Editorial 30 July 2020

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has resulted in increased vulnerability toward mental health problems in workers. More employers than ever before are now proactively supporting the mental health of their people. But it’s difficult for companies to know through what support initiatives they’ll get the most impactful results.

Training people managers how to support the mental health of team members is arguably one of the investments which returns the most value to an employer. Countless research studies show that people more often leave jobs, or consider leaving jobs, because of relationships with managers versus being unhappy with their job or organisation as a whole. In this week’s issue we offer a variety of tools and tips to employers, and to leaders, on how to improve staff mental health during COVID-19 and beyond through investing in training people managers.

Google’s Benefits Manager, Yu-lin Gardner shares insights into the progressive ways the global employer is approaching mental health training and support for their people managers and what that’s shifted to look like through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of COVID-19, many companies have reluctantly had to make valued employees redundant. Charlotte Whitehead details why it’s the responsibility of employers, and managers, to provide emotional support to staff they’re letting go, alongside support for retained employees, to maintain a positive workplace culture for all.

Faye McGuinness of Mind, one of the world’s most influential mental health charities, reveals the internal people manager practices that make for Mind’s successful mental health support of a workforce that includes 50% of staff living with mental illness.

New research from Investors in People’s (IIP) Mental Health in UK Workplaces Report finds that only 50% of people feel comfortable speaking to their line manager about their mental health. Based on these findings, IIP’s CEO, Paul Devoy offers practical advice on how to ensure people managers are better trained to support team member mental health.

In the ‘new normal’ where the majority of employees are still working from home, it’s important for managers to be better trained on managing staff remotely. Dr. Jo Yarker and Dr. Rachel Lewis offer tips on how companies can upskill their people managers to effectively manage and support team mental health from a distance.

Sometimes it’s good to go to the horse’s mouth. When Zoe Turner publicly praised her line manager Ed Watts on LinkedIn for what a great example of a leader he was, I got in contact. As a result, Ed and Zoe have shared with us their personal story of the profound difference a people manager can have toward the mental health of their team.

We hope you find this week’s issue enjoyable and valuable!

Well wishes,
Heather Kelly
Online Editor, Make a Difference News


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