Mental Health Week – Work Place Mental Health
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are struggling with our mental health. Employers can play a significant role in supporting mental health. It’s not a one-size-fits all approach, but having examples of the kinds of things you can do as an employer can help. Here are some things that we do at Causeway:
1. Prioritize connectivity: We make space in our team meetings for check-ins and at all-staff meetings, we use breakout rooms to check in with each other. This way, we get to talk to people we don’t regularly see because of remote working.
2. Team building: We like to do team building exercises and staff socials a few times a year (virtual trivia is always a great idea). Our ED, Hailey, also holds regular open-office hours for anyone who needs to come by and connect.
3. Taking advantage of email threads: We have very active email threads pretty regularly! Sometimes we have themes to inspire sharing, like what books we’re reading, or what our Netflix recommendations are.
4. Celebrate accomplishments of all shapes and sizes: We recognize work milestones and other accomplishments because we recognize how important it is to support our teams’ professional development – it’s investment in the staff and people we serve.
5. Guarding Minds at Work survey: This survey takes stock of where we are and where we need to make improvements for our employees’ mental health. Better still, we have a great committee actively implementing the findings! So far, this has included things like organizing lunch and learns, challenging staff to participate in the 5-day mindful morning challenge, and compiling lists of shared resources including a list of favourite walking areas.
6. Let’s talk time off: Our work at Causeway is so rewarding, but we all know how important it is to take time to recharge. That’s why we have generous vacation day allotment, additional time off in December, and *drumroll* birthdays off as paid time.
Paid sick time is also super important to us. We want our staff to have the time to recuperate and feel better before returning to work. This includes taking mental health days.
Speaking of mental health days, we had an organization-wide mental health day shortly after the pandemic began. We all needed the time to process the change around us.
And medical appointments? We work with everyone to accommodate flexibility in schedules, including working from home before that became the norm, whenever needed. Medical appointments are considered paid time, so you never have to worry when the dentist is running late.
7. Look at the pets: In the before-times, we prided ourselves on having a dog-friendly workplace. Now, we celebrate our furry friends when they appear on Zoom calls. Through Zoom, we have the opportunity to see even more pets including cats and birds!
8. Encourage exercise: Something that’s pretty special to us at Causeway is our onsite gym and personal trainer, Christopher. When regulations allow, our staff are welcome to use the gym (for free!) to help manage physical and mental health.
What practices do your workplace have to support workplace mental health?