MANAGERS: How to do a wellbeing check in your team

Problem: 1 in 5 employees in each team experience a diagnosable mental health disorder each year yet 50% of managers say there is no one in their team with a mental health issue.

Solution: Use an evidence-based tool to check wellbeing levels rather than relying on an untrained manager to attempt the check.

Options: Here is a list of brief, evidence-based tools to check wellbeing levels without collecting highly sensitive health information that employees would be uncomfortable to hand over.

a) World Health Organisation - 5 item wellbeing scale: 60 seconds to complete. Click here for a copy with scoring so your manager can understand if anyone is at risk.

b) Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale - 14 questions ~ 2 mins to complete. Click here for a web-based version with auto-scoring.

c) Use one of our basic wellbeing checks at Uprise for fee. Click here for access to a self-service version that will supply a score out of 100 using the World Health Organisation - 5 item wellbeing measure.

 

Before You Start:

  • BUILD SAFETY TO DISCUSS: Let your team know that you want to make sure that they are all ok, that it would be normal for everyone in the team to be low at some stage of the year, including yourself.

  • DISCUSS CONFIDENTIALITY: Let them know that you can keep the results confidential unless someone is in an emergency (You are protected by the Privacy Act to protect information about staff who disclose about mental health but you have to contact emergency services if they say they are going to harm themselves or someone else).

  • FLAG WHEN, WHERE, HOW: Let your team know how often you’ll ask them to do the screening tool, how they can share their results with you, how you’ll assist with referrals to the EAP or the right service if anyone needs it, and how they can discuss things with you if they have concerns about the process.

Discussing results:

  • ASK, DON’T AVOID: Managers should directly ask about low scores in a private setting and be prepared that most employees will deny any problems, even when scores are low.

  • SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS ARE NEEDED, NOT ONE: Managers should schedule repeated check-ins about the employees wellbeing to build trust that it is ok to discuss the subject with them.

  • REFER, DON’T ACT AS THERAPIST: Managers should encourage the employee to contact the company employee assistance provider or their family doctor. If possible, follow up with them after they agree to the appointment as many employees will avoid the appointment and may benefit from a few prompts. It helps to show the manager cares enough to follow up rather than just referring and finishing there.