One thing that is crucial and is often not discussed enough is mental well-being in the workplace. Following on from my last post about team culture; regular reviews, social outings and a supportive community are ways that help to create and strengthen team morale. Recognising and prioritising mental health in the workplace is paramount.
Te whare tapa whā is a holistic framework that was developed in 1982 by Dr. Mason Durie. It symbolises four dimensions of Māori health and well-being that has been integrated into New Zealand’s health policies and practices. These four dimensions include taha tinana (physical health), taha wairua (spiritual health), taha whānau (family health) and taha hinengaro (mental health). If one of these dimensions becomes imbalanced, damaged or missing, this can affect your overall well-being. It is important to check in with your Hauora (health) and all of these four elements that make up your whare (your house/your body/your temple).
Some examples of things that can help to protect your Hauora:
The above framework helps to distinguish what parts of your four walls require extra support. Why is this important to workplace well-being, you might ask? Because the average person spends one third of their life at work. It is hard to combat mental well-being in the workplace without first acknowledging that an individual has a life outside of work and external situations can have an effect on their overall productivity. Each person brings their whole self to work and makes up a unique aspect of the team, so looking after and supporting those four walls can play a vital role in creating a healthy workplace environment.
Last year, when Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) encountered four months of lockdown, each member of our team got two consecutive days off to focus on our mental well-being. It was a blessing in disguise and we all appreciated it. During Mental Health Awareness Week in September, our team jumped on Instagram to participate in our Five Ways to Wellbeing last year which included: Connect, Keep Learning, Be Active, Give and Take Notice. Lockdown was tough on a lot of people and we thought that by sharing ways that help us through hard times, it might provide a sense of transparency and resonate well with others.
Watch this video to explore why mental health in the workplace is important.
All workplaces are unique; knowing your team and what would be beneficial for them is key. Here are ten ideas to support mental well-being in the workplace:
Mental well-being is an integral part of health because it not only affects your mind but can also impact your physical health and your everyday life. Being conscious of that as a manager, a team member or an individual is what will help you foster strong, meaningful relationships.