The Buzz makes the Mental Health at Work CommitmentThe Buzz
Our Mental Health at Work Commitment
We are excited to announce that The Buzz has joined The Mental Health at Work Commitment curated by Mind.
The commitment is a framework from Mind for organisations to follow to improve and support the mental health of their people.
At The Buzz, we are looking to provide our team with information on how to recognise symptoms of mental ill-health and provide them with resources for getting help if they need it. Mind, the Royal Foundation and partners have created a website – Mental Health At Work. Mental Health at Work is a source for ideas, examples, resources, tips and guides on all sorts of aspects of workplace mental health, bringing together the expertise of organisations and publishers all over the UK.
As an organisation, wellbeing is always at the forefront of mind and we are committed to offering both our team and clients flexibility because we understand that a work-life balance is vital for success, for everyone. We hope to encourage our team members and partners to indulge in the things they love, taking the time and headspace to be great.
We are excited to join the other organisations in formalising our steps towards a healthier, more mentally aware workplace.
Why we’ve made this commitment
- 41% of employees have experienced poor mental health where work was a contributing factor in the last year. (BITC and Bupa, 2020)
- 56% feel comfortable talking generally in the workplace about mental health issues. (BITC and Bupa, 2020)
- 300k people lose their jobs each year because of long term mental-health problems. (Stevenson and Farmer, 2017)
The Six Standards
The Mental Health At Work Commitment consists of six standards, which bring together recommendations of best practice from the Thriving at Work review (an independent review into how employers can better support all employees’ mental health), as well as a number of other pledges and charters.
The standards are:
1. Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity
There are a number of individual actions you can take, from training courses, to support services, to awareness-raising activities. However, to make a long-term difference, the recommendation of The Mental Health at Work Commitment, is that these interventions fit into a coherent whole, with a clear ethos, purpose and commitment behind them.
At The Buzz, we’re taking steps to create an annual calendar of training for our teams – from how to recognise signs of mental ill-health, to sharing our own experiences and how we worked to overcome them.
Being a small team means it’s easy to assume we’re talking about the challenges we’re facing both inside and outside of work. But making sure we have regular, scheduled time, to specifically prioritise this ensures it doesn’t go under the radar.
2. Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes
Nobody’s work is just a set of actions in a vacuum; we’re all affected by what’s around us. We know that physical working conditions can make a big difference: from interactions between staff, the connection between hydration levels and concentration, to daylight, fresh air, diet and mood. And, when we consider that physical and mental health conditions can often go hand in hand, it’s clear that a holistic approach is the only way forward.
The messages that colleagues send, consciously and unconsciously, combine to produce the norms and exceptions in a workplace. This is why work/life balance isn’t just an issue of rules and permissions. It’s important to signal, through our behaviours and the culture we create, that people aren’t expected to see their emails late at night. That it’s OK to have other things going on in your life, and that sometimes these will affect work.
Having a flexible model at The Buzz, we’re pretty good at making sure work and life are given equal priority. We don’t restrict our teams to specific lunch breaks, or annual leave days, we take these when works for us.
These overall considerations, we hope will add up to create an environment in which people feel supported to do their best work.
3. Promote an open culture around mental health
One of the best ways to raise awareness about mental health, and challenge stigma, is to encourage conversations about it. Another key way is to empower individuals is to take an active role in championing the issue – from holding wellbeing fairs, quizzes and pledge walls encouraging each other to learn, give and exercise more. At The Buzz we brought in The Buzz Challenge to get staff walking on a lunch break. That’s the basis of anti-stigma activities like mental health champions and their industry-specific equivalents.
To help create a culture where people feel able to come forward if they need support.
By fostering an environment in which these conversations can take place, and supporting grassroots enthusiasm to champion mental health issues, they can play an integral role in keeping staff well.
At The Buzz we are big believers in open conversations and being able to talk about any issues that may arise with the staff. After all we offer flexible marketing to our clients, the offer extends to our employees for flexible working. If a situation or personal matter arises in a person’s life and that becomes a priority, we have made sure all staff feel comfortable if anything ever needs to be discussed.
4. Increase organisational confidence and capability
Much of the Commitment is about the actions you can take, or policies or services you can put in place. This standard is, too – but its focus is more on the who, not just the what.
You can never know when or where an opportunity to make a change, a request for help or a trigger for a conversation might arise, so having a workforce that feels confident in responding positively is vital.
Regular training is one part of that jigsaw; information and awareness-raising is another. You also need to be putting mental health on the agenda during inductions, supervisions and return-to-work conversations.
People at all levels of an organisation have a role to play, and employers should support them all in fulfilling it.
“Improving staff mental health can’t be done with one quick intervention. Leaders and managers need to build it into everything they do, so that supporting the wellbeing of staff is part of business as usual.”
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Mind
5. Provide mental health tools and support
One of the easiest ways to support employees is to make sure people are aware of the help, tools and services available to them.
But it’s not just about signposting; actively promoting the use of wellbeing tools, mental health support and local and national services is a way of creating a culture in which these things are OK to talk about.
Tools like wellness action plans can also be useful in making sure those conversations happen regularly between managers and line reports.
As well as these, there’s a role for workplaces to play in providing specific services and encouraging their uptake.
“It’s partly about self-care and self-development: giving people the tools to make a difference to themselves. But as an employer or a manager, you can’t just put stuff out there; you need to help people engage with it.”
Jan Golding, Founder and CEO, Roots HR
6. Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting
An organisation’s employees are one of its most important assets, and honestly assessing and reporting on their wellbeing shows people – whether employees, investors, clients or potential recruits – that you understand that.
But this isn’t about saying “you must measure the following things, as only these will tell you how you’re doing.” It’s more about developing a mindset in which key people understand that factors like wellbeing and engagement are things that can, in principle, be recorded and reported on, as a key aspect of your company’s performance. From there, it’s a matter of identifying how to get an accurate picture in a way that works for your organisation: its size, its activities, its location and its workforce.
Even more importantly, using a standardised tool or framework helps you to identify areas to focus on for improvement, often with specific and actionable recommendations. This can create a positive cycle in which reporting, planning, taking action and measuring impact are parts of an ongoing process that continually improves outcomes for staff – and for your business.
Organisations who sign the commitment will lead the way in implementing each standard for their people. Along with each standard are ideas to get you thinking and tools to get you started – all aiming to make it easier for organisations big and small to implement each standard and drive change. But beyond that, it’s a way of showing your values. By signing your organisation up to the Commitment, you’re declaring publicly that mental health at work is a priority for you – and you’re joining the growing movement of likeminded employers, businesses and organisations across the UK.
Founder of The Buzz, Leonie Cowton said A positive to be taken from the last few years, is that both individuals and employers recognise and now speak much more openly about the impact and importance of mental health. Akin to climate change, we may not see it but it is most certainly there. At The Buzz we see, mental health in the workplace as vitally important as within our personal lives a of who we are. We are proud to bring The Mental Health at Work Commitment to formalise this value within this business.”
You to can make the The Mental Health at Work Commitment for your business by visiting mentalhealthatwork.org.uk