Global small business platform Xero is addressing mental health in the workplace with the launch of its new well-being initiative, The Check-In, for small Kiwi businesses.
Following New Zealand’s first Level 4 Lockdown, research has shown that 58 percent of small business employees have not talked about their wellbeing within the workplace and 36 percent have not been offered any wellbeing support.
Coinciding with Septembers’ month of mental health awareness, Xero’s check-in are made up of quick and easy activities that are accessible and in-expensive for leaders to use to get to know their team, build stronger communications and let their team know its okay to ask for help.
Managing director for New Zealand and Pacific Islands Xero, Craig Hudson, says it can be difficult to know where to start with wellbeing in the workplace, however the benefits of addressing the topic are huge.
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our small business industry is far-reaching, impacting wellbeing and inflating the stresses many of us feel day-to-day,” says Hudson.
“All workplaces play a central role in building people’s resilience and positive wellbeing, helping them to be healthy, contributing members to their families and communities.”
Results from a survey show that 36.4 percent of SME employees would like more wellbeing support from their employer and 56 percent have said they would make use of a wellbeing support programme if one was available at their place of work.
“This is particularly timely considering we’ve seen the re-emergence of Covid-19 in our communities, which has led to another lockdown situation across certain regions of New Zealand – including Alert Level 3 in Auckland, affecting more than 1.6 million Kiwis,” says Hudson.
Team members of small businesses have also said their mental wellbeing had been impacted due to the first Lockdown and more than half of those surveyed have admitted to be struggling from financial hardship.
Hudson says the wellbeing check-in is an important step towards addressing the pressure Covid-19 has put New Zealanders under.
“After specialist mental health services and primary health care, workplaces are the next biggest place of mental wellness support in the country, and 97 percent of New Zealand businesses are small businesses. So it’s vital that small businesses know what to do and how simple it can be.
“We need to take a look at how we address wellbeing. Whether it’s mental, physical, or spiritual, it all works together to give people a sense of self-satisfaction and happiness, and if this is lacking, it can lead to huge problems.”