Here at BlueSkyMinds NZ, we’ve had the privilege of working alongside some exceptional organisations doing some incredible work in the area of wellbeing and high performance. It is extra special when one of those organisations scores a whopping 99% positive response to the engagement question ‘my manager cares about my wellbeing’. Here I describe what it’s like to partner year after year with a team that care deeply about the wellbeing of their people and how they achieved such an exceptional result.
The last few years have tested our collective mental fortitude like never before. We’ve weathered the storm of a global pandemic, endured the onslaught of extreme weather events, grappled with financial uncertainties, job insecurities, and carried the weight of climate concerns. Amidst it all, we’ve navigated a landscape of increasing complexity, constant change, disruptive forces, and waves of uncertainty. It’s been a relentless battle for our wellbeing.
But imagine, in the midst of this, you find yourself working for an organisation undergoing significant transformative change whilst also managing extremely high call volumes due to weather event claims.
How much your employer is willing to support your mental health through these challenges varies from company to company, and usually has a lot to do with your manager or team leader.
But here’s the catch: leaders themselves have faced tremendous strain in the past few years. They not only had to deal with the same challenges we did but also manage their own stress and difficult emotions while being there for their teams. Not to mention the difficulty hiring and keeping good people at the moment.
That is why when a major chunk of an organisation navigating all of these challenges (including the entire contact centre, 100+ employees) receives a 99% positive engagement score for ‘my manager cares about my wellbeing’ and 89% positive score for ‘my manager creates a healthy team environment’, one really does need to sit up and take note.
Here at BlueSkyMinds, we’ve had the privilege of working with this exceptional organisation, in particular a collaboration helping to roll out a three year programme to teams specifically designed to support mental health at work.
Based on what we’ve seen so far, we thought we’d summarise the key factors that have made a world of difference to mental health outcomes:
Leading from the front:
Imagine a company where the senior leaders are willing to share their own mental health struggles to the entire organisation. Their authenticity and vulnerability create a lasting impact. The realisation that it’s okay to talk about these things, and that even senior leaders can open up, becomes a powerful catalyst for change.
Employees are inspired by this display of leadership and begin to raise their hands, eager to share their own experiences. Conversations spread throughout the organisation, breaking down the stigma surrounding seeking help when we’re at our lowest. It creates a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable discussing their mental wellbeing.
Driving through change year after year:
Staying committed to a substantial mental wellness strategy year after year requires determination, resilience, and staying power. It’s easy to get distracted by new initiatives, but sticking to the same strategy and core message demonstrates discipline.
While rolling out new wellbeing events may be exciting, the company understands the importance of consistency.
By staying focused on their strategy, they have seen impressive engagement results over time. It’s the outcome of unwavering dedication rather than chasing fads.
Partnering where it makes sense:
The organisation has forged partnerships with various external providers, collaborating to provide specialised training and resources. These collaborations have had a significant impact on the organisation. Each year, they build upon this foundation, delivering more advanced content and support.
Through these partnerships, employees gain self-awareness around stress and pressure reactivity. They learn how to support one another, fostering a network of understanding and assistance. It’s through these collective efforts that the company has seen the most meaningful impact on employee wellbeing.
Senior leaders that care and have stuck around:
Having stable and caring senior leaders makes an enormous difference. These leaders have remained dedicated throughout the challenges and genuinely care about the wellbeing of their employees. Their passion for implementing healthy initiatives is palpable.
Their commitment and enthusiasm inspire others to follow suit. Employees witness their leaders going beyond professional obligations, creating a culture where wellbeing is valued. This level of dedication becomes contagious, encouraging individuals at all levels to prioritise their own wellbeing and support their colleagues.
Overall, it has been an incredibly special experience partnering with this organisation—a place where real, tangible differences are made in the wellbeing of its people day after day, month after month, and year after year.
If you would like to chat about ways we can support your organisation to achieve a similar result please get in touch with Debbie at BlueSkyMinds – firstname.lastname@example.org