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Corporate Mental Health & Wellbeing In Challenging Times

Corporate Mental Health & Wellbeing In Challenging Times
04 June 2020
 

Psychotherapist Noam Sagi explains some of his thoughts regarding mental health in corporate environments, in relation to COVID-19.

Noam Sagi is a psychotherapist, coach, mentor and co-founder of 58 Wellbeing.

Sagi is a former VP for marketing at MSN, and shifted from a career working in a large corporation to helping and supporting the wellbeing of others.  For the last 16 years, Sagi has worked with individuals, couples, groups, corporate leaders, and schools in supporting mental health, development, and growth. Sagi has over 10 years of experience and is known for his work in the field of personal development.

 

"Vulnerability is power. Make it safe to be different. When leaders encourage vulnerability and cultivate compassion at work, they enhance positive feelings and trust amongst workers — it not only improves performance, it also helps employees feel safe opening up to their managers about personal challenges"

 

Taking the fear out of our systems

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape in an unimaginable way for all of us. Some sectors might suffer more than others, but no one is immune; not to the physical effect of the virus and not to the mental health consequences of this pandemic.

I want to offer a way forward. Although I do not know much more then you do about the physical effect, the dangers and ways around it, I would like to concentrate on what we can identify as a way forward when it comes to the mental health of your team.

The lockdown message to stay at home worked well and most of us did just that. The challenge we face when we about to restart is that we cannot just take the fear out of our system. The message has gone in, and gone deep. 

 

Dealing with anxiety, fear and the unknown

 

Half of the workforce in the UK at the time of writing, prefer to stay at home then go back to work. Lessons we learn from other countries that are ahead of us suggest that people adopting very quickly to normality, but anxiety levels stay very alarming.

As an organisation, you will have wellbeing systems in place to invest in employees. Some offer a program of benefits. These are fantastic programs, but in this current climate, we need to dive deeper and do more to deal with anxiety, fear, unknown and uncertainty in the short term if we want results in the long term.

The key points to understand and accommodate now are:

 

  • Employees need support (not dogma) when they are most vulnerable
  • Everyone is special, and individuality needs to be recognised
  • Employees who work in compassionate environments are shown to be more innovative and adaptable, delivering higher quality and work that is more consistent
  • Vulnerability is power. Make it safe to be different. When leaders encourage vulnerability and cultivate compassion at work, they enhance positive feelings and trust amongst workers — it not only improves performance, it also helps employees feel safe opening up to their managers about personal challenges
  • Change is not an option. The world post-COVID-19 admires Captain Tom more than the Kardashians. Role models are a reflection of society. Change is happening as we speak. We need to be proactive and not reactive.

 

So, as the COVID-19 pandemic taught us many lessons and given us many insights, we must find a way to integrate them into our core values and mission statements to support our greatest asset – our employees.

Picture: A photograph of a person drinking from a cup, sitting on an armchair

Article written by Noam Sagi | Published 04 June 2020

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