On July 21, Hacking HR organized an event on “Mental Health at Work: The Defining Challenge for HR in 2021” along four expert panels led by Hacking HR Founder Enrique Rubio:
- Mental Health In The Workplace
- The Business Imperative To Address Mental Health At Work
- Leading Upward: How To Turn The C-Suite Into Champions of Mental Health
- The Ethical Imperative: Why Addressing Mental Health At Work is Urgent
During the first panel, along with two wonderful panelists Anita Kanti and MaryBeth Hyland, Silicon Humanism Founder Sylvia Gallusser discussed the impact of the pandemic on mental health at work, the role of the employer and the ecosystem to support employees in their mental health challenges, and how to go beyond awareness to actual long-term and efficient actions.
Among the insights brought up during the day, Enrique underlines the following aspects:
- We must move from awareness to action. We will always be in the cycles of becoming more aware about an issue, but awareness without action is nothing.
- Mental Health is not stand alone in the workplace. It is interconnected with culture, leadership, management, and a lot more. Therefore, to resolve the mental health challenges at work we must think holistically and systemically.
- Leaders are the front line to support employees. While professional support will sometimes be needed, leaders must create the environment for their people to vulnerably come forward and express what they may be going through and the support they need.
- Mental health MUST NOT become another fad at work. While we acknowledged how positive it is to give people a week off or a “no zoom Friday”, these things alone are not enough. And for the larger organizations that usually become role models of these behaviors is important to acknowledge so.
- Finally, we all agreed on the complexity of mental health at work. And we also agreed on: having a long term vision of what we want to do, and start small with actionable steps that can provide quick, but sustainable wins.