The Crucial Role Leaders Play in Boosting Mental Health

PATHW, NOVARTIS AND GREAT PLACE TO WORK®

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This article is co-authored by PATHw, Novartis and Great Place To Work®

As the world works together to manage the debilitating impacts of COVID-19 and the rise of mental health issues, the role leaders play in this crisis has become more important than ever. United Nations health experts warn that a global mental health crisis is materializing, with their research showing high prevalence of distress in various countries during COVID-19.1

Following the onset of the viral pandemic, daily life as we know it has been disrupted. In addition to the fear of contracting COVID-19, balancing remote working arrangements with family commitments, workforce displacements and unemployment, and isolation from friends and family are new uncertain realities. Paying extra attention to mental health and care is crucial during this time as fear, worry and stress are common responses to uncertainty.2

How leaders can provide support for employee
Build a safe, supportive work environment

To build trust and communication with their employees, leaders should demonstrate credibility, respect and fairness in their work practices. What constitutes a happy, healthy working environment? According to Great Place to Work® (GPTW), there are 3 key criteria that determine a great workplace: employees’ relationship with management, pride for work, and a sense of camaraderie with colleagues. 3

Poor leadership and management can affect employees’ mental health, further exacerbating stresses during the pandemic. For leaders to foster a strong relationship with employees, Great Place to Work® considers 3 dimensions as crucial for management to demonstrate: credibility, respect and fairness. Employees need to view management as believable and trustworthy, feel respected and perceive that management practices and policies are fair. When employees feel that their workplace is a safe environment, a communicative culture can be built to reduce mental health burden.

To exemplify this, one of the Philippines’ recently-announced Best Workplaces™ focused on the value of ‘compassionate leadership’ in light of the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early this year, when extended quarantine measures were enforced in Manila and Cebu where they operate, they immediately worked on providing for their employees first. Hotel accommodations were booked in hotels within the vicinity of their centres to ensure that employees who manned their sites did not need to commute; free shuttle transportation were arranged to and from these hotels as well as free onsite meals. Other critical care employees such as pregnant women, those over 60 years old and those have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, were sent home to keep safe, yet were provided financial support equivalent to their daily wage.  These were on top of  reinforced medical benefits and a ‘Wellness Payout’ to assist with necessities and provisions for family members during these uncertain circumstances.

Provide mental health support and initiatives

Workplace leaders should establish dedicated executive committees to provide support for employees in the organization. Such employee engagement will require a concerted, collective effort from leaders across different departments and across functions, to ensure that all employees are accounted for, considering their specific work processes and stressors. The executive committees can focus on providing mental health support and initiatives, such as discussion groups, chat hotlines with mental health professionals and community events. With remote working arrangements, organization of online community activities can strengthen social cohesion and reduce loneliness among employees, as well as provide intellectual and cognitive stimulation.4

A few unique examples of programmes initiated by Great Place to Work® Certified™ companies include developing a ‘wellbeing microsite’ and mobile app where employees can access services and activities that can help them look after body and mind.  One company introduced a ‘free learning microsite’ where they curated several free courses from leading companies, so that their employees can continue to develop and improve their skills even from home. Another company started a ‘Daily Time-out Challenge’ where employees are required to complete a variety of tasks, from physical exercises to ‘Tiktok’ and dance challenges. Another brought a weekly ‘Theme day’ and ‘Cookout’ online to make virtual gatherings more fun and enjoyable. Yet another company launched employee resource groups such as ‘Spectrum’ in support of the LGBT community and ‘Parents’ Network’ for additional support on childcare and balancing family life in the ‘new normal.’

Engaging the healthcare ecosystem and establishing partnerships

Workplace leaders can build partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem to improve mental health in the workplace. Workplace leaders can take the lead in partnering with policymakers, media and payors to improve mental health in the workplace. To improve policies for ensuring employees work in a safe environment, workplace leaders can set aside time for regular dialogue with policymakers to provide suggestions. Leaders may also work with payors to design, build and provide mental health support programmes for employees, as well as ensure mental health conditions coverage in health insurance packages. Additionally, they may engage the media to promote their mental health workplace activities. Media presence can aid advocacy for mental health support at workplaces and encourage other organizations to implement mental health support programmes and initiatives at workplaces.5

Taking into account your employees’ mental health and wellbeing is paramount, especially during times of crisis. It is crucial for leaders to act and introduce changes within the organization and work alongside the community and industry to realize mental health support for their employees.

PATHW, NOVARTIS AND GREAT PLACE TO WORK®

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Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees