Joanne says she feels proud of the way that Allianz has supported its employees while they navigated the demands of working from home.
Among the initiatives set up within the Victorian Personal Injury business to help employees were general help hubs - virtual rooms manned by leaders during the day all day that employees could jump into to ask questions. An employee debriefing service set up in 2019, prior to the COVID outbreak, allowed employees to access internal counselling support and was utilised extensively during lockdown.
Now that many businesses are looking to transition their employees back into the workplace, she says the onus will be on them to implement measures that can help support the mental health of employees in the long term.
“Providing support services such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and dedicated mental health first aid officers can have a really positive effect,” she says. “So can conversations about the organisation’s mental health strategy and how its values align to it.”
Organisations can help promote self-care initiatives, such as educating employees about the importance of keeping physically fit and maintaining a healthy diet – and help facilitate these healthy lifestyle choices in the workplace.
Joanne is also an advocate for training of managers and other team members so they can identify the early signs of emotional strain in their colleagues.
“Training managers in an organisation to detect the signs and then pursuing an early intervention strategy is key to safeguarding employees’ wellbeing. Having leaders with the insight and emotional intelligence to reach out to people in need is one of the key ways an organisation can support its people.”
Check out the Allianz Workplace Mental Health Hub for other further resources.