At Valor, our PEOPLE FIRST approach centres around the belief that our team members are instrumental to who we are and what we do.
We are committed to their Mental Health & Wellbeing by ensuring our work practices, the work environment and our workplace culture will add value to, enhance and protect their overall health and wellbeing.
We encourage team members to have a voice while providing a safe space in which they can confidentially seek support, guidance and tools to help them navigate through work and life challenges. Offering resources that will assist in developing and maintaining good mental and physical health. Keeping the notion of caring about yourself, each other and this place at the forefront of all we do.
Do you think the stigma surrounding mental health has remained the same or changed from where it was, say five years ago? If so, what has changed?
“I believe that the negative stigma around mental health has significantly improved. Some of the factors behind this is that there are a lot more people talking about mental health issues in the public eye and press. When you have someone in the public eye speaking about personal mental health problems it can make it easier for others to talk. This is also the same in our business if we as leaders openly talk about the importance of mental health, it can encourage our team members to have open and honest conversations.”
- Natalia Dainty – Cluster Human Resources Manager – United Kingdom
Why is it important for people to learn and recognise, including those in the workplace, the signs and behaviours of mental health stress?
“Good mental health is vital to ensure we have a productive and healthy workforce, if we can pick up on the stress behaviours early enough then we can support those individuals in a timely manner.”
- Eimear O’Brien – Area Human Resources Manager – United Kingdom
How can organisations ensure that employees have their support when it comes to their overall well-being?
“By offering programmes such as educational seminars, options for leave to care for your mental health and physical fitness, we are showing our team that we understand this is a priority and we want to help them in any way possible.”
- Jennifer Murray – Regional Human Resources Director – Americas
“Besides training people on the basics of detecting mental wellness symptoms, an organisation I worked for had a system of ‘God-Parents’ in each department. These people were volunteers who held the company culture very close to their hearts, and whose role it was to help orient the new employees into the organisational culture and practice. They became very skilled at picking up when people were ‘out of sorts’ and could report to the line manager or HR when they suspected someone was struggling. Having a wellness care line for employees to call (there are several organisations in Cape Town that provide this service) to discuss emotionally difficult situations, not necessarily relating to the workplace is key. The organisation would provide quarterly reporting on the increase or decrease of incidences of several symptoms or behaviours. Additionally, it is important to train leaders to listen, not just as a function of hearing, but to listen to understand.”
- Barry Ross – Human Resources Manager – Africa
Why is it important to have a workplace wellbeing program that addresses mental health?
“Employees spend the majority of their time at work. When you think about it, they spend more time with their co-workers, than they do with their family. To that end, we have an obligation to ensure that employees understand and know that they are appreciated and valued. Do we provide a safe space for employees to express themselves? Is there an EAP program in place? Employers must put an emphasis and focus on the total health and wellbeing of an employee. Yes, it is important to have a robust medical/dental package, but overall wellbeing extends beyond the physical makeup.”
- LaShana Butler – Regional Human Resources Director – Americas