Mental wellbeing - what can you do now to support your team?

Emily Hill Emily Hill

02-04-2020

Let’s speak honestly for a moment. 

Just between us, we tech companies are up against it in regard to mental wellbeing. The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey found that the UK’s tech industry is facing the highest skills shortage for more than a decade. And to make up for the shortfall, existing teams are often overworked. They’re often all too willing. But that doesn’t mean there’s no cost. 

The old pressure

When the Harvey Nash Tech Survey reached out to 2000 tech workers, half of them said they have been concerned about mental health due to work, “either in the past or - as one in six (16%) report – right now.” 

The tech sector is not alone in creating a pressure to be always ‘on’. Between tight deadlines and unpredictable timelines, we can unwittingly push our teams to breaking point. 

Tech leaders, as in many other sectors, are often not given training on mental wellbeing. Often they have no capacity to help their team because they’re wound up so tight, trying to hold their own wellbeing together. Training for mental wellbeing was an important issue before, but now it’s more essential than ever.

The new pressure

Now we’re all at home, and while the stresses of the commute may have dissipated, traffic jams a distant memory, we face new challenges. Some businesses have been lucky to already have home and flexible working systems in operation. But others have been caught off guard. The need to stay connected and develop better practices is inherent, but now we need to do it via fuzzy cameras and intermittent WiFi.

The relief

A little while ago, Debbie Kleiner-Garnes, Head of Happiness at PES was at the Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference, where the CEO of Mind was summarising a report on thriving at work. He said, “Businesses can make the most impact [on wellbeing] at the point where employees’ performance has dropped, and they are not socialising as much.” Or in other words, the situation in which many of us find ourselves. 

So let’s intervene. Let’s keep our team’s well-being in check. Let’s help them stay buzzing, and not because they’re drinking coffee at night to crunch a deadline. The tide of conversation can turn from How do we get through this? to How can we look out for one another better?

We all need to work together now. To learn together and adapt together. To make wellbeing a priority. That’s why we’re inviting you, in partnership with PES, to a virtual breakfast gathering on the 28th April at 8:30am. Grab your spot and get stuck into the most important conversation we can be having right now.