Kristine Steele

Kristine Steele, Head of HR and Business Operations at Redspire on why kindness matters for a mentally healthy workplace.

Before lockdown, my 2-year-old son was in nursery and when I collected him, his teacher always gave me a rundown of his day; what he learned, what he ate etc and I would always ask the same question in return..." was he kind today?"

For me, kindness is such an important value, in both the workplace and our personal lives. Because of lockdown and remote working, the small ways we normally show kindness in the workplace have, for most of us, disappeared for now. Making someone a cup of tea, a hello and a smile as you walk past in the corridor, asking how someone's day has been, buying biscuits to share. Most of us do these things without thinking about them. We are naturally caring, social creatures. But for someone who isn't having a great day, these small things can make a big difference.

So, it's really important now, when many people are feeling isolated and anxious, we reach out and take the time to make colleagues and loved ones feel better. A virtual hug, a thinking of you message, an offer of support and a chat; even to those you may not normally speak to at work, could really have a positive impact on someone's mental wellbeing, showing that you're thinking of them and that you care.

Kristine Steele

I am really proud to be part of the Redspire team. Our managers work hard to support and encourage their teams and we are continuously striving to make Redspire a great place to be. As part of our roadmap prior to lockdown, we had been reviewing the way we do business to ensure our everyday working culture is as mentally healthy as possible. We continue to do this by reviewing training and coaching options for our managers to give them the tools they need to further support their teams, and we will be creating a hub of resources to encourage all employees to explore and share ways to manage stress, anxiety and mental health.

Our next step is to train a number of team members to become mental health ambassadors. We are currently running mindfulness sessions, introducing wellbeing action plans and continue to organise virtual social events, quizzes and celebrate birthdays and achievements. We're keen that our teams input what's important to them too, so source suggestions of what matters to them. We're keen that we continue to deliver a great service to our customers, making sure our employees have the balance between work and personal life; especially now, as both are so intertwined.

As well as hands-on team support, our anonymous wellbeing survey helps measure how successful  our initiatives are, but also allows staff a voice and us to listen. It supports the daily conversations between employees and managers and sets benchmarks to measure and improve. It's important as employers and managers that we talk, listen and really care about supporting our teams. We strive to create a trusting, open environment, where people won't be judged and we continue to encourage people to speak out and ask for help if they need it. These recent months have been tough on the global community. Everything has changed. That's what makes it even more important now, for us all to work hard to get through the new challenges we face.

Be kind to each other, #KindnessMatters

Connect with Kristine as she shares more on Redspire's Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap over the months ahead.

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