduce stress, improves emotional well-being, helps with self-esteem and can be motivating on an otherwise dreary day.
The story for Elite is how our employees, teams and customers have shown their own acts of kindness, more so during the last couple of months. Maybe I am noticing this kindness more than I would do normally because of the situation we are in or maybe people are being more thoughtful… but whatever the case maybe, it is definitely working and it is lovely to see.
We are seeing more positive news stories about each other, more of you are thanking your colleagues and sending notes of appreciation. Customers are taking the time to show their gratitude for a job well done and the feedback we have had has been outstanding. My team have been so helpful to me personally in sending stories to write about or in their willingness to share help and advice to others. Even when I am out and about for a walk (infrequent despite my tips from working from home), people are saying hello from across the street and smiling more than ever. Usually, everyone has their heads stuck in their phones but now people want the connection and its great.
This week we would like to promote acts of kindness as part of Mental Health Awareness week, here are a few ideas to get us all started:
COVID-19 may have disrupted our lives, but it has also shown our potential for huge acts of kindness, both as individuals and, critically, as a company to work for. That is why moving forwards Elite will be incorporating well-being and mental health as a key pillar of its future policies and every leader, manager and employee will be asked to recognise the importance of a robust mental health and wellbeing strategy, which places kindness at its heart.
Elite’s mental health ambassadors are doing a fantastic job in helping our colleagues’ day to day and advising the directors and management team on employee well-being. We want to strengthen this team for the future and will be asking for volunteers to participate in mental health awareness training. I’d encourage other companies to implement Mental Health ambassadors as well, because maintaining the mental health of your employees only strengthens your company as a whole.
As we plan for returning to work, we will also be involving employee representatives and volunteers to help review our plans and feedback their thoughts and questions. Remote working and the crisis, in general, has taught us to be more open and inclusive and the company and employees will see a real benefit going forwards.
Finally, and of equal importance, it’s really imperative to be kind to yourself – don’t forget this!