The US government spends a lot of time telling people to fear what Chinese companies could do with the data they get from our phones when we use something like TikTok, but they do nothing about things like this.
Think about it, someone in management who has never learned how to communicate will have a team unaware of what is happening. Leaders who follow the examples of those above them, who’ve created a misogynistic culture, will continue with the same practices. When things don’t go smoothly, managers getting berated from above will berate the people below them. And on and on it goes.
If we want a healthier, open, and inclusive workplace, we need to train the people in charge of setting the tone and the culture. All the lunchtime yoga and meditation in the world can’t overcome that shortcoming.
Later it occurred to me that mental health should be handled the same way in the workplace. No two people are the same or have the same mental health issues. What I could accomplish work-wise during the time I was medicated and seeing a therapist might not be the same as someone else in therapy. One person might need some time away from work during a crisis, while someone else might need work to be the thing that keeps them living with some day-to-day structure. There will not be one solution that fits everyone. In any of these situations, it will be essential to allow employees to find what works for them and their work. Providing some flexibility will go a long way toward keeping an employee engaged instead of making them feel unsupported and looking to go elsewhere. It might also go a long way toward helping them heal as well, to know they have a consistent source of income that is not at risk.
So please, read the whole thing and be prepared for the possibility that someone you work with may be at risk for suicide or surviving after a loved one’s death by suicide. The more you know the more you can support them.
I’m sure there are still some “old-school” bosses running around who believe the best way to motivate employees is to threaten them and never let them forget that they can be fired at a moment’s notice.
Turns out that they aren’t motivating as much as actively harming them.
There has been a lot of progress, but I fear management has made that progress and ticked the item on the checklist as “done” without really making sure they’ve hit the mark. Yes, they rolled out a mental health benefit or two, but have they done the work to train managers? Have they understood how employees feel about that relationship and whether they trust their immediate manager? That is where an employee needs to feel safe talking about mental health. If that safety doesn’t exist, all the extra benefits in the world will not help.