National Grid is leading the way in supporting line managers in their role to transform employees’ mental wellbeing.
Today, this year’s Time to Talk day, sees the publication of Business in the Community’s (BITC) report on the role of line managers in supporting employees’ mental wellbeing.
As one of BITC’s champion companies, we have contributed to the development of the report. And we are already applying its recommendations on how to embed wellbeing into organisation culture and line manager capability.
In the report, Mark Lissimore, Head of Delivery for Electricity Transmission and an active member of our Mental Wellbeing Steering Group, illustrates our approach by providing his thoughts on how managers are essential to creating a positive and supportive team dynamic and work environment.
Mark talks about his experiences of suffering from depression and says: “At National Grid we’ve done a lot to make it culturally acceptable to talk about mental health openly.
“Training is available for line managers to give them awareness of what warning signs to look for. Managers are not expected to be health professionals; but it’s important that that they recognise their capacity to help people by giving them access to expert support where they feel it might be needed.
“In my opinion, there’s no substitution for a manager being in tune with where people are generally in their lives – so that they can engage with them in the right way. Making sure that managers receive training to give them a basic understanding of mental health and how it affects people is of course important – but it’s only useful if managers know their employees as people first and foremost. Strong personal relationships between managers and employees are essential.”
Health and Wellbeing Manager Andy Buxton adds: “To do this consistently, we need to continue investing in our managers basic understanding of mental wellbeing issues. This is achieved, in part, by the availability of Mental Health First Aid Courses and the promotion and use of our toolbox of support.“
You can read the BITC report, sign the pledge to take Time to Talk on the SSR sharepoint* site and access mental wellbeing resources* through our portal; including material aimed at starting a conversation about mental wellbeing.
* You will need to be connected to the National Grid network to access these links.