“It’s NOT OK not to be OK”

I recently had the pleasure to attend a webinar hosted by the Conveyancing Foundation to discuss the work the Group Transformation Division at Lloyds Banking Group have been doing to support colleague’s mental, physical & emotional wellbeing during this difficult period.

The objective was to share experiences from different organisations and industries; at LBG we have a number of different employee wellbeing services we offer. We have supplemented this with a ‘’positive mental wellbeing roadmap.’

The ‘’corona rollercoaster’’ we have all been on is, in my view, still very much “on track.” The 19th July, when restrictions were eased, it didn’t come to a standstill but has only slowed down to let some off whilst others remain tightly fastened in – many of our colleagues who are still on this ride are the ones that will need continuing support as we ‘Return To A New Society.’

But is this the right way to look at ‘’returning to a new normal’.” Do we need revalidate the thinking that ‘’the marathon is coming to an end?” My own personal view is we need to challenge this thinking; should we not be looking to ‘’embrace the change’’ that the pandemic has forced upon all of us?’’

This “Return To a New Society” needs to focus on how we can make positive changes out of the pandemic. Collaboration and support across all industries is needed in these challenging times and will be for some considerable time to come. The pandemic has shone a whole new light on wellbeing and we must and should take this opportunity to shape it fit for the future so we can all build back better.

In the past we have sometimes assumed what our people needed to help support their wellbeing; the pandemic has taught us thatwe now need to listen differently and act differently… we need to be empathetic leaders.

In the past leaders might have assumed their people are capable of leaving personal lives at the front door of work and switch into ‘work mode.’ However, during this pandemic, that has not been possible as the two have become intertwined – now it’s about enabling staff to bring their true selves to work and into an environment that is built upon not just what we deliver, but how we achieve that through an organisation’s most valuable asset…its people.

For, the pandemic had highlighted the importance of a wellbeing check-in. We now work in this virtual world, making it more difficult to engage with our team and / or spot the signs if someone is struggling. We need to adopt techniques that get beyond the common response ’I’m Fine.’  Silence can be such a powerful asset to have which some may find difficult to comprehend when supporting others mental wellbeing – we need to move away from assuming to listening and acting differently!

When we learn, talk, adapt and implement strategies around our people’s mental wellbeing, our starting position shouldn’t be ‘’it’s okay not to be okay’’…..BUT SHOULD BE ‘’It’s NOT okay not to be okay’’

 

Martin Roberts is founder of Keep in Mind. Find out more about Martin’s wellbeing techniques at www.keepin-mind.co.uk

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