EEDI (Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity) and Wellbeing Hub, Management & leadership

Supporting your team in January and beyond

Here's how to make sure you're placing wellbeing at the heart of your organisation.

January is a notoriously tough month. Cold and dark, it’s a drag for most of us. But if you’re suffering from mental health issues, it doesn’t matter what month it is or what the weather’s like; some days you just don’t feel too good. However, something that can make all the difference is feeling seen and heard in the workplace, and employers have a responsibility to do just this. 

The charity sector is known for burnout. In fact, it was once ‘the nature of the job’, but as charities face problems with staff retention, the approach to staff wellbeing must shift.  

Ultimately staff wellbeing has to be put at the forefront of your organisation, otherwise your incredible workforce won’t be able to put their all into your important cause.  

So, how can you support your staff and their mental health during the winter and beyond? Here are some tips… 

Adapt with your staff, ask them how they’re doing 

Check-in with your staff and find out how they are doing with an anonymous wellbeing survey. You’ll find out how they honestly feel about their jobs, and you’ll be able to gauge what else you need to do to support them. This is especially important if you’ve moved over to remote or hybrid working as it will help you understand how your team are coping with working from home. 

Empower your staff, create a Staff Forum 

Give your staff a voice and boost the quality of your organisation’s communications by establishing a Staff Forum. Run by staff for staff, they are an opportunity to discuss matters that affect the workplace as well as being a positive space to have informal conversations that might not be possible or practical in everyday meetings. If you’d like to know more, read our Speed Read on how to get started. 

Put wellbeing at the heart of your organisation, create a staff wellbeing team 

Our wellbeing team at DSC meets every 2 weeks to discuss how different departments are doing in terms of wellbeing and if there are any concerns they need to address. They also create an excellent monthly wellbeing bulletin which includes colleague examples of excellence and empathy (our two core values) and tips and resources for keeping well. They are also the team that puts together the wellbeing survey. Could a similar thing work in your organisation to ensure your team feels supported and heard? 

Move over to a four-day work week 

It’s been proven that a four-day week can help staff productivity, wellbeing and morale. At DSC, we changed over to what we call a three-day weekend back in 2021, and although it took us a minute to iron everything out, it was worth it because we’ve found it works for us. This extra day is one of the best things you can do for your staff. Hours stay the same, they’re just condensed down to four slightly longer days. We also have two teams, one that works Monday-Thursday and one that works Tuesday-Friday, this makes sure that someone’s always around to help our beneficiaries, i.e. you. We’re massive advocates of the three-day weekend, so if you’d like to talk to us about the process, please get in touch.  

Discourage working overtime    

We really need to move away from normalising overtime, it’s unhealthy and unfair on staff. I realise that every now and then it may be impossible to avoid, however, as a manager, you should be nudging your team to set healthy boundaries. If you’re seeing them struggle with their workload, help them prioritise their tasks.   

Gossiping as part of work 

We spend a large proportion of our time at work, so it’s crucial that we make room for moments of connection. After all, we are social creatures who love a good chat, and without it, working from home can make you feel isolated and lonely. Set aside 20 minutes each week for all your staff to get together and chat about non-work-related things. We do this at DSC, and it helps you feel more connected with your team.   

Start a work book club

Why not diversify your team’s development and provide them with books to read during work hours? Find a book that suits your team and their personal development goals, and tell them to read it during work hours. After a couple of months, you can arrange a group meeting to discuss what you’ve learned. Books can do wonders for provoking innovative ideas, and as a publishing charity, we have loads for you and your team to read! Take a look here. 

Our in-house team can help you get to the place you want to be with your team and their wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or 020 4526 5995 for a chat. Additionally, you can access our wellbeing resources here.