Our workplace isn’t just about work from morning to evening. Personal health should be a private matter. But when you need to take time off work due to a mental health condition, often it isn’t possible to maintain that privacy. Besides, do we even wish to share that in our working organisation? If the work culture doesn’t encourage open talk, don’t expect the team members to open up. Leaders have a responsibility to their employees to create an open, inclusive, and safe environment that allows them to bring their whole selves to work. The world we know is changing. It’s been called a “second pandemic” – the mental health implications of the global health crisis, political unrest, economic uncertainty, rising unemployment, social isolation, remote work, homeschooling, and so much more. And while it can feel like the first pandemic has been with us long enough for team members to have accessed the necessary resources and strategies for handling their stress, the fact is that many of us are probably struggling more. As a leader, You may have checked in with your team members when the crisis was acute, but you need to keep doing it. In her article “We Need to Talk More About Mental Health at Work,” Morra Aarons-Mele shares research showing that “Feeling authentic and open at work leads to better performance, engagement, employee retention, and overall wellbeing.”. Helping others isn’t a chore but one of the greatest gifts. Your willingness to open up an honest conversation about mental health with your team members is precisely the kind of gift many want and need right now. Create a Dialogue, and be the gift that evolves others to the next phase in their life.
15 May 2023
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