Kindred’s commitment to mental health: building mental resilience in the workplace

Estimated read time 5 min read

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Rachel Randle-Williams, chief HR officer at Kindred Group, discusses how fostering mental resilience is worth prioritising to build a strong organisational culture and achieve business success
The post Kindred’s commitment to mental health: building mental resilience in the workplace first appeared on EGR Intel.  

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of building mental resilience in the corporate world and how we are prioritising the mental wellness of our people at Kindred Group.

I feel mental resilience is vital – it is the ability to bounce back from adversity, stress or setbacks while effectively maintaining a sense of wellbeing.

Sadly, everyone will encounter stressful and difficult situations as they go through life, and being able to tackle them, take the life learnings and move forward is paramount in both our personal lives and the workplace.

Being mentally resilient requires good emotional regulation, problem solving skills, connection and support, as well as the ability to navigate challenges with optimism and strength.

It’s truly a delight to be working at an organisation where people really care. Here at Kindred, it’s not unusual for colleagues to openly discuss struggles they are experiencing and, when they do, they are met with empathy and interest from their peers and managers.

The ‘soft skills’ that make up mental resilience are showcased throughout all levels of the organisation, and I’m thrilled by the countless examples of colleagues extending support and navigating challenges with adept emotional regulation.

Education and awareness

I’m the first to recognise mental health is not something that can be addressed through mere lip service. It requires tangible action and a genuine commitment to creating an environment where individuals feel safe and supported.

We have implemented a range of initiatives aimed at promoting mental wellness and providing resources for those in need, such as our employee assistance programme, mental health first aiders, a wellbeing allowance, private medical insurance (including counselling and psychological support) and corporate responsibility days. We understand that everyone’s journey to mental wellness is unique and we are committed to providing personalised support to help our employees thrive.

Where we start in building mental resilience is through education and awareness. Knowledge is power, and by ensuring our employees are informed and equipped to discuss mental health challenges, we hope to reduce stigma and encourage open dialogue.

Our internal employee experience platform hosts a space called ‘Wellbeing at Kindred’, which serves to both educate and support employees with tips, contacts for local charities, access to our mental health first aiders, mindfulness and the ever-powerful, and sometimes overlooked, facet of building mental wellness – connection to others.

Employees are encouraged to join the conversation and share their stories, and a host of posts, resources, ideas and videos have indeed been shared in this group along with events and drop-in mindfulness sessions – providing meaningful connection and support across our office locations and teams.

We are passionate about our Kindred culture where colleagues feel they can discuss their mental health openly and without judgement. I myself have been open about taking time for therapy sessions with the wider people team at Kindred, to support my mental resilience and wellness.

As leaders, sharing this information and being candid about how we support our own mental wellness is crucial to creating an environment where employees feel they can also prioritise theirs. As leaders, we have to walk the talk around this and create space and time for those who need it when they need it.

Gone are the days of top-down, corporate-only leadership updates and I embrace that most people now recognise good leadership requires vulnerability, honesty and the ability to connect with employees and empathise with struggles as much as with successes.

In organisations where leadership sets the tone by prioritising mental health, this cascades throughout the organisation and promotes mental wellness.

Invest for success

Prioritising mental wellness is a good business decision. More mentally resilient employees mean more engaged and committed employees, which we know results in increased business success.

By not only providing employees with resources and tangible support for their mental health but also actively building mental resilience in the workforce, you can strengthen the organisation’s ability to weather any headwinds and embrace changes with more flexibility and acceptance.

This has been key to Kindred’s success the past year, where we have seen some significant changes internally within the organisation. We can see from our employee data that many have faced these changes with the grit and mental resilience needed to lead teams through change or embrace the flux of the current working world.

As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week and remind our employees that help is not just available but actively encouraged, I reflect on how proud I am of the strides that Kindred has made in supporting mental health and building resilience within our organisation. I remain committed to fostering a workplace culture where mental health is valued, supported and prioritised.

Together, with the support of Kindred’s leaders, we can, and are, creating a strong, resilient and highly successful workforce – and one that I am immensely proud to be a part of.

Rachel Randle-Williams joined Kindred Group as director of organisation effectiveness in 2019 and was appointed chief HR officer in October 2022. Before joining Kindred Group, she was part of PepsiCo and Vodafone in various HR positions across talent, recruitment and organisation design.

The post Kindred’s commitment to mental health: building mental resilience in the workplace first appeared on EGR Intel.


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