SIAA’s monthly peer support sessions are informal opportunities for SIAA members to meet colleagues from across the sector, share ideas and provide mutual support. A recent session for staff was focussed on staff wellbeing. At the session people shared their thoughts on what their organisations did well and what else they felt could support staff wellbeing. This note summarises some of the key discussion points and supplements this with feedback from the State of the Sector Survey 2021. To round off we have also included a few ideas and resources for organisations to consider.
Staff wellbeing key discussion points
At the peer support session, we considered six areas that may contribute to staff’s wellbeing.
- Structure – such as workload, work patterns and the working environment.
- Participation – how much say people have in how they do their work.
- Support – both formal and informal, and resources provided.
- Relationships – promoting positive working relationships, how teams are supported.
- Role – understanding of your role and others within your organisation.
- Change – how organisational change is managed and communicated.
Staff emphasised some of the following points as being useful areas for organisations to consider:
- Regular benchmarking of staff wellbeing via an anonymous staff survey was useful and made staff feel they were being listened to.
- Organisations acknowledging that there has been a wider dip in mental health and wellbeing because of the pandemic.
- Quality of communication far outweighs quantity.
- Consideration is given to how and when information is communicated as well as what channel (e.g., online meeting, email etc) is used.
State of the Sector Survey feedback
In SIAA’s State of the Sector Survey that staff completed at the beginning of 2021, 73% of staff said the measures their organisation had taken to support mental health and wellbeing had been really good or good. This was an encouraging response and a useful starting point for managers when thinking about staff wellbeing. Staff also answered some questions about what worked for their wellbeing in the workplace, which included:
- Regular check ins, team meetings and one to ones
- Contact with colleagues
- Flexible hours, or changing hours worked
- Mental health days
- Links to resources on mental health and wellbeing
We have gathered up five resources that may be useful for you in thinking about your own or your staff’s wellbeing in the workplace.
- Top tips for staying well at work from Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/tips-for-employees/
- Five ways to wellbeing from Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/
- Four causes for ‘Zoom fatigue’ and their simple fixes: https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/
- ‘A user manual for me’ from Emily Bazalgette, which is a useful way of developing your team culture and identifying ways of working, particularly when working remotely: https://emrosebaz.medium.com/a-user-manual-for-me-2d82f28aa83a
- SAMH wellbeing self-assessment tool: https://www.samh.org.uk/about-mental-health/self-help-and-wellbeing/wellbeing-assessment-tool