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Does your organisation consider mental health and psychological safety a thing? (Part 2)

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Preamble: I decided to write this article to equip myself better to combat the underlying threat to experiencing a great life and the workplace positively. For me, awareness and change must start with research. Reading the papers that I am sharing in this article has reinforced the importance of putting in action plans and strategies to resolve mental health and psychological safety to enable positive relationships, connections and a sense of participation in a team.

Preamble: I decided to write this article to equip myself better to combat the underlying threat to experiencing a great life and the workplace positively. For me, awareness and change must start with research. Reading the papers that I am sharing in this article has reinforced the importance of putting in action plans and strategies to resolve mental health and psychological safety to enable positive relationships, connections and a sense of participation in a team.

Part 2:

Link to part 1 https://www.zyrous.com/blog/does-your-organisation-consider-mental-heal…

This is the second installment to the blog considering if your organisation considers mental health and psychological safety a thing. We have covered the topics relating to if your company considers this important, areas for leaders to start, and the psychological safety-related challenges related to constant organisational change. This brings me to the subsequent topics, what does it do to performance, how to implement change, and when is the time to change.

How much does psychological wellbeing contribute to performance?

Addressing these challenges will provide benefits to your team and company; they typically take the form of improved productivity, via reduced absenteeism and presenteeism (reduced productivity at work). When a person takes multiple days off a year in addition to the average number of days sick leave that they would typically take. They have not been as productive in their role and are working at a reduced level of productivity. So, what can you expect when a company does seek to resolve the challenges that will therefore increase the wellbeing of its employees.

  • Increased productivity or reduction in presenteeism

  • Increased number of hours worked

  • Improved resilience

  • Increase in goal attainment

  • A drop in days worked under the effects of alcohol or other substances

“It is also vital for individuals to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and make it known where difficulties exist. “

Using sport as an example, professional athletes have a massive demand to perform for games. It is the preparation that leads to success, the wellbeing side of things is when there is psychological support to ensure success; most of this starts or sits with the individual.

For individuals, there are things that we can do that can help ourselves personally. Habits are important.

  1. Create early routines, e.g. a kick-off ritual of switching your mind into work mode.

  2. Ensure some outdoor time and exercise. A walk around the block at your building is fine. Don’t be an athlete. These tiny habits are beneficial. Most importantly, be consistent (10 minutes a day).

  3. Study and read about topics that are important to you.

  4. Surround yourself with people that promote positive conversation.

  5. Be deliberate about change and small habits.

At an immediate team level, the value of conversations to take an interest in people's lives, the micro-interactions that make someone feel like they are included are vital; here are some suggestions to help increase positive relationships.

  1. What about forming a sports team like basketball or soccer during lunch once a week.

  2. Lunches, a team that eats together stay together. (A personal favourite of mine)

  3. Don't forget to jump on those festivals as team opportunities. Christmas and Easter are always an opportunity to make people smile. Do something different, make it special.

  4. Pair wellbeing, how about ensuring that your team has a focus on wellbeing and ensuring they take the time to check into their peers. Put this in your manifesto for your team, how often are we checking into other team members?

  5. Maybe when starting a meeting, take the time to learn something new about someone like asking people about an activity or experience they had on the weekend or are planning on having.

These types of activities create an environment to foster individual performance or team togetherness. People want to be seen, heard, and valued; it isn’t a checklist that you can tick off. Attempt to ensure that these become the core of your routines. How can you shift your mindset to change the way you are feeling through work and life to perform and provide a better outcome in the task ahead.

There are always many things that are going on in a given moment; the important thing is that we all get to chose how we respond to situations and experiences in the workplace. Make the right choices.

When is the time to change?

Ultimately, It comes down to an understanding of what well-being actually means; it doesn’t mean a lack of stress and work is easy. Stress isn’t always a bad thing; high performers in the workplace, use stress to enable outcomes. The increased demand for employment requires high skills and goals to be in place. I am not saying stress is always positive. Chronic stress leads to burnout, stress not managed well (relentless stress) is when people break. What is important to differentiate is that there is a difference between ‘workplace content’ and ‘workplace context’.

Workplace content includes job content (monotony, under-stimulation, meaningless of tasks, lack of variety, etc.); workload and work pace; working hours; and participation and control.

Workplace context is the areas that leaders need to focus on that includes career development, status, and pay; the employee's role in the organisation; interpersonal relationships; organisational culture; and work-life balance.

How to address workplace context:

  • create a positive working environment, recognise, and reward.

  • building individual skills and resilience, and/or

  • supporting employees with mental health conditions

With remote working now in full force, has this made a positive or negative experience to employee wellbeing, time will tell.

Where are you at, what are you facing in life, what are the strategies in life to ensure you can achieve the right outcomes in life, an employee or a leader, there is always time to act and it should be now.

Perform a quick sense check:

  • are you aware of your company/team/individuals wellbeing or psychological safety

  • do you have a program in place, EAP or less formal

  • do you feel you or your teams consider these topics in their decisions and treatment to each other

  • do you feel as an individual that you can do more

Achieving something on a level that is a positive one in the end. It isn’t the product, it is the means.

Zyrous is offering 10 hours of free consulting service to help set up your idea for success.

Who we are

Zyrous provide Design and Software development services that will include the research of your idea from ‘just a thought’ to a scaling product as your user base grows. With teams based in Perth, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we enjoy the process and creativity of turning ideas into validated concepts.

David Daff - Director

About the author:

With a passion to see agile teams and software delivery successful, David has the ability to deep dive on project details and manages deliverables to commercial outcomes. He’s been delivering successful projects for startup to enterprise over the last decade. Sharing the best of agile software development techniques to take project roadmaps to project delivery. David makes sure you obtain the outcome you are seeking.

City: Perth

Country: Australia

Website: www.zyrous.com

David Daff