At ZGM, we understand the impact that mental health challenges can have on the lives of our employees and their families. The agency world, like many service-based industries, has unique challenges such as pressure to deliver creative solutions, hard deadlines, reliance on other team members and constant team work. As our team has grown in size, we’ve seen team members struggle with mental health.
For an agency whose purpose is to enhance the human experience, obviously we will need to constantly work to improve in this area.
We fully acknowledge we’re communication experts, not mental health experts. So we strive to learn from what we’ve done in the past and push to improve for the future. There’s been a number of long standing initiatives that have worked well for our team. We’ve given mental health days off. We’ve sponsored unique work abroad programs to support team member’s mental health. We’ve connected people in need of support to qualified resources such as NABS and one of our long-term clients, the Distress Centre. We utilize anonymous staff surveys to collect feedback and identify issues on a quarterly basis. We offer our team access to fitness facilities, bi-weekly bootcamps, bike teams and other activities to keep bodies and minds active and healthy. And we continue to talk to our team about the importance of being aware of their mental health, and responding appropriately when issues arise.
More recently, we’ve taken the initiative to lead a national, industry wide survey on mental health in conjunction with NABS and IPSOS – the results of this survey has given us new ideas and areas to focus on. We now have a full-time Human Resource position to give people another avenue to discuss their challenges with someone other than their direct report (and although that specific person is moving on to another industry, we’re absolutely going to replace them as their value in this role is obvious). We’re bringing in mental health experts to address the team at lunch and learns.We’re bringing in a meditation professionals to lead our team once a week. And perhaps most importantly, more than ever we’re talking about it, we’re listening, and we’re trying to get better at supporting our team. All of these are positive steps in our journey to improve our work place for everyone.
And as we continue this journey, we’re relying more on expert resources to support us.
And would invite you to do the same if you’re struggling with mental health issues, or even if you’re unsure and would just like to speak with someone. If you’re in our industry, please reach out to NABS – this confidential, free service is available to yourself or members of your family to support you in a number of ways. Learn more about them here or call them directly at 1-888-355-5548.
Another good option for support is our long-time client The Distress Centre. This confidential service can connect you to experts and services to support all aspects of mental health. You can reach them at 211. Or if you prefer to chat online, they do that too – click here to connect to them.
The journey to support mental health in the workplace is ongoing and new learnings arise constantly. We’re committed to stay focused on this critical issue for our team as we look to enhance their human experience. If you'd like to discuss any of our initiatives and how they work, please feel free to email me directly.