Welcome to the home of the innovative Here4u program
Here's the challenge...
You have probably noticed that some of your people are not doing as well at work as they could.
You hear that they are having a tough time, and wonder why they don’t use the nominated counselling service - after all, that’s what it’s there for.
Some of those unhappy people continue to come to work, but their productivity and quality of their work is poor. Worse still, they cause conflict or just bring others down with their negativity.
Other staff members are taking way too much time off work, and when they return they don’t seem to be much better.
You have tried to build team morale, highlighted both the counselling service available to staff and your zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, and you have considered many other suggested improvements.
Mental wellness in your workplace is a legal and financial ‘must’…
It can be very challenging to manage employee wellbeing for maximum results. And yet to ignore the wellbeing of your people is to risk high absenteeism, presenteeism, and costly workers compensation claims.
Mental distress is costing Australian workplaces more than 10 billion dollars annually.
So how much could it be costing your organisation?
Additionally, the Work Health and Safety Act requires you to provide a workplace that is both physically and mentally healthy. Failure to do so can cost your organisation in fines and damaged reputation. Responsible individuals can also be personally liable to prosecution.
And while you acknowledge that there are legal and financial risks of ignoring employee mental health, you want more for your workplace than mere compliance. You want to create a greater legacy.
Perhaps you are ready to take your organisation to the next level - to become a high functioning team, a Great Place to Work, perhaps even to gain ‘BCorp’ certification, bringing with it the status and benefits that only Virgin Unite can bestow.
It’s not as difficult as you think to make substantial improvements to the mental health and wellbeing of your workplace.
So what does it take?
It takes a commitment to investing in an integrated, effective program of peer support that empowers people at all levels in your workplace to help each other in tough times.
We all have challenges, and we all experience stress. Sometimes that stress can become high enough to interfere with normal functioning. Many of your people are experiencing that at work right now.
Here4u - caring support at all levels
Here4u is an innovative, evidence-based program that ensures that a caring, helpful response to stress is built into the behaviour of people throughout your workplace.
If someone is experiencing stress, your trained staff will notice and proactively ask if that person would like to discuss their challenges briefly in a confidential manner.
Peer support is well supported by research that highlights its effectiveness.
Here4u is versatile
Peer support can be used in a variety of contexts depending on the needs of your workplace.
The same Here4u training can also be used to train staff to:
- provide support for vulnerable staff such as those from disadvantaged and minority groups
- support people returning from extended leave for issues such as mental illness or injuries
- conduct regularly scheduled debriefing sessions in pairs or groups to help proactively manage workplace stress
- form an important component of a peer coaching program, which is especially beneficial for people for whom there are high barriers to seeking help
I can help you assess the best ways in which to use Here4u to maximise the resilience and functioning of your team.
But why use peer support?
An Employee Assistance Program (ie. a counsellor to refer stressed staff to) simply isn't enough.
Less than 50% of distressed Australians will ever seek professional help. This is true for a range of reasons such as:
- being unaware of the level of their distress,
- believing that they don’t need help or that professionals can’t help them,
- fearing their vulnerability,
- experiencing poor help in the past, and
- being unable to make and keep an appointment.
In hard times, we turn to each other first. Imagine how much better the outcome would be if that other person was trained to do and say the right things!
And work colleagues can do what professionals can’t - help at the earliest hint of problems emerging, when the consequences aren’t as bad, and the stressed person is still able to take effective action independently.
But peer supporters aren’t counsellors… isn’t that risky?
Remember that colleagues are already turning to each other for help. You are ensuring that what people say to each other at work is actually helpful.
Peer supporters are trained to:
- Stop and ready themselves to help
- Listen actively and with empathy
- Ask useful questions, and
- Empower people to find answers themselves or use other helpful resources, including professional helpers
Peer supporters are trained to NEVER give advice, but to link the distressed person to whatever they need to help themselves. This is caring support at its best.
Will peer supporters replace the need to use professional help?
No. The likely result of using peer-supporters is that referrals to professional helpers will increase. This is good news, because good peer support reduces the barriers for distressed people to obtaining the professional help they need.
Certified peer supporters understand the limits to the service they can provide. If a colleague is experiencing a complex problem or high distress, the peer supporter will facilitate a referral to professionals. They will actively reduce the barriers for their colleague to receive the help they need.
Can anyone become a peer supporter?
No, but many people can. The skills taught to peer supporters can be learned by a wide variety of people. The skills have been successfully used by people with disabilities, mental illnesses, and addictions.
Effective peer supporters value and demonstrate compassion. They are considered trustworthy by their colleagues. People already turn to them for this reason.
I will help you to choose the people who will make the most effective peer supporters for your team.
‘Here4u’ benefits you didn’t expect…
The social and emotional competencies that peer supporters develop will benefit their personal career prospects, their family life, and their community. This is because all these life domains involve interacting skilfully with others, sometimes in challenging circumstances.
And as your peer-support program develops, you can expect the ‘emotional capital’ of your organisation to increase as well.
This means that with the support of senior leadership, the perception of caring and positivity within the team will increase, especially as you build on this positivity with related strategies to build a thriving workplace culture. (My colleagues at Being More Human are experts in this field!)
Why is Here4u better than any other peer-support program available?
The comprehensive nature of Here4u maximises success for you. It is much more than simply training resources. We have ensured that the evidence-based strategies in this program address the usual causes of program failure. For example…
- Staff and significant stakeholders are briefed about the nature and importance of this program, while systems are built to ensure the support and participation at all levels of the organisation is promoted and sustained.
- Senior leadership are assisted in program implementation at every stage, including choosing the type of peer support to use, selecting and supporting candidates, developing policies, and problem-solving specific implementation issues.
- Peer supporters receive a training manual, a brief but comprehensive face-to-face training program, and ongoing support from us at Being More Human (to complement the support they receive at work).
PriceWaterhouse Coopers estimated that effective mental health programs return $2.30 for every dollar invested. For this high level of support, Here4u is a surprisingly cost-effective investment capable of large returns for the organisation.
So what happens next?
Get in touch with me here at Being More Human, and let’s discuss whether this could improve things for your workplace.
Email me: ua.mo1526831410c.nam1526831410uhero1526831410mgnie1526831410b@kin1526831410ot1526831410, and I’ll call you back to arrange a confidential free consultation.
There’s no obligation, just information.
The future belongs to organisations who can proactively meet the challenge of attracting, retaining and empowering a highly skilled and engaged workforce.
To this end, Here4u is an essential component of a sustainable, cost-effective strategy.