Category Archives: Strategies

Stay-fit-in-COVID-19

Staying fit while working from home

Welcome to the new normal…for now. Most of us were expecting more free time now that we are home, but find ourselves busier than ever; homeschooling our children, working or figuring out alternative ways to bring in income, and contemplating exactly how to survive these changes and understand what they will mean for us and our family.

While adjusting to the new schedule and the stress of the entire situation, you may find yourself more sedentary than ever which is wreaking havoc on the health of your body. We are here to guide you with some simple enjoyable steps to get you heading back in the right direction.

Why do we need to move?

Movement has more benefits than you may have ever imagined and is one of the most critical pieces to staying well during this time. Besides the basic benefits of body composition, did you know that movement:

Stay-fit-in-COVID-19
Staying fit while working from home
  • Increases the feel good hormones in your body to lift your mood
  • Helps to balance out stress hormones
  • Improves the function of your lymphatic system to rid your body of toxins
  • At moderate levels it boosts the function of your immune system

The repetitive contraction and relaxation of our muscles acts as a pump to our lymphatic system helping to clear toxins out of the body. When we are stationary, our lymphatic system becomes stagnant, much like the murky water at the edges of a pond, and drags down the functionality of our immune system. If we can’t clear the toxins out of our body that are already there, we won’t have the capacity to handle new ones coming in. So, get moving today and everyday to begin to assist your body in keeping you healthy.

Here are some of our favorite ways to stay active right now while at home in addition to typical activities like walking, jogging, hiking and yoga.

Interval Workouts

Set a timer with alternating rounds for exercise and rest and choose how many exercises and sets you will do. Here are the combinations we use most often:

Interval-Workouts

Interval Workouts

You can choose any exercises, just make sure you are pushing yourself to work hard. The key is to get creative, make it fun and mix it up to keep it exciting.

Ladder Workouts

Choose 2 exercises and begin with 1 rep of each. Then increase to 2, 3, 4, etc, all the way up to 12 of each. Then come back down decreasing by 1 rep each set until you get back to the bottom of the ladder.

Ladder-Workouts
Ladder workouts

Alphabet Workouts

Assign a variety of exercises with a varying number of reps for each to every letter of the alphabet. Then without looking at the list, write out a sentence or a variety of words and assign the exercises based on the matching letters. Here is an example using just one word. Make it as short or long as you like:

A-Z-of-workout
A-Z of workout tips
Welcome-workout-tips
Welcome workout tips

Note: If you´re not sure what some of these exercises are, you can find them easily on google!

EVERY DECISION TO MOVE IS A GOOD DECISION

No matter what type of movement you choose, you are making the good choice. A decision to care for your body right now should not add extra stress to your life, but should be a choice that feels good to your mind and body. Start today with one choice to move that sounds like fun and then continue each day.

Have kids at home right now? Get them involved too! Moving is not about perfection, but about fun and the many benefits it can provide you physically and mentally. Working out as a family with these exercises is not only fun, but helps the kids burn off their pent up energy and lets them use their creativity in designing workouts, setting them up for a lifetime of health for themselves.

Our children love when we turn any movement into a competition! See how creative you can get to take your mind off of the stress you are dealing with. Think of new ideas like obstacle courses, tag, relay races, and hopscotch. Let them see how much fun it can be!

Craig-and-Jenny-Dumnich

Craig & Jenny Dumnich

Founders & High Performance Consultants at The Fusion Performance Institute

Craig & Jenny D focus on the human factor to guide individuals and businesses to identify and break through
barriers to success, accomplish new goals and overcome challenges in their personal and professional lives

This article was first published on WorkLife CoronaVirus Edition

Remain-Mindstrong-during-COVID-19

How small business owners can remain Mindstrong during this crisis

Remember before the current Global Trauma known as the “Corona Virus”, when business was about nailing your message, growing your team, getting your digital message on point. Well, these not so distant business stresses seem like a dream compared to the psychological pressure business owners are facing right now.

In the business world, there has been a strong push for personal development that focuses on high performance, on habits that lead to success and wealth, on positive mindset and resilience. But what do we do right now, when the collateral damage from this pandemic sees us facing not just uncertainty in finances, but a level of stress, fear and anxiety unlike anything a business accelerator or mastermind could have prepared you for.

The uncertainty of this time, means that the epidemics of stress, burnout and mental illness will increase. When we become highly stressed the quality of our decision making drops dramatically. When processing stress the part of our brain that makes decisions goes off line. This is because our brain and body is flooded with chemicals to deal with the stress in an automatic reactionary way, rather than being able to think through things.

Remain-Mindstrong-during-COVID-19
How small business owners can remain Mindstrong during this crisis

True mental strength does not come from your thinking, but rather your ability to pause and regulate your emotions. The ability to do this keeps us from making reactive and regrettable decisions. And this is a really important time, not to make reactive decisions.

In order to remain Mindstrong, get help, and not only with your business strategy. Whilst it can be reassuring to speak to a business mentor, prioritising your psychological wellness (and I mean above just exercise and meditation) is absolutely necessary in the climate we are all facing at this time.

People think they should prioritise business goals ahead of their ability to process stress. Right now, knowing how to have difficult conversations in a highly volatile environment, is a much needed skill, along with processing the stress that comes with it.

Replace “stay positive” or “we’ll be fine” with empathy, that is to acknowledge that it’s okay to feel. Everyone will be impacted differently and will process this differently. Say, “It’s okay for you to feel (angry, scared), what can I do to help?”

We are not talking business metrics, we are talking about individuals who are afraid and this fear needs to be met with not only compassion for others, but self-compassion. It is hard to truly have compassion when we are in a state of dis-stress. A way to calm ourselves internally is to set good boundaries around the information/news we listen to. Take the time throughout the day to breathe and calm your nervous system.

Being able to regulate yourself is key to getting through these stressful times. Emotional self-regulation refers to the ability to manage disruptive emotions and impulses. Your power comes from your ability to pause. Learn to prioritise internal calm and ease before taking action.

Evonne-Englezos

Evonne Englezos

CEO of Mindstrong Global

Helping you cultivate the mental strength and resilience you need to lead – against all odds.

This article was first published on WorkLife CoronaVirus Edition

7-Financial-Tips

7 Financial tips for surviving the COVID-19 pandemic

During these turbulent times that the world is facing due to the global pandemic, caused by the Coronavirus aka COVID-19, millions of people are experiencing physical, mental, emotional, and financial uncertainties throughout their personal and business lives.

We are no longer afforded the luxuries of going on with our lives, doing business as usual. As the world faces uncharted territories under COVID 19, we must immediately change how we think about things, change how we look at things, change how we feel about things, and change how we live our lives.

From Main Street to Wall Street our global citizens are feeling the financial stress and strain of losing their business and household income. As this pandemic claims more lives, and renders others in need of specialized medical care, companies are laying off workers or going out of business. It doesn’t matter what country you live in or what currency you use, the pain is same.

We understand the future for many may seem bleak, even with the help of government and corporate assistance.

7-Financial-Tips

However, we strongly believe that Financially Speaking, the best improvement starts with self improvement. It is the responsibility of everyone to financially empower ourselves through professional (coaching) and self-education. And there are changes we can make during these times that will put us in a better financial position once our lives get back to normal. However, we can also strive to return to something better.

To get started, we want to share with you our seventips/strategies we use with our clients that had a tremendous impact on improving their lives financially. We believe they can help reduce the mounting financial stress caused by COVID 19.

  1. Change Your Spending Habits

    – we no longer have the freedom to spend our precious cash on items that have no value. We often hear “I don’t have money to save.” Well, during these times, spend only on your needs (housing, food, medicine, etc.) and practice savingas much as you can.

  2. Calculate Your Current Financial Position

    – if you don’t know where you are standing right now, how can you determine the best direction to move forward? There are 2 calculations that can help determine the strength of your financial position. Their results can be positive or negative, but you will know where you stand and can make adjustments as needed to increase/strengthen your financial position:

    • Net Worth=total value of all your assets (e.g. home, car)minus the total value of all your liabilities (e.g. mortgage, car payment, loans).
    • Track Monthly Cashflow = total monthly income minus total monthly expenses. It is critical to know where your money comes from and where it is going.
  3. Protect Your Credit

    – there is a great deal of fear and uncertainty regarding losing your home to foreclosure, auto repossessions,and destroying your credit, etc. The good news is that some governments and creditors are making an effort to help during this crisis. But it is your responsibility to contact all your creditors to find out what programs they are offering(e.g. forbearance, rate reductions) and what are the rules.

  4. Make New Money-Start A Business

    – there are numerous businesses you can start from home. Business that can help others while providing you with additional revenue. During this crisis, delivery companies are still operating, you can still ship and receive items. We have several home-based businesses and can share ways you can increase your income.

  5. Review Your Insurance Policies

    – many people don’t like to talk about life insurance, but how will your family survive if you die? How many Go-Fund Me have you received to help pay medical bills or bury a friend or loved one? Now is the time (while you are healthy) to take insurance seriously and put policies in place that not only help your family if you die but can also help you all while you are living. Insurance has changed from just providing a “death” benefit to providing “living” benefits. Educate yourself on the options available.

  6. Investments – Don’t Panic

    – many people have experienced and recovered from market crashes in the past. We can’t tell you what to do with your investment accounts (e.g. IRA, 401K, etc.) because each person’s situation is different. We recommend contacting your investment provider to understand what options you have available to utilize and/or protect your investments. Some questions to consider asking:

    • Can I withdraw funds without penalty?
    • Can I get a loan or defer my payments?
    • Should I buy, hold, or sell out?
  7. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home

    – not only does it save on fuel expenses that you can add toward your savings, it keeps you, your family and community safer from COVID-19.Use this time to create new/additional family financial habits that can be continued after your lives resume. And most importantly, follow the directives of the authorities.

Michael-and-Robbie-Mathews

Michael and Robbie Mathews

Financial Education and Empowerment Coachesat The Mathews Entrepreneur Group

This article was first published on WorkLife CoronaVirus Edition

3-Lessons-from-Athletes

Three lessons from elite athletes

How to stay productive and high performing during Covid-19

The world today is a scary place right now! Many of you are worried about your health, your business, and how the world is going to unfold. The truth is most of us hate uncertainty and this creates fear. However, if there is one thing I want to share with you, it is my ´WHY´, and that is, to really want to help in this current situation. As a former elite athlete that used to study and train with Olympic winning athletes (Sir Mo Farah, the current World and Olympic champion in 5 and 10,000m was my training partner), I want to share some of the lessons I learned that can help you get through this time of crisis.

1. Build mental toughness:

This is one of the skills I learned very early on in my athletic days. I got into long distance running because I was low in confidence, I lost my hair to alopecia, and I was bullied many times when I was a kid. When I first started running I was also an asthma sufferer, I could barely run fifty meters without having an asthma attack. I wasn’t bad, I was terrible! I felt extremely intimidated when I turned up to training every Tuesday and Thursday seeing all these top athletes. I started by comparing myself to these other top athletes and using excuses about how bad I really was.

3-Lessons-from-Athletes

On many occasions I just wanted to throw the towel in, but over time I noticed I started to make small improvements in my performance. I started to get quicker, stronger and mentally charged. As my performances improved so did my attitude and my confidence. Through repetitive training my asthma improved and disappeared in less than a year.

I’ve been an entrepreneur since the age of eleven and like my athletic career, I’ve gone through more highs and lows than most entrepreneurs have gone through in their entire lifetime. Every time I go through a cycle,it’s the mental toughness that I have developed that keeps me going.

2. Get focused and build self-discipline:

In one-way or another the world will never be the same again. This virus is going to kill more businesses than people. Most of us have to adapt to new working conditions and if you’re like me, trying to juggle kids and serve my clients is a whole new way of working, and its tough. There are so many distractions including the media, which can lead us to become unfocused and unproductive. However this is also a great time to reflect on what is important to you right now and why you do what you do.

In my early athletic years when all the other kids were playing video games, I was prepared to do what others were not, which was to be out training hard in minus temperatures and to do whatever it takes. This iswhere I met my training partner Sir Mo Farah, and we used each other as ginea pigs to test each other’s discipline and become laser focused on our training and competition.

3. Create a strategic plan:

To formulate a plan you have to build a foundation and that requires time and creativity. Last year, I helped an Intellectual property lawyer formulate a plan for his business. When he first came to me he was unclear, was confused on the direction of where he was taking his business and was using a scattergun approach to growing his business. We worked together to create his vision, mission, his why, the problems he wanted to solve and the clients he really enjoyed working with. With this foundation in place we then created a strategic game plan to help him grow his company.

One of reasons why I became a successful athlete is because my coach helped me develop a strategic plan. I was introduced to my first coach Alex Magee who had a track record of turning normal people into superstars. Alex was a very successful athlete in the earlydays; he knew the success formula and the traits that I needed to develop to become a champion. It’s these same success principals that I teach today in the business world. To me, coaching is just as important as oxygen!

In the midst of what is going on right now and how you may be feeling I want to know that you have a great opportunity to reset and reinvent yourself because you cannot control what’s going on right now, you can only do your best with what you have which is blood, sweat and tears. I want to offer my hand to you and say I’m there for you.

Over the coming weeks we are launching the ‘Strategic Game Plan’ summit for business owners that are looking to empower your mind, create a strategic plan and get focused for results. There will be 30+ industry leaders sharing stories and content to help you with formulating a plan. Feel free to drop me a message or connect with me on social media if I can be of assistance.

Adam-Strong

Adam Strong

Ultra-High Energy Personal Productivity Authority

Adam Strong is a former elite athlete who trained with Olympic gold-medalist Mo Farah. He has taken the principles of discipline, focus and productivity and applied them to business.

This article was first published on WorkLife CoronaVirus Edition

Amazon-and-Jeff-Bezos

COVID 19–What is Jeff Bezos doing?

In times of crisis and uncertainty, we all know that leaders must communicate – and communicate well. Amazon has over 700,000 employees all over the world. On March 21, 2020, Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, sent a letter to all their employees.

So, what did Jeff Bezos say to them and is there a “template” we can follow to communicate with our teams, employees, and followers? (Go here to read the full text of his letter)

I believe there are seven (7) main ideas we can replicate for those who are looking to us for leadership. And while directed to employees, Bezos’ letter also communicates the way ahead for Amazon customers, suppliers, and third-party sellers.

1. Acknowledge Reality

Bezos opens his letter with, “This isn’t business as usual, and it’s a time of great stress and uncertainty.” Your employees know we are in uncharted waters. Platitudes won’t work. All of us are under great stress. Bezos says, “Across the world, people are feeling the economic effects of this crisis, and I’m sad to tell you I predict things are going to get worse before they get better.”

Amazon-and-Jeff-Bezos

2. Reinforce the mission

When Bezos founded Amazon, he knew its core purpose and message. In his original 1997 Letter to Shareholders, Bezos said, “we are working to build something important, something that matters to our customers, something that we can all tell our grandchildren about.” Bezos reinforces that original vision by saying, “It’s also a moment in time when the work we’re doing is its most critical. We’re providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable.”

3. What we are doing now?

Bezos explains the steps Amazon is taking (and already has taken) to adapt to the dramatic increase in orders. He says exactly what Amazon is doing, “We’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies.

They have prioritized delivering essential items to customers most in need.
In a time when many are fearing for their jobs, Amazon is hiring 100,000 new temporary workers to get orders out. “We hope people who’ve been laid off will come work with us until they’re able to go back to the jobs they had.”

4. Gratitude

Bezos says thank you. “I’m not alone in being grateful for the work you are doing.” Let your employees know you appreciate their effort in continuing to help your clients or customers. And let them know when customers are saying thank you by passing along notes of thanks and encouragement. Employees need to feel valued, especially now. “Your efforts are being noticed…” Everyone is at risk these days, and being noticed and valued is especially important when people are working and feeling scared and unsettled.

5.Protection

Bezos explains the steps they are taking to protect workers who are not able to work from home, especially those vital workers in their fulfilment centers. Again, Bezos acknowledges reality, “When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people.” And he makes a commitment that it’s not a “once and done.” “We are meeting every day, working to identify additional ways to improve on these measures.” Employees need to know this is a process that will have attention daily in this volatile time.

6. Reassurance

Let your employees know there is always a future. And leadership involves letting those who work for you, and with you, know that you are still looking toward the future and there is hope.

Bezos says, “My own time and thinking is now wholly focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role. I want you to know Amazon will continue to do its part, and we won’t stop looking for new opportunities to help.”

And, Bezos is personal. This isn’t just theory or rhetoric. He rightly says, “There is no instruction manual for how to feel at a time like this, and I know this causes stress for everyone. My list of worries right now — like yours I’m sure — is long…”

7. Mindset — Believe It’s Always Day 1

How has Amazon been able to react to this crisis so quickly? It all comes down to mindset.
Day 1 is not simply a list of steps or strategies. It is the mentality through which all decisions are made. It is the anchor for acknowledging and remembering their beginning values and their dogged focus on serving the needs of customers and in “delighting” customers—even in turbulent times.

It is designed to keep everyone in the company focused on doing what is right in each situation, just like the first day you were open for business. Because, like a child’s tower of building blocks, if the foundation isn’t stable, the tower will come tumbling down. And then it’s Day 2, which is “Stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

So, can we use Bezos’ letter as a template for us to communicate well? I think Bezos’ closing words are actually the most important and essential for all of us to remember.

“Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. I know that we’re going to get through this, together.”

Steve-and-Karen-Anderson

Steve & Karen Anderson

Steve is a Trusted Authority on Risk, Technology, Productivity, and Innovation.

Steve and his wife, Karen, are the authors of the The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon (Morgan James) a Wall Street Journal, USA Today bestseller, and Forbes Top Pick for 2020.

This article was first published on WorkLife CoronaVirus Edition

Impact-of-Coronavirus-in-the-Workplace

What to do if your employees are anxious about coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is also impacting on employees mental health. But there are things you can do to protect your staff.

There has been an escalation in coronavirus cases globally in the last 48 hours. In response, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s is enacting the pandemic emergency response. We know that there will be a lot of employees experiencing a higher than usual level of stress right now.

From a workplace mental health perspective, during this time of fear and uncertainty, employees may be experiencing:

  • Concern for their health and that of their friends, families and co-workers.
  • Uncertainty about the economic impact on their organisation, and therefore their future employment
  • Difficulty managing changes in the way they conduct their regular job tasks
  • Frustration with the uncertainty as to how long this situation will last and how severe it will become

Learn more about Workplace Mental Health Strategies…


And when people are stressed and fearful, people respond in a variety of ways. And when people are stressed, it is common for people to:

  •  become anxious or irritable
  • experience conflict with co-worker’s
  • feel demotivated or disengaged
  • lower their productivity
  • and a whole host of other responses.

Our hearts go out to the many of the workplaces we support that have staff and clients in affected areas, with some either previously or currently in quarantine. Many others are concerned about how the virus might impact their employees and their business in the coming weeks and or months.

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For these reasons, we felt it timely to reach out and let you know about some of the ways in which we are ready to assist you in supporting your teams during this difficult time:

  1.  Online training programs – on mental health and wellbeing, resilience and mindfulness specifically but also the opportunity to upskill and keep staff engaged while regular duties might not be possible.
  2. Interactive webinar sessions on how to manage stress and change. Specifically, in the context of the Coronavirus.
  3. Online individual counselling and coaching
  4. Consulting with leadership teams on workforce wellbeing strategy.

Our qualified, expert mental health professionals in Australia, the UK, and the USA, are ready to deliver support or training in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and English.

We know that workplaces can be a great source of support to staff, and we’d like to see workplaces come together to look after each other during this time.

Please check the World Health Organization’s (WHO) resources on the Coronavirus (COVID 19)

If there is anything we can do to assist with that, please get in touch. We are here to help.

Bad-Boss-in-workplaces

Mental Health Expert Warns: 8 types of manager you could avoid for a mentally healthy workplace

Bad bosses are to blame for rise in workplace mental health issues

A recent study commissioned by global staffing business, Robert Half, showed that half of workers surveyed quit due to a bad boss. The survey results seem to support the theory that people leave managers, not companies.

Mental Health Expert and the CEO of the Workplace Mental Health Institute, Peter Diaz has warned that bad bosses are contributing to a rise in mental health issues in the workplace. We already know that workplaces are increasingly under more pressure due to the state of the global economy and the level of digital disruption happening across all industries. These pressures are being felt by many people as employees are being asked to do more with less time. At a time when employees need to be further supported given the challenging economic environment, it seems many businesses and managers haven’t got the memo.

Peter Diaz says there are eight types of bad managers you could avoid for a mentally healthy workplace.

1. Rude and Insulting Managers
This type of manager seems to find joy in making others feel less powerful or special. They openly criticise you in front of others and even raise their voice from time to time. Whether they do it on purpose or do it without even realising, this type of behaviour is incredibly destructive. You can let them know how their actions affect you however often this behaviour is attached to narcissistic personalities and those who feel threatened by others. Giving them feedback is unlikely to change their behaviour.

3. Disorganised and Last Minute Managers
This type of manager typically makes their inaction your emergency. I think we have all worked with someone like this and can vouch from personal experience that this type of manager is dangerous and soul destroying. Helping them to better manage themselves and their responsibilities is not your job.

4. Unapproachable and Arrogant Managers
This type of manager is difficult to work with. Often staff will avoid dealing directly with this type of manager because they find them so intimidating. Often when these managers do engage, they are always right and tend to gloat about it. This is a personality and style issue. You can can do your research and work out how to crack their ‘self-loved’ veneer – but it can be a challenging task.

5. Managers Pick and Play with Favourites
Unfortunately, these types of managers are everywhere. They overtly pick favourites and these people seem to get away with blue murder including not doing their job. They also tend to be the ones put up for promotion and other opportunities. Other staff often end up carrying the load which burns people out and leaves them feeling undervalued, underpaid and exploited. You can try to pamper the boss with praise and sell your soul to get into their good books – but if you are a person with a moral compass this usually isn’t the best option.

6. Micromanager
This type of manager will give you things to do and then tell you how to do it and check every aspect of your progress. Most capable staff will only put up with this behaviour for a short period of time before leaving or exploding. The key is to build confidence and trust fast while establishing mechanisms to keep your manager constantly updated. This tends to add so much work to an already busy load that most people move on to other roles to get away from the micromanagement.

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7. Too Busy and Unavailable Managers
We are all busy in the year 2019 – but the people we should be most available for, are our staff. If it means that managers have to get to work earlier, or lock in staff time that can not be double booked, then this is what must happen. Managers who find themselves too busy for their staff are not managers, they are simply absent colleagues. Staff need engagement with their manager, they need to be able to access their manager to discuss and resolve issues and seek guidance on work related matters.

8. Distressed and Overwhelmed Managers
Bosses are human too. When they are distressed and overwhelmed, they can become a risk to the mental health of their team. Self care is very important for bosses too. Here you can encourage your boss to care for themselves. Do things they enjoy and have regular small breaks throughout the day to improve productivity.

Bad managers can cause mental health issues in their workplace, and through bad management they can also worsen issues staff may be experiencing. If we can better equip businesses and managers to understand and deal with mental health issues in the workplace, we can save lives – many lives. Importantly we can also help managers to be better managers.

Peter Diaz and Emi Golding have written and released a book to provide organisations and managers with practical assistance on dealing with mental health in the workplace. Their much anticipated book is called: Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. This latest workplace mental health book provides important guidance for all organisations, leaders and managers on mental health in the workplace and how to build resilient and meaningful cultures and processes that enable organisations to support and appropriately manage those with mental health issues.

It is more important than ever that every business, organisation and manager across the country is positioned to deal with mental health issues and understand the warning signs. We all need to step up and ensure we are taking care of people. The only thing that gets us through hard times is people. We need to help people and support them to cope and to be resilient.

The Workplace Mental Health Institute is the leading peak body for research, advice and training relating to workplace mental health.

The book is available for purchase from a number of different outlets like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s, Indigo, IndieBound and many other bookstores worldwide and online.

Please visit https://thementalwealthguide.com for more info on this book.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on Twitter Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

How to support mental health in the workplace

How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace

What you can now copy from the TOP companies like PWC and AMP on how they boost their employees’ Mental Health while improving Corporate Culture, Engagement and Profitability

Most management teams these days don’t need to be convinced that taking care of their team’s mental health is a good idea. But many managers don’t know where to start to support their employees. Here we show you what some top companies are doing in this important space, so you can copy and use what you need.

  1. These companies recognise the importance of investing in their employees’ mental health.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental health disorders affect nearly one in four people each year. Depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders are among the top causes of disability worldwide.1

Since people tend to spend most of their working life at work, it follows that mental health issues affect all areas of a person’s life, including work.

How to support mental health in the workplace

WHO estimates the global cost of depression and anxiety at more than $1.2 trillion per year in lost productivity.2 Left untreated, depression and other issues can affect absenteeism, productivity, and put workers at an increased risk of suicide. In short, having a reactive (or non-existent) approach to supporting mental health at work is eating up massive amounts of profits in businesses everywhere.

Unfortunately, many people don’t get help for mental health problems. Most people won’t even tell their immediate boss that there’s a problem. Up to fifty percent of people will not disclose at work. And, even more concerning, two-thirds of people who have a mental disorder won’t seek any professional treatment. Some say that the very real fear of discrimination and stigma are two gigantic obstacles that prevent people from getting help.

Mental health has long been considered an off-limits topic in the workplace. Thankfully, smart business leaders are beginning to recognise the importance of helping their employees’ stay emotionally fit. Here are three ways that top companies put mental health and well-being first.

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Expert insights and tips on how to build resilient and mentally healthy workplace cultures delivered straight to your inbox each month.

  1. They Teach Employees’ How To Help Struggling Co-Workers

Most people are not trained to comfortably or effectively talk to someone about their mental health, especially in the workplace. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could make matters worse. AMP, which is a global company and also one of Australia’s largest companies, helps their employees learn how to help co-workers struggling with mental health issues. The financial giant has implemented a training program, called Mental Health Essentials, that equips team members with the skills to recognise when a co-worker is struggling and to get that person appropriate help.3 To upskill their managers and executives they’ve also run the Workplace Mental Health Masterclass for Leaders. AMP has had this Masterclass training delivered all over Australia, the UK and the USA, with great results.

  1. They Partner With Leading Mental Health Organisations And Don’t Try To Do It All Themselves

Another way that top companies help their employees is by collaborating with trusted mental health organisation’s. PWC, AMP and The Star Group partner with several well-known mental health groups, but in particular the Workplace Mental Health Institute. By working with leaders in mental health advocacy, support, and recovery, you too can learn how to proactively support your employees’ mental health, be better prepared organisationally to manage risk and safety, and be better equipped to help colleagues.3

  1. They Promote A Culture Of Openness And Trust

A high level of stigma exists surrounding mental health issues. This is an ongoing problem. More than 40 percent of U.K employers believe that hiring a person with mental illness represents a significant risk to the company, according to a 2010 survey among employers.4 Workers with mental illness are seen as unreliable and hard to get along with.

These types of beliefs in the workplace can cause employees to be reluctant to get help. Workers who call in sick because of depression or anxiety may make up other reasons for their absence. They may believe that being honest will cause their employers to pass them over for job promotions.

This culture needs to change if employers want healthier, more productive employees. One Australian company that understands the importance of fostering an open culture when it comes to mental illness is EY. Ernst & Young has collated information of other companies that are doing well in this space and they report it’s important for companies to share knowledge and information with its managers, supervisors, and employees about mental illness. The company that does well promotes an open dialogue when it comes to talking about mental illness. According to EY, openness and proactive early intervention result in decreased mental-health related claims.5

As an employer, there’s a lot that you can do to support your employees’ mental health. Try some of the things that the world’s top companies are doing to support workers’ mental health. You’ll see what a difference these changes can make to your organisation and your employees’ well-being.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on Twitter Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

Social-Media-Strategies-in-workplaces

Social Media and Mental Health: Solutions For Workplaces

Social Media and Mental Health

Although most workplaces have strict rules about access to social media sites during working hours, there are tools like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) that the avid worker can use to bypass such restrictions. Furthermore, employees still have a life after work, and a significant amount of that time is spent on social media.

The latest statistics show that the world’s 3.4 billion social media users spend an average of 136 minutes or 2.2 hours daily on social media today compared to 90 minutes in 2012. Many would agree that 2.2 hours is a conservative estimate in an era where you are more likely to be looking at your phone than talking to the person sited next to you.

When did social media become bad?

After more than a decade of social media use, people have started seeing the negative effects of social media use on mental health among other areas like productivity. The cons of social media are dependent mainly on the amount of time spent. Many studies have established a correlation between high social media use and mental health problems like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, feelings of isolation, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts.

Facebook executives have even been on record stating that the platform poses risks to the emotional well-being of users. In 2017, the social network announced plans to make the platform less about spending time and more about meaningful social interactions. Facebook now has social scientists, psychologists, and sociologists collaborating with developers to make the platform have a more positive influence. Time will tell how successful they will be at the task and whether it will make a difference to the mental health of their users.

Social media anxiety

If you feel anxious at work when you haven’t checked your social media accounts, you could be suffering from a mental health disorder known as social media anxiety disorder. But don’t rush out to get a diagnosis for this social media triggered disorder. After all, this relatively new disorder is the same as social anxiety disorder affecting 20% of social media users who can’t go for more than 3 hours without checking their social media accounts. Given anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders, the importance of regulating social media use can’t be overlooked.

Individuals with social media anxiety suffer from severe anxiety when they aren’t able to check social media notifications after a few minutes. Common symptoms of the mental disorder include;

  • Losing interest in everything else apart from social media.
  • Interrupting conversations to check social media updates.
  • Lying/being defensive about the time spent on social media.
  • Spending more than 6 hours daily on social media sites.
  • Trying to reduce or stop excessive social media use in vain.
  • Neglecting important commitments like work to engage in social media activities like commenting.
  • Having an overwhelming need to share social media posts with others.
  • Suffering from severe nervousness when you can’t check your social media notifications.
  • Poor professional and personal life because of excessive social media usage.

Spending several hours daily on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, among other social media sites, can hinder your ability to do truly meaningful things in life. It can cost you a job, relationships, among other things like advancements in education. Here’s an in-depth discussion on the specific ways social media affects your mental health.

Low self-esteem

Comparing yourself to others on Instagram and Facebook with near-perfect photos and videos can bring a fair share of unwarranted insecurities, including feelings of self-doubt, even when you know the pictures have been photoshopped. The problem is that, when your sense of worth is dependent on how others are doing, you place your happiness beyond your control. There are studies showing that many social media users suffer from more envy compared with their counterparts who are rarely on social media.[1] To avoid developing low self-esteem, become more conscious of the time you waste on other people’s social media profiles, and focus on yourself instead.

Poor human connections

Human beings are heavily dependent on personal connections with each other. Social media makes this impossible. Instead of developing real connections, we are more acquainted with digital facades. Many published studies are linking regular use of social media sites like Facebook with poor human connections.[2]

Distorted memory

Social media could also be distorting the way you remember certain aspects of your life. Although you can look back at past memories and recount how they happened, the process of perfecting social media posts distorts certain aspects of the real-time experience being captured.[3] Perfecting social media visuals like photos and videos, overshadows the importance of witnessing the experience in person.

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Sleep problems

The importance of sleep can’t be overlooked. You need enough hours of uninterrupted sleep to avoid mental health problems like stress. However, many of us are on our Smartphones before going to bed, making it harder to fall asleep. The blue light emitted by Smartphones is misinterpreted by the brain as daylight. This light suppresses melatonin, the hormone responsible for preparing you for bedtime by altering the circadian rhythm.[4] In a nutshell, social media makes it harder for you to fall asleep, which can, in turn, affect your work when you don’t get enough sleep. It’s advisable to avoid social media 40 to 60 minutes before bedtime.

Poor attention span

The mental health effects of social media go past the subconscious brain. You also need to worry about your ability to concentrate when you are working. Social media makes it extremely easy to distract people. Although social media places a lot of information on our fingertips, it’s harder to pay attention to serious tasks. The easy access to never-ending entertainment offers constant temptation to access new social media content instantly and repeatedly. Very few people today have the willpower to resist checking their phones even during serious engagements thanks to social media.

Serious mental health problems

If you overuse social media and the internet by extension, you could become depressed. You can also suffer from impulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, paranoia, and mental functioning problems.[5]

It goes beyond peer pressure to comment and share things. Social media has introduced unique problems i.e., the subconscious need to compare your life with that of others on Instagram or Facebook. This has been linked to feelings of depression, jealousy, and suicidal thoughts in extreme cases if your own life isn’t as “perfect” as what is depicted on social media.

If you are always working but keep being bombarded by pictures and videos of individuals who always seem to be on vacation, such exposure is bound to cause feelings of depression or jealousy. You may also feel suicidal about your own life.

Strategies for workplace mental health

Given social media is a leading cause of depression and anxiety today, problems which cost the global economy approximately $ 1 trillion yearly in lost productivity (according to the WHO), the importance of developing strategies for workplace mental health can’t be overlooked.[6]

One of the best approaches is through peak performance research and programs offered by organizations such as the Workplace Mental Health Institute (WMHI). Organizations are now legally obligated to care for the overall well being of their employees. The WMHI has programs which meet such legal obligations. Since managers are the primary influencers in workplaces today, programs that educate them on how to respond to mental health related issues at work benefit everyone (including employees and the bottom-line).

Effective workplace mental health programs tend to start with a company assessment meant to establish the precise state of mental health in an organization. Given 25% of the global population suffers from a mental disorder, every workplace, even those with the best recruitment practices, have employees with mental health problems that need to be addressed.

Mental health assessments should be followed by strategizing and designing the ideal, mentally healthy environment for high performance. Managers should then undergo training to be able to spot or preempt mental health issues as well as contain, solve, or reduce them. For organizations to deal with mental health issues effectively, managers must practice savvy leadership.

Employees must also be equipped to deal with mental health issues. Mentally healthy employees have better job involvement, satisfaction, commitment, performance, and turnover. The best programs provide employees with mental health essentials such as personal resilience strategies that help employees cope with ever-increasing work-life challenges. Employees who are mentally tough have the willpower to resist distractions like social media and focus on productive workplace practices.

Employees who are depressed or suicidal because of social media can get the help they need through suicide prevention skills training meant to equip employees in spotting warning signs among colleagues and how they should respond. Suicide is more prevalent than we think. In Australia, for instance, eight people commit suicide daily. Six of those are men. The prevalence of death by suicide is higher than that of death by car accidents. Workplace mental health programs can help employees identify and respond to warning signs exhibited by colleagues.

These programs are not only a great return on investment, with an average of two hundred and thirty percent return according to PWC, but also offer a platform for introducing mental health conversations in the workplace to reduce stigma and eliminate myths and misconceptions associated with such issues.

Workplace Mental Health Institute peak performance programs are tailored to promote good workplace mental health, which is crucial for achieving business wealth. WMHI programs are endorsed by CEOs and trusted by globally renowned organizations such as PWC, Glencore, American Express, and Tradies.

References:

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/facebook-social-media-make-unhappy-jealous-people-particularly-sad-copenhagen-university-study-a7490816.html
[2] https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/3/203/2915143
[3] https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-effects-of-media-on-memory/
[4] https://www.sleep.org/articles/is-your-smartphone-ruining-your-sleep/
[5] http://www.medicaldaily.com/internet-addiction-internet-usage-mental-health-depression-and-anxiety-398216
[6] https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on Twitter Peter Diaz on LinkedIn