This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and at The Shore Group mental health is something that is always front of mind. Our People and Performance Director, Emily Perry is responsible for delivering our well-being and mental health strategy, and in this post she explains how we approach this at The Shore Group.Mental health is such a huge, complex subject with varying degrees of severity – from the mild to the very serious, and as an employer it can be hard to know where to start and what support to put into place.
When I started in my role as People Director at The Shore Group, a key priority for me was ensuring we had some practical support mechanisms in place for our team in relation to mental health, as well as looking at how the wider culture of the business could support this. I put in place a health cash plan which provides employees with free counselling, an employee telephone support line, and we have supported individuals by funding private counselling sessions where this was more appropriate. We also have mental health first aiders, and partner with the charity Mates in Mind who specifically support the construction industry.
Whilst this is all great stuff, I fundamentally believe that if we want to truly support our employees with their mental health, we have to create cultures where people feel safe, but also hold people to account on their wellbeing. There is zero point in having great mental health initiatives, support lines and mental health first aiders if there is a toxic culture where people are scared, or where long working hours and 24/7 contact is encouraged. In my role at TSG, I spend a huge amount of time in one to ones with our people. This can range from informal catch ups, structured performance coaching or deeper emotional
The more we encourage people to talk, the more we have hope of them opening up to us when they need support. I’ve recently started training in psychotherapy in the hope that I can constantly expand my tool kit in what support we can offer our team. As always, there is work to do and we are far from perfect, but I am passionate about supporting our team and creating an environment where people feel listened to and supported.