It’s clear that there is an urgent need for organizations to better support their employee’s mental health:
- Based on a study of the world’s 36 largest countries, it’s estimated that 12 billion productive days are lost each year due to poor mental health, at a cost of $925 billion.
- Workers dealing with change are 2X as likely to report chronic work stress, while many employers agree that change is a guaranteed constant.
- Half of people managers have been approached with a mental health issue, but fewer than 1/3 have been trained on how to respond.
- Mental Health Innovations data show that more than half (52%)* of those who were currently employed wouldn’t feel able to talk to their manager about their mental health.
These factors alongside many more prompted the World Economic Forum to call for collective and urgent action from employers in 2021 to better support their employee’s mental health.
Driven by customer demand, Hive Learning partnered with Mental Health Innovations to develop a new program that helps leaders, managers, and every employee develop eight critical skills for more supportive conversations.
The program is designed using the framework built by Shout to train 7,000 volunteers. That framework was informed by a huge data set generated from nearly three-quarters of a million conversations. 87% of Shout texters find the service helpful and 74% say they feel calmer after their conversation.*
Skills learned on the program are highly transferable — helping employees build rapport, help people with personal struggles like a breakup or grief, and talk about everyday work concerns like workload or difficult feedback.
The 2021 Shout Volunteer survey shows that 84% of volunteers agree that their training helps them be better listeners, and 86% of volunteers agree that volunteering with Shout has helped them feel more comfortable handling difficult situations. 91% of Shout Volunteers agree that their volunteering has given them transferable skills and mental health knowledge that they can apply to their life beyond the platform.
Volunteers report that they feel more comfortable dealing with difficult situations at work and at home and supporting colleagues, friends and family. Volunteers also report that Shout training techniques have given them more confidence pursuing new avenues and opportunities.
The program is available off-the-shelf and to customize, and will be deployed on Hive Learning’s consumer-grade peer learning platform. It will be accompanied by campaign management packages that include nudges, conversation starters, pulse checks and other engagement tactics designed to spark conversation and turn learning into action. Clinical support is also available on request.
Hive Learning, CEO, Julia Tierney said of the launch, “Every week, we obsess about what healthy, happy, and productive workforces look like and how employers can create them. We know that creating a culture of trust and compassion is critical for helping people do their best work and Covid-19 has created an environment that makes that even harder. Having been asked for support with this by a number of customers, we took a good look at the mental health offerings available on the market today. And we felt like there was a huge gap.
“It’s great to see organizations offering access to wellbeing benefits like meditation apps or gym memberships and it’s encouraging to see so much mental health first aid training being delivered too. But the challenge with these tools is that they are very focused on individual experiences which aren’t for everyone. What’s more, they don’t set a standard for the collective behaviors of employees or help people understand ‘how we do things around here’ when it comes to supporting positive mental health. Organisations currently have very few ways to give every person the practical tools to help them do that. Ultimately we know that for culture change to stick, it has to be everyone’s job. That’s why we launched this program.
“We partnered with Mental Health Innovations because we loved their data-driven and practical approach to building skills, and the deep expertise of their clinical psychologists means that organizations will be able to give their people access to the very best training. We look forward to continuing to work with them and helping many organizations create a culture of trust and compassion, one conversation at a time.”
Victoria Hornby, CEO of Mental Health Innovations, commented, “Given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of the UK population, it’s now more important than ever that employers consider the mental wellbeing of their employees. However, our data has revealed a key issue in that we’ve found that a huge 52% of workers would not broach the subject of mental health with their managers. It appears that the workplace is a space where many people don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health. This points towards a clear need for a shift in the approach taken by employers and a need to make space for new conversations in the workspace.
“The training that we give our Shout Volunteers centers on the immense power of a positive conversation and the conversations volunteers have with the texters who contact us in a moment of need has a huge and sometimes life-changing impact. We know that our volunteers take this training beyond the Shout platform and benefit from using it in the wider world, whether that’s by implementing active listening skills to support friends and family or by harnessing the confidence the training gives them to take their next steps at work.
“We chose to partner with Hive Learning because of their expertise in changing culture at scale, particularly in challenging areas like diversity and inclusion which is closely linked to mental health. We know that with these types of subjects it can be important to reach many people quickly and Hive Learning’s programmatic, cohort-based approach will help us do just that. For a sensitive and nuanced topic like mental health, we believe that peer learning adds value by getting everyone on the same page about what good looks like quickly, encouraging people to share stories and experiences, and creating a strong support network people can access even if they’re far apart from colleagues. Shout has used Hive Learning to embed the training we deliver to our volunteers for a number of years and we know that they find the chance to connect with their peers exceptionally valuable.
“We’ll be reinvesting the funds generated from this program into our charity’s mission to improve the mental health of the UK population through the provision of digital tools, support and resources.”
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