Top 5 Articles to Help Employers Support Staff Through COVID-19

At Make A Difference we’re on a mission to ensure every employer has access to the insights, inspiration and contacts they need to make a difference to workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing. Through our media channel and our upcoming global digital events, we’re committed to covering the most relevant and up to date information to support a well workforce, and a well you.

For this reason, I’m refreshing some of our articles published since the start of COVID-19 which I’ve found to have the most beneficial messages to help employers support staff through the ongoing health crisis.

Here are my top picks.

Which have you found most useful?

1. How Google Is Training Its People Managers to Make Team Member Mental Health a Priority

Yu-lin Gardner, Benefits Program Manager at Google, 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.

2. How Race-Related Stress Impacts Employees and What Companies Can Do to Help

Diversity, equality and inclusion in workplaces has become a central priority for a growing number of employers after recent US events. In Laura Stokes, Chief Strategy Officer at Henry Health’s article, she offers important advice to companies on how to support the mental health of employees from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

3. Managing Remotely – Is It Time To Rethink How We Manage Our Employees

We know how critical the role of the manager is when it comes to people’s workplace wellbeing. With managing remotely being the ‘new normal’, companies and managers are trying to catch up to ensure support is adapted.

In this article, Dr. Jo Yarker and Dr. Rachel Lewis cover research around specific management competencies for managing teams well remotely. They include practical guidance on how companies can ensure managers are prepared with adequate training and resources to monitor and support team mental health and wellbeing along with reminders on the importance of looking after themselves.

4. Why Leaders Must be Change Agents for the ‘Reset’ to the ‘New Normal’

We know that the role of leaders is critical in supporting the sustained wellbeing of a workforce. Gaby Joyner, Senior Director at Willis Towers Watson, discusses why the actions of leaders will be key in businesses surviving the crisis. She looks at how leaders are expected to lead change efforts by seeing it as an opportunity to increase skill sets and covers why employees will be looking to leaders to provide them with new training and developmental opportunities to re-skill after COVID-19. A really valuable read for all leaders during this time.

5. Flatten the Stress Curve: Design Elements to Mediate Stress Upon Return-To-Work

It’s undoubtedly been a stressful year for the majority of people, and companies are keen to adapt support for staff with our workspaces and working lives having changed so drastically. Dr. Mike O’Neill, Director of Research, Haworth, Inc. talks about the importance of social cohesion/social support among employees in helping diminish the negative effects of work stress. In this article, Dr. O’Neill covers how COVID-19 responsive workplace design can play an important role in ensuring social cohesion/support can still happen amongst workers in ‘the new normal.’

The topics in these top articles will all be discussed at length by some of the world’s leading employers at our upcoming global digital events. This includes Workplace Wellbeing by Design, taking place from 14-18 September, MAD World Summit, taking place 8 October;  Make a Difference Summit US in Association with Mind Share Partners on 15 October and Make a Difference Summit Asia on 11 November, 2020. Pick and choose the content most relevant to you or attend all the digital events with our Global Pass

About the author

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Heather Kelly is the founder of Aura Wellbeing, a consultancy providing workplace wellness strategy, coaching and training services to employers. She’s also Content Director for Make a Difference Summit US and Online Editor for Make a Difference News. Heather led the development and operation of the Workplace Wellbeing Index, during her time working for the UK’s largest mental health charity, Mind. In her earlier career she worked as a photographer, a journalist and a senior manager in the insurance industry. She’s passionate about inspiring more empathy and awareness in workplaces toward normalising mental health and in her spare time Heather teaches photography to teens as part of a charity projects in London and Spain, she’s an avid runner and experimental chef for recipes promoting healthy minds.


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