Make sure your employees know help is at hand!

Date posted: 16/05/2019. Author: Steve Sykes

Two years ago I wrote a blog following Rio Ferdinand’s Being Mum and Dad' documentary from the BBC. It was an emotional and inspirational watch. In the programme you saw Rio acknowledge the need to seek help for himself and his family to help them come to terms with their loss.

The reaction to the programme was huge, with Rio, quite rightly in my opinion, receiving an outpouring of support and admiration for sharing his story so openly. The documentary also won Best Single Documentary at the Baftas.

As a society we’ve already taken big steps away from the ‘stiff upper lip’ approach to dealing with emotional issues, but watching a professional footballer with a tough reputation confronting the need for support, shone the spotlight on an issue which is not always well promoted.

Acknowledging the need for help is just the first step in the process. Knowing where to go and who you can talk to is another matter; and for many, the cost of proper counselling and support is prohibitive. The good news is that many employers have recognised that and now offer a range of wellbeing benefits and support services.

I don’t mind sharing that I have personally benefited from these types of services. My youngest son Ollie suffered a life threatening illness last year which has had life changing implications for him and our family. In the midst of a very difficult time, I was able to access professional counselling services to help me confront and come to terms with the effects of Ollie’s illness without the additional burden of paying for it.

Being in the benefits industry I was already aware of these types of benefits and where to look for them but for many employees that isn’t the case. I’ve facilitated lots of focus groups and surveys for different kinds of employers and often find that employees are completely unaware that these benefits and support services even exist.

So, if you’ve gone to the trouble of putting these physical, emotional and financial wellbeing benefits in place, then make sure you communicate them to your employees so know that this help is at hand! It could make an incredible difference to their lives, protect your most important asset and ultimately boost the productivity and profitability of your business.