Helping to safeguard firms’ top asset

Helping to safeguard firms’ top asset

Looking after your employee’s mental wellbeing has never been more challenging, with team members furloughed, working remotely or operating as part of a skeleton crew to comply with Coronavirus restrictions.

But employment expert Amica HR, which is headquartered in Lincoln (with offices in London and Hull) is going the extra mile to help worried employers after partnering with occupational health specialist Sheffield-headquartered BlueBell Healthcare Ltd (which works nationally).

This important move means that Amica HR’s existing and new clients are been kept right up-to-date with the latest Government guidelines as they apply to workforces and, when employers are struggling to balance employees’ performance and wellbeing issues, they can call on BlueBell’s expertise to provide great all-round support.

Amica HR Directors David Grech and Suzanne Tricker

Amica HR Director David Grech said: “Following Government guidance, anyone who can  should now be working from home. Long periods of isolation, with little face-to-face contact, are great for slowing down the spread of the virus. They are also challenging and may lead to people suffering bouts of mental ill health.”

Research by Deloitte suggests that poor mental health cost UK bosses more than £43 billion in 2018. That was an increase of 16 per cent since the previous estimate of £37bn in 2016.

But David and his fellow Director Suzanne Tricker fear that the enforced working arrangements people are having to cope with, could make things worse.

“Anxiety may flare up due to stress, money worries, work stability issues and a general loss of control. Depression can be caused by excessive loneliness and a loss of routine.  These are quite relatable worries for many during this Coronavirus outbreak – even if, in most cases, symptoms are mild and manageable to begin with.

“As an employer or manager of someone working from home or on furlough, there is a duty of care to ensure business owners and managers check in on their employees’ mental health and wellbeing, to help guard against their symptoms worsening,” said David.

Having open and honest conversations with staff members is important.  Amica HR said making the first move and putting appropriate support systems in place is vital to maintain healthy mental wellbeing during the pandemic. It will also help to break down common misconceptions that mental health problems shouldn’t be discussed openly.”

BlueBell Healthcare and Amica HR are ready to assist firms with identifying areas where they can proactively “manage” their workers’ individual state of mind, irrespective of whether the business is operating as normally as it can, or staff are working from home or furloughed.

BlueBell Healthcare Ltd Director Karen Hughes said: “It can be very easy to miss the signs that someone is struggling, particularly during stressful periods. This is where we would encourage companies to schedule time to check in on their employees via video calls and not rely on texting or emails as proof of someone’s wellbeing.

“This can vary from ensuring they feel as though they are keeping on top of their workload, to encouraging them to do something productive in their non-working time, or even going outside to get some fresh air.

“From early intervention and prevention, to critical incident management, we at BlueBell Healthcare and our partners at Amica HR can help firms to tailor their mental health strategy.  We’re here to support them, their employees and their business. 

“Most people understand what our responsibility in healthcare is; caring for people when they are most vulnerable and helping them look after their future health. With the emphasis on physical health, mental health may well be overlooked,” added Karen.

Amica HR Director Suzanne Tricker added: “Our message to employers is, feel free to use our expertise and judgement to provide the guidance and support that can help your business and your people.

“We have a variety of different tools to help companies and their staff, from Working from Home Policies to guidance on how to reach out to staff who you suspect may be struggling.”

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