I have had one of those weeks where I have been in full day mediations virtually every day out of Auckland.
What hit me at these mediations is the despair that people find themselves in by the time they arrive at my door. With varying degrees, all of these mediations had people in deep emotional turmoil. Anguish, frustration, anger and deep sadness, to the point where I had to pause to ensure the people were in the right space to make good decisions for themselves.
Workplace conflict can cause harm.
Coming back to Auckland I was sitting at the airport and I picked up one of those “you’ve got nothing else to do so just read me” free magazines. Full of advertisements of who to vote for in the local body elections, why I can’t survive without a bamboo pillow and a not so gentle reminder that I can get twice the house at half the price if I move out of Auckland.
What I did read though was that Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 26 September to 2 October 2022.
It started me thinking about what we can all do to promote the idea of mental wellbeing at work. Yes, I know there is legislation that has been designed to facilitate mental wellbeing in the workplace, but how can we all encourage active conversations at the coal face to ensure that employees and employers do not spiral downwards when conflict arises.
In all the mediations this week I was told the stress and strain that people were under did not happen overnight. These extreme feelings and emotions were a result of not talking to one another.
The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is Reconnect, with the people and places that lift you up, hei pikinga waiora. Employers need to promote an openness about mental wellness and foster a workplace culture that supports conversations as well as provides a safe space to connect.
Mental Health and Wellbeing is very important at work and small gestures to open the door for conversations to take place can make a big difference for mental wellbeing for all parties in the workplace.
At Three60 we can offer the tools to help employers take the first step needed to tackle conflict or address workplace culture, get in touch today if you need assistance.
Written by Lynn Booker, Senior Associate