Afternoon Tea Talks: guidance for engaged and productive employees

Join the FEA and Sales Development Solutions for short webinars on understanding how to manage employees’ mental health at work by building mutual trust and communication, the overarching theme of the upcoming Afternoon Tea Talks to cover the topics of Anxiety, Depression and Trauma & Burnout.

Over the next few Thursday afternoons at 16:00, we’ll consider the signs and symptoms of each topic, their effects on workplace behaviour and actions that can be taken, both by the sufferer and the employer to move forward.

Sign up for the short 15 minute webinars at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_e-jQB4HuShqcPkteXaUdgg

As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased, and in some cases temporarily re-introduced, people will experience many different emotional responses to what is happening, whether returning to workplaces after furlough or a period of remote working, or continuing to work in the same setting as they did during lockdown.

Each employee will have their own specific concerns regarding their work or personal experience. Feeling worried, concerned or anxious is understandable in a situation that is changing and uncertain. These are common responses and show increased vigilance which helps protect us from harm.

How individual employees and employers deal with these feelings can affect their transition into new ways of working, as well as their wellbeing and performance in the immediate and long term.

Organisational success is driven by engaged and productive employees. For every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, they get back £5 in reduced absence, presenteeism* and staff turnover (Deloitte, 2020). (*Presenteeism is the practice of being present at one's place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one's job. One of the general symptoms of employee insecurity is presenteeism)

The workplace is a necessarily demanding environment; tight deadlines, reduced resources and increased targets add to any pressures and stresses from lives outside work, meaning we can all experience changes in our mental health.

Understanding how to manage employees’ mental health at work by building mutual trust and communication improves ability to perform at optimal levels.

Building mutual trust and communication is the overarching theme of the upcoming Afternoon Tea Talks.

Each week we’ll consider the signs and symptoms of our topic, their effects on workplace behaviour and actions that can be taken, both by the sufferer and the employer to move forward.

Anxiety
As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased, and in some cases temporarily re-introduced, people will experience many different emotional responses to what is happening, whether returning to workplaces after furlough or a period of remote working, or continuing to work in the same setting as they did during lockdown. Each employee will have their own specific concerns regarding their work or personal experience. Feeling worried, concerned or anxious is understandable in a situation that is changing and uncertain. These are common responses and show increased vigilance which helps protect us from harm.
How individual employees and employers deal with these feelings can affect their transition into new ways of working, as well as their wellbeing and performance in the immediate and long term. In particular, we will discuss the concept of the “fight/flight” response, with which many will be familiar, as well the concept of “paralysis” which can sometimes take over for those with overwhelming anxiety.

Depression has been a major factor during lockdown, with people who have never encountered it before finding themselves either experiencing it or coping with its consequences for those who are close to them.
It is a human experience as individual and as complex as other human experiences like happiness or falling in love, and people experience it for as many different reasons.
The conditions we live in, how our lives compare to those of others, opportunities or lack of them, support or lack of it from those around us – all of these can play a central role.

This talk supports the idea that to seriously tackle depression, we should not wait until people are in crisis and then offer them ‘treatment’ in health settings.

Trauma and Burnout
Exposure to deeply distressing or disturbing experiences can produce emotional shock which may, in turn, lead to long-term neurosis where, for instance, the event is relived (in the present) with all the accompanying trauma. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in this type of experience becoming almost commonplace, through experience of illness, death, concerns regarding their livelihood /career, potential job loss and constant fear arising from media coverage currently and over the last year.

Burnout can arise from physical or mental collapse caused by any or all of the subjects covered in these talks and is to be avoided by early intervention as soon as symptoms/signs are evident.

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