May is Mental Health Awareness Month! After a year like 2020, now may be the best time to check in on your team’s overall well-being. The National Alliance for Mental Health states that one in five adults suffers from mental health-related issues each year.
At Transform Consulting Group (TCG), we serve nonprofits, government agencies, and philanthropic partners who work tirelessly to solve complex issues in their communities. When working together, we often find that the pressure to meet program outcomes combined with the struggles their clients face can increase stress.
If you truly want to equip your employees to accelerate your impact, then start by assessing your organizational culture. This may include looking at your leadership and the stress (read more about assessing stress specifically in our blog here) and the well-being of your entire team.
Assessing your organizational culture can take on many different forms. Below are four key areas to consider as you begin to evaluate your organization connection to mental health and employee support:
Gather Feedback with Survey Tools
Is your organization getting ready to take an employee engagement or satisfaction survey? Or maybe you’ve received feedback but don’t know what to do with the information collected? It is essential to understand the goal behind the survey and make data-informed decisions relating to satisfaction and employee engagement. These surveys are great tools and provide great insights for your organization. However, suppose your organization does not have a follow-up plan to review the data and create an agency action plan. In that case, your organization is missing out on a key focus area. Many of the surveys used today help your organization understand critical areas of improvement and how employees feel about the support they receive.
Develop Leadership Competencies
The relationship between your leadership team and directors is critical when supporting your full staff. Developing supervisors to handle sensitive matters within the agency from an emotional intelligence level and a technical level is difficult. As a leader, it’s important to care for staff relationally while still holding them accountable to organizational standards in order to provide an environment of growth and support. Your leadership team should create an environment of care that supports your staff’s well-being.
Consider these areas: Does your organization offer access to external coaching programs (we recommend Townsend Leadership Program or find a coach at Townsend Leadership Coaches and Consultants)? Do you have robust supervisor training programs? We recommend taking time to review and reflect on how you are training, developing, and supporting your leaders as they set the tone for your organization’s culture.
Conduct a Communication Audit
Creating a culture of communication goes a long way in fostering a supportive and caring environment. When there’s a lack of communication, often, there is a breakdown in trust. Conduct an audit to see if your organization is creating a culture of communication. Organizational communication avenues like town hall meetings, regular staff meetings, employee surveys, and agency newsletters are used to gauge employee culture. Additionally, performance reviews, coaching reviews, and exit interviews also provide valuable feedback.
It may be time to take inventory and look at common trends throughout the organization. All of these actions provide information and quality data for review as you assess your organization’s culture.
Assess Employee Benefit Packages
Last year was a hard year for your employees, so now may be a good time to take a deep dive into your benefits packages and informal options for your employees. Do you have employee referral packages for mental health services? Are you providing information and educational opportunities to support staff?
During COVID-19, many companies created new avenues and access to much needed support systems. Virtual counseling and therapy options, flexible work schedules for parents managing child care hurdles, and educational tips for navigating the hardships of the pandemic are options to consider. Also, many organizations reviewed policies and procedures to ensure staff had access to support during these challenging times. As we start to look to the future beyond the pandemic, what are some takeaways your organization can continue?
At TCG, we are currently working with an organization to create an entire trauma-informed care model and framework focused on providing more support to staff’s well-being. We love their motto of “taking care of others by taking care of you.” The model is built upon five core principles of creating trust, offering choice, fostering collaboration, promoting safety, and empowering others. Additionally, the program provides a continuous quality improvement process (or CQI, which we break down in this blog) through evaluating their culture, supporting their employees, and adapting their operations.
At TCG, we want to help you move your mission forward, and that often starts with taking care of your staff! It doesn’t have to be #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth to develop healthy staff, reduce turnover, and increase productivity and engagement. Do you need help assessing your team? Or maybe you already know your staff is stretched, and you’re ready for additional support to build capacity? Learn more about our solutions here, and contact us today!