The Effects of Lockdown on Mental Health – Why Creating a Wellbeing Culture is Fundamental to Organisations Long Term Success (Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast)
The effects of lockdown – According to the experts and newly conducted polls, along with emerging studies into Covid-19 together with lessons from past outbreaks suggest that the pandemic could have profound and potentially long-term impacts on mental health.
The pandemic is clearly having a major social and psychological impact on the whole population, increasing unemployment, separating families, isolation, loneliness, finance, domestic abuse, and various other changes in the way that we live our lives. We also know that these lead to more towards major psychological risk factors for anxiety, depression, and self-harm, etc.
Employees will be returning to the place of work or may have been working through the pandemic as a key worker, every person will have been affected by the pandemic in one form or another.
The Social Contract
Social Contract will become a priority for Employees The successful employer of the future (or present) realizes that engagement comes from a place beyond the traditional employment contract. Traditionally called the psychological contract, such interactions between employers and employee are also becoming more defined by social influencers. It is here that sits an employer’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of its workforce. Little about this would be found in an employment contract, but more and more, there is an expectation from employees that their wellbeing will feature in their employer’s thinking. In terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (below), the basics of survival and security will only satisfy many employees for so long. True, many at this level maybe be ‘content’ with their lot and sit in the “I’m only working for the money” camp. But so many more want so much more from the employment relationship, mental health, wellbeing, and engagement fit here extremely well.
Recently Red Dot 365 teamed up with Rob Baker of Afon HR to look at engagement and the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need and how that fits into where we are in today’s world. We both agree success will be driven by the engagement of people.
Leadership is the fundamental key factor that transcends every part of the organisation.
People Want to Belong – They Want More Than Just a Wage
How do we Create a Wellbeing Culture?
A Wellbeing Culture can define a business and make all the difference when it comes to retaining employees and keeping them happy. With 64% of employees feeling like they don’t have a strong work culture, according to a report by TruPath, many companies are falling short in providing their staff what they need to succeed in the workplace, to feel happy at work, engaged and that they have a voice. They need to feel like they are contributing and play a significant role in becoming part of the solution, as opposed to being part of the problem.
Your company wellbeing culture reflects what your organization stands for, and as the voice of your business, your employees are key to ensuring that it succeeds. When you provide a work environment that your staff enjoys spending time in, it can help to improve their performance each day.
What Key Factors do we have to Think About to Creating a Wellbeing Culture?
1. Enlist, Empower and Encourage
The key is aligning people to the wellbeing culture. It is one thing to say you want a great culture, it's quite another to mindfully shape people's thoughts and beliefs around this vision you have. You must get people excited, proud, and appreciative of the wellbeing culture. Enlist them, empower them, and encourage them. When they "own" it, the wellbeing culture will thrive.
2. Have A Common Wellbeing Story
A wellbeing culture that thrives has a common, widely known story they are trying to achieve. The story of their product, their service, their customers. Organisations need to understand their people first, what is important to them, what do they feel and think of the company. We need to understand their goals, aspirations, challenges and what they believe will be the right solutions for them. They must feel engaged and a key part of the solution.
3. Focus on What's Going Right – Data and Evidence are the Key Factors
Building a wellbeing culture that thrives requires leaders who celebrate behaviours that exhibit the company’s desired wellbeing culture. Too often, leaders focus on what is not going right, which creates more of the same. Instead of placing attention on what is wrong, focus on what’s right. What is celebrated in a company will flourish. This simple shift in mindset is what allows companies to build great wellbeing cultures.
4. Make It About Humanity – Data and Evidence Allows for Open and Transparent Dialogue
To develop an effective wellbeing culture, people must be at the centre. You can implement theory-driven models, but if you do not make your culture about humanity you are missing the mark. Happy, engaged, and supported people are productive, and productivity leads to revenue. When you make your business model about revenue as opposed to people, the wellbeing culture conversation, dialogue, and transparency permeates the whole organisation, with people at the centre.
5. Establish Trust
The key is trust. Trust is the cornerstone of any wellbeing culture that thrives. If you trust the leader to take you on a path they have committed to, it builds ownership and buy-in from employees. Everyone is holding themselves to a higher goal and not their agenda.
6. Independence Allows you to Protect Anonymity and Confidentiality
Key factors that are very personal and can often lead to the perception that information may not be protected is fundamental to understating people’s real challenges. Sharing mental health challenges, relationship issues, etc, with a colleague or another person within the organisation will mean that people do not engage, they simply say what the company wants hear, or worse, they say nothing at all.