This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2020 Growth Through People campaign.
Growth Through People is the Chamber’s annual campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. In 2020 this involves 8 free workshops taking place between 2nd March and 27th March, culminating in a full-day Growth Through People conference on 2nd April. In addition, throughout the campaign the Chambers will be publishing thought leadership podcasts, videos and blog content such as this.
Thanks to our Headline Sponsors – Prime Accountants Group, Aston University, Curium Solutions and CIPD - all workshops are free to attend. Interested readers can find out more and register to attend Growth Through People workshops here, and the Growth Through People conference here.
Since the industrial revolution technology has developed at fast pace. Change in employment patterns, paternity/maternity legislation and the development of technology means that everyone we are all working harder. Harder to be productive at work, a present partner, a caring parent and a sociable friend. We are also equipped with tools to ‘work’ even when not physically in work.
It should be no surprise that 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health issues within the next year with all these competing tasks. When we talk about mental health, we often think of diagnosed conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD etc rather than recognising we all have mental health that fluctuates. Life events can cause our mental health to become compromised and whilst this is not ill health it can heighten stress levels for a period. By recognising the unique (and some not so unique) signs, we can take preventative care to halt the development of long-term debilitating conditions- a legal responsibility for employers.
Organisations that understands productivity, presenteeism and absenteeism can be caused by personal circumstances as well as work can aid in the restoration of the equilibrium. A work culture inspiring open dialogue and equips managers to move away from task orientation towards a mindset enabling emotional, experiential and skill growth can achieve this. My learning as Hypnotherapist is strongly embedded in neuroscience and therefore utilising neuroplasticity is essential to creating change. The emphasis is to ‘rewire’ the brain to create new behaviours, emotions and thinking. This achieved by acknowledging our response to an event is within our control and actively working to resolve challenges rather than emotionally hindered by them. This process promotes wellbeing as staff are encouraged to identify skills, experiences they possess, and supporting them seek out what they don’t- creating ownership and a sense of achievement when overcome. Thus creating and embedding a culture of wellbeing from the outset.
Practical delivery in a work setting need not be difficult. Employers can invest in training/mentoring initiatives and wellbeing initiatives that are multifaceted and responsive to the person rather than a ‘one size fits all approach’. The emphasis shifts from these are the ‘resources available’ to ‘what’ can be done to support a person. Such considerations include kindness. It has been shown to build resilience and reduce incidents of depressions, anxiety and stress. A study conducted by Penn State University in 2019 found small gestures of kindness helped to reduce levels of perceived stress. Furthermore, it boosts morals, increased collaboration and happiness. Therefore, increasing staff retention and productivity.
Given the topic it would hard not to comment on the recent research conducted by Deloitte (2020). For every £1 invested in mental health provisions, employers saw a £5 return on their investment. The evidence is clear – in order for a company to flourish and retain staff who are committed to being productive the company must invest in comprehensive early intervention.
Asha is a Clinical Hypnotherapist delivering growth mindset workshops to businesses and individuals