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We asked #TeamEames: What do you think employers can do more of to support mental health for all?

  • Publish Date: Posted 12 months ago
  • Author:by Sheridan Muir

​Sending a clear signal to staff that their mental health matters and being open about it will lead to support, not discrimination. Taking steps to create a supportive culture is key for employees to feel more confident to talk about their mental health.

We asked #TeamEames: What do you think employers can do more of to support mental health for all?

  • “Show acceptance and understanding for employees who are going through a difficult time and have a support system internally” - Abigail Lee, principal consultant, Singapore

  • “For me, it’s all about having an open culture that allows people to talk and discuss any problems they have without any repercussions or worries that it will affect their job or employment. If a company can create that kind of culture, then they will get huge rewards from their teams.” - Mark Thomas, partner and director, UK

  • “Having campaigns like this! Also, rewarding employees for doing something that contributes to a “better mental health” scenario and getting people to share their little wins in small, trusted groups.” - Chanel Wee, associate director, UK

  • “I think encouraging employees to take time off and avoid burnout is really impactful, as there are definitely some company cultures out there that make employees feel like they shouldn’t take their annual leave. Coming from the US, this was definitely something I had to unlearn. It’s also great to share resources for people to prioritize their mental health to make sure employees are taking care of themselves outside of work.” - Viveca Riley, associate consultant, UK

  • “Allow a flexible working pattern, virtual social platform for employees and an activities space for workouts, mindfulness and meditation.” - Jojo Yeung, operations manager, Hong Kong

  • “Make mental health awareness around the workplace more accessible and visible.” - Alex Joslin, associate consultant, UK

  • “Empathy would be the best word for this. An organization that listens to its employees is crucial. Employees need to feel the belonging to the organization without any prejudice and judgement. We are spending the majority of our day at work and employers are certainly facing a hard time connect everyone together. It is important to let the employee know that the company is supportive no matter what the employee has been going through behind the scenes. I am glad to be in Eames Consulting, where there isn’t much of a 'me' but more of a 'we'.” - Jun Leong, consultant, Singapore

  • “I think employers definitely have a part to play in supporting mental health. Examples include providing a supportive platform where people feel comfortable with talking about Mental Health, to giving everyone in the company a Wellness day to emphasise the importance of looking after yourself – this is something we had at Eames in the early part of the year.” - Hannah Turner, principal consultant, UK

  • “I personally think that encouraging employees to take time off work to spend time with their family or encouraging employees to take a day or two off when they have done well to do something they like would be a good way to support mental health. Random health packs or gifts to employees could also help to remind them that while they have a responsibility in the Organisation, the Organisation also takes care of their well-being.” - Lucas Tan, associate director, Singapore

  • “I genuinely believe that mental health first aid training should be available for all managers and anyone who wants it. Much like first aid training, you can make a quick but often crucial first step in supporting or healing an injury. I also think that encouraging mental wellness is important, but it can be overwhelming to navigate what might best help you. I am a pragmatist, so I think that providing practical support that may help someone struggling; for example, coping mechanisms to help with panic attacks, or structures that will help someone to prioritise themselves if they’re overwhelmed. I think taking time to understand your workforce and the challenges that they face will enable you to give more meaningful support rather than a tokenistic gesture that doesn’t solve the issue.” - Abigail Moss, associate director, UK

  • “This is a tough one as much is dependent on the individual themselves as well. There may be programmes and opportunities however we need to be mindful of our own mental health. Creating pockets of time amongst smaller groups of employees for better engagement and sharing, non-work-related activities that creates healthy living such as a 30-day challenge. Also, allowing a safe-zone to talk about personal challenges and struggles would help, ensuring complete confidentiality and trust amongst employer-employees.” - Vincent Yao, associate director, UK

  • “Develop strong bonds with your teammates, catch up with teammates consistently to show your care not only on a work level but personal well-being” - Louis Fan, associate director, Hong Kong

  • “Regular check-ins, care packages, team-based events, arranged team meetings that don't necessarily have to be about work and lastly... fostering an open channel about mental health!” - Adrian Chua, director, Singapore

  • “Staying in constant communication with their employees and checking in on how they are doing, not checking in on how many sales they have made but how things are at home etc. I feel Eames did this well, when we were working from home, we did many small things to keep everyone engaged and feeling part of a unit. One thing that I have seen more and more companies do is sponsor Gym memberships or contribute towards healthy activities.” - Toby Miles, managing consultant, Hong Kong

  • “Increasing awareness to employees with the aim to reduce stigma; treat poor mental health as an illness rather than a choice. Employers should make sure all employees can openly speak about their feelings to their managers and colleagues.” - Rafaela Fakhre, principal consultant, UK

  • “Continue to support great charities such as mind but also proactively encourage employees to ‘unplug’ completely perhaps by limiting screen time on devices as we do with kids!” - Sanjeev Vegad, partner and director, UK

  • “Employers could schedule well-being days or hours in between working days to remind employees to take a break from work. As we all know, when we are busy with work, we tend not to take any breaks.” - Jasper Ang, consultant, Singapore

  • “It's something close to my heart and personally I think it's important to ensure there's a safe environment for people to talk. Talking about mental health can leave you feeling very vulnerable, so it's important to know support is there and that being open about your situation won't have a negative impact on your position internally. I also think it's essential senior leadership and management are trained in handling these conversations.” - Sam Crayk, manager, UK

  • “I think there should be a concerted effort to be a lot more flexible with employees around their fitness goals and make sure that they are happy for people to take some time out during working hours for various wellness activities, not just specific to lunch breaks and after work. Doing events either as a team or a company 1-2 times per week (not just related to going for a drink down the pub) could definitely help drive the morale and strong mental wellbeing between team members.” - Robin Muir, partner and senior principal, UK

  • “Encouraging holiday use (including staying off email), encouragement of exercise and general support on managing work and home life together which is different for everyone.” - William Bragg, managing consultant, UK

  • “It’s about having options so that employees can readily access support that they may want and need, but that nothing is forced. What appeals and supports one person, might not be what another person needs. So, you have to look at a rounded wellbeing strategy that has elements that everyone can benefit from. So, constantly reassessing what options are effective, which aren’t, through listening to your teams, is key for supporting mental health.” - Ruth Foster, chief people officer

  • “Any firm with employees should encourage open dialogue about wellness and mental health and actively promote positive ways to support their employees with initiatives that allow employees to redress any imbalances around how they feel.” - Matthew Eames, founder and CEO

  • “Providing support in terms of well-needed leaves (thank you Eames!). No meeting days might help for certain roles and to check in with each other constantly, you never know what the other party is going through.” - Charmaine Chiam, consultant, Singapore

  • “Keep employees engaged and make sure there are regular check-ins to make sure everyone is ok.” - Hazel Rowe, regional audit head, Singapore

  • “Make employees feel comfortable to take sick leave due to mental health.” - Jared Cave, senior consultant, UK