Francesca Baker, Marketing & Communications, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, discusses the work of the Wellbeing in the Workplace online learning programme, developed by the Lord Mayor’s Appeal
Now, more than ever, employee wellbeing matters. With the majority of us working remotely, it’s important that we support our colleagues and can recognise the signs of difficulty and concerns when it comes to their own wellbeing. We need to keep connected, and talking with others. We’re used to having chats in the office, conversing over coffee, and seeing people every day. When we’re working remotely it’s harder to be aware of changes in the behaviour or moods of our colleagues, and so regular check-ins are hugely valuable.
What should you do if you think someone is having difficulty with their mental health?
Wellbeing in the Workplace, developed by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Samaritans and PwC. Wellbeing in the Workplace (formerly Wellbeing in the City) is an online learning programme which brings Samaritans’ listening and wellbeing expertise into the workplace. It teaches employees the skills to look after their emotional health and look out for others, offering support long before a crisis occurs.
Understanding the importance of emotional health
The Wellbeing in the Workplace resources allows individuals to learn at their own pace, at their desk or at home. In as little as five minutes, workers can learn skills that will help them understand the importance of emotional health and have the confidence to reach out to a colleague, friend or family member who might be struggling to cope. More than 13,000 employees from over 900 organisations have completed the Wellbeing in the Workplace resources to date.
The response has been very positive, with both employers and employees saying that it has transformed their business. An incredible 93% say it has helped them to recognise emotional distress in others; 93% now recognise the importance of looking after their own wellbeing and 90% now feel more confident approaching someone in emotional distress. By empowering people with listening skills and strategies to communicate and connect effectively, they know the right questions to ask, how to speak with someone having difficulty, and the best way to support them.
The tool is available to businesses and workers at all levels and in all sectors. Although initially developed in the City of London, it is now used across the country and can be accessed by anyone. It offers employers the opportunity to support their workers, and individuals can learn valuable skills to maintain their own mental health and support that of others. It is ideal for any workplace, be that small local businesses, or big corporate organisations, and being an online tool makes it super accessible.
Adam Spreadbury, Senior Manager from The Bank of England, and the Bank of England’s Mental Health Network Co-founder says “I found this online training so valuable. It helps by giving practical tips about listening and giving support compassionately, without feeling the need to solve their problems.” It’s about offering reassurance and comfort, rather than having specific answers.
Holly Buckley, Community Manager at Leeds Building Society echoes this sentiment. “What Wellbeing in the Workplace taught me was that it’s safe to ask another human if they are ok, and not be afraid of their response. On a personal level, it gave me the confidence and courage to be more open with my team about my own mental health.”
Matt Lock, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Samaritans, says: “City life can be stressful. We know that listening saves lives. Our aim is to help people before they reach crisis point. Thanks to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and PwC, we’ve created Wellbeing in the Workplace to give people access to key Samaritans skills to help build healthier, happier workplaces.
People tell us that our Wellbeing in the Workplace tool suits the busy pace of work-life while giving them the skills to look after their emotional health, and to look out for others too.”