August 20, 2021
Lucy Robertson

A people manager’s guide to addressing mental wellbeing in the workplace via people-centric one-to-ones

Employee wellbeing and mental health are two of the biggest issues in the workplace today. Last year, Perkbox revealed that of all British adults in employment, 75% commonly experience work-related stress, around 55% experience anxiety as a result, 43% lose sleep, and a third turn to comfort eating.

These issues need to be addressed, not just through an email or a message on Slack, but through regular and frequent one-to-one check-ins that ensure your employee’s concerns are being listened to and that action is being taken to find a resolution.  

Whether your employees are working remotely or in the office, they could be suffering from a lack of recognition, burnout, or isolation (to name a few work related stress problems), all of which hamper their productivity, leave them anxious about performance, and in turn create a vicious circle. In the world of hybrid working, the responsibility to keep abreast of employee wellbeing is heightened – particularly when you take into account proximity bias.

Hosting effective and regular one-to-ones are key to solving this – but why is mental wellbeing so important for developing a healthy company culture? And how can managers use one-on-ones to discuss mental wellbeing effectively?

Why wellbeing check-ins during one-to-ones are key to creating a healthy culture

Wellbeing is vital to individual productivity - it’s more often than not featured as one of the top ten Blend drivers across users of OpenBlend’s platform. That’s why it’s shocking to see that in a poll of 2,000 workers by Mental Health First Aid England, 25% of them said that their workplace had not checked in on their mental health since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Experts have said that employers can take various steps to improve their workforce’s mental health for instance - giving them more flexibility regarding policies on compassionate leave or allowing those with additional caring responsibilities (e.g. for very young or very old relatives).

But as we’ve said time and time again, individual employees are different, with different drivers and motivators, different concerns and different things that affect their personal wellbeing. That’s why individual check-ins are so important for helping your business understand its employees and create a healthier company culture overall.

Wellbeing check-ins aren’t something that employees and managers should fear. Instead, they should be used to promote and improve wellbeing by providing a regular ‘push channel’ for raising issues and concerns.

Having mental wellbeing check-ins during employee-manager one-to-ones with OpenBlend

With OpenBlend’s platform, you’ll have access to a coaching framework that will support sensitive conversations, as well as prompts based on the powerful coaching philosophy, the GROW model (with Grow standing for Goals, Reality, Options, and Way Forward).

Crucially, employees decide whether they want to talk about their wellbeing or not. However, we’ve noted that OpenBlend users spend on average 20% of their time in a one-to-one session viewing and discussing wellbeing scores. With OpenBlend, managers are able to check-in on an employee’s wellbeing using 3 simple questions:

  • “How happy are you?”
  • “How confident are you?”
  • “How capable do you feel to manage stress?”

Some managers might struggle with the personal nature of an employee one-to-one. However, when you have a set of metrics to hand, it enables managers to bring structure to otherwise tricky conversations, making them easy and solution focussed

So, employees can drive the conversation and work with managers to identify what’s having an impact on their wellbeing. Managers are provided with coaching prompts that help them achieve a clear set of end goals and actions that come from the conversation. Whether that’s changing shift patterns, moving to remote working, providing deadline extensions for tasks and so on.  

Managers can monitor wellbeing and employees can use the platform to update their wellbeing scores outside of sessions, meaning that managers can come to the one-on-one with a clearer picture of that employee’s wellbeing and can prompt for sessions when the metrics to do with an employee’s wellbeing change. And there’s no need for employees to worry about privacy, as managers are the only ones who are able to see individual wellbeing scores.

With OpenBlend’s platform, you can create actionable objectives and set a clear path to help boost employee wellbeing – and with 89% of workers recommending their company as a good place to work when they take action to support well-being initiatives, it’s likely to have a significant impact across the board.

Building a people-centric approach to employee wellbeing

Employees who feel listened to and recognised at work are much more likely to perform well. That’s why OpenBlend uses a people-centric approach to get to the heart of what’s having an impact on employee wellbeing, help managers navigate sensitive topics, and come up with a sensible, objective-led approach to enable performance.

To find out more about how OpenBlend’s platform can lead to more effective and productive one-to-ones, get in touch with us or book a demo today.  

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