by Lisa Lim, People and Finance Manager
How can smaller companies support the wellbeing of their team?Back to insight
Over the last few years, everywhere we go people have been talking about mental health and wellbeing. Then a worldwide pandemic hit, and the subject became more important than ever. However, sharing your feelings and concerns doesn’t come easy for everyone. Some people are more private – they don’t want to discuss their lives with anyone, especially work colleagues. Some people don’t want to talk about any personal issues because they feel it is a sign of weakness, that they are seen as looking for sympathy or making an excuse for not working hard. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Sharing what’s on your mind can give you a sense of relief. It also helps others around you to understand your actions. If our team needs to work late one night, I can spot when a particular individual won’t be able to. It doesn’t mean they are not as committed or dedicated as their colleagues; it just means there are some things they physically cannot commit to at that point.
Having started at Spoke over three years ago, my role has developed and changed dramatically. As the company grew, our Managing Director felt that we needed someone for people to talk to. As approachable and friendly as our Managing Director is, he also recognised that people might not be able to talk ‘freely’ with their boss. So towards the end of 2019 I took on the role of being the ‘people person’ at Spoke. If anyone is unhappy, whether from workload, environment, colleagues or perhaps something more personal, our team are able to approach me confidentially to let me know how they are feeling. An important part of my role is to make sure people can approach me to discuss these things. We are a small team, all working closely together in a creative environment. If one person is not being a team player it is very apparent, very quickly. Whether the issue comes from feeling resentful with a colleague for not pulling their weight or being the colleague who is not working at their usual pace and capacity for a reason, it is always best to talk.
When working full time, we spend 70% of our day in the workplace. If you are unhappy at work a huge amount of your life is affected. My role at Spoke gives my colleagues a chance to speak up and say what is on their mind without feeling like they are revealing a weakness or vulnerability. And most importantly, to share their worries in a completely non-judgemental environment.
The more we talk, the more we understand each other. Everyone has their own things going on, everyone has concerns and worries. Once they start affecting your work and productivity, you need to know you have someone you can share this with; someone to listen and understand. I don’t claim to be a counsellor or therapist, but I understand it helps my colleagues at Spoke to know they can talk to me about anything.
As the old saying goes, a problem shared, is a problem halved.