7 Ways Leaders Can Champion Their Team’s Mental Health In A Virtual World

Today, employees and employers, the world over, are learning, to many a surprise, that working from home can be just as mutually beneficial, as working from the confines of office cubicles. Several might wager that remote work has exponentially increased their levels of productivity and personal accountability.

On the flip side, COVID-19 has mandated stay at home rules that can make remote working conditions extremely isolating for employees, especially when work and personal/family demands are bleeding into each other. Boundaries of work have become blurry.

If you’re a leader who was used to walking through the halls of your organization or your manufacturing plant where you'd see people on a regular basis, or you’d have morning huddles or discussions, this world of remote work has been challenging for you. The challenge comes from the inability to see your team daily, or just feel connected to what people are working on. A big piece of that challenge is also being able...

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COVID-19 - A Training in Resilience

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has unleashed a new reality, a new normal, that most of us are still trying to wrap our heads around. HR leaders have been dealing with disruption and transformation for quite a few years now, but the level of disruption and uncertainty they have been combatting, just over the past four weeks, is unprecedented.

Now, into the third week of self-isolation, the impact of COVID-19 hit me first back in January when it was wreaking havoc in China. With SARS and H1N1, I’d had first-hand experience on pandemic planning and emergency preparedness at hospitals when I worked in healthcare. COVID-19 had all the tell-tale signs.

During the two pandemics I’d encountered in my lifetime, I came at the crises from an HR perspective and had to gear my thinking quickly towards how our workforce was going to be affected. Back then, when we were pandemic planning, we didn’t have work-from-home options. The technology was simply not there. Back then, HR was...

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Survey Reveals State of Safety Professionals' Mental Health (Canadian Occupational Safety Article)

mental health Feb 28, 2020

While they may be exposed to traumatic events on the job, safety leaders are often unprepared for the ensuing emotional difficulties.

One-Quarter of COS readers have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, finds survey

Andy Kerr was the go-to guy for electrical safety in the utility industry. He was involved in the development of the CSA Z462 standard for electrical safety and the CAN/ULC standard for electrical generation, transmission and distribution. He was the lead and subject matter expert for the Electrical Utility Safety Rules. He would regularly get calls from utilities all across Ontario — and sometimes out of province — for help with the rules and standards, training and incident or fatality investigations.  

But eventually, it all became too much.  

“The electrical community is small… So, you end up knowing just about everybody. The people you’ve done...

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Mental Well Being At Work Is A Business Priority. But Where To Start?

mental health Feb 10, 2020

Just before her 40th birthday, my mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the time, I would have just been born. Now at 91, she has lived with her mental illness for more than half her life. As I grew up, I saw my mother’s illness progress from bad to worse. Every five years she’d slip into a manic phase which would last four to five months.

Together, my parents owned a cleaning company. During her manic phases, mom wouldn’t sleep well. When she stopped sleeping, her delusions became grander and her paranoia worsened. She’d stay up nights obsessively cleaning to a point where one could eat off the floors of our house. When her manic episodes ended, she would slide into depression for six to eight months. We could never predict how long her depression would last. Eventually, her bouts of depression would be treated with Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Yet, my mother would go to work every day. Even through her protracted periods of mental illness,...

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