All Lift Mental Health and what we do to support our employees
We recently wrote a blog about rife mental health issues and disproportionately high instances of suicide in the construction, mining and transport industries. We work with these industries on the daily and care a lot about our clients. And, a lot of us come from backgrounds in these industries, so it’s close to the heart. With that, we wanted to share our own strategies for supporting the mental health of our own team. Putting our money where our mouth is, you might say. We’re an extremely lucky team; we genuinely enjoy working with each other, absolutely love our job, and are as much true mates as we are workmates. It helps. But when it comes to mental health, clearer strategies within our industries are really needed. So, when it comes to looking after ourselves and each other, we take it seriously.
We try to break through the stigma
How we’re feeling is not a taboo subject. Sure, a lot of our chats are about how schmick Magni is, or just not getting over the impressive turning circle of the Bomaq. Heck, we’ve talked about everything from craft beer preference, to the footy, to one of our guys learning to knit. It’s not like we all sit in a circle all day holding hands. That’s all part of breaking the stigma, though. We aim to have mental health be a very normal and easy conversation for our team.
As a start, we have zero tolerance for bullying and degradation of team members. Luckily, we very very rarely have had to address this. However, part of that anti-bullying focus is allowing people to talk freely without being put down or judged for it. We also appreciate that a lot of people aren’t comfortable openly talking about their feelings and thoughts, so our management team is trusted to look out for red flags of mental health issues, and ensure their team knows they are there to support them through. This can mean a quick chat, walk and coffee, time off and assisting them with professional help options.
All Lift team support
It’s not just about the talk. We take action, too. As cited by EmploySure, a big factor to the reasons behind the alarming statistics on poor mental health and suicide in our industries is the lack of job security, and also the general structure. Workers deeply embed themselves into projects that are asked to be fast-tracked, or taking on overtime as a safety net in case there’s a gap between jobs.
We are lucky in that we are able to guarantee longer term job security, however we want our team to feel a good sense of comradery and mateship when they’re at work. We work hard to not have anyone feel burnt out. Sometimes, that can happen organically, when we’re ticking along nicely. Sometimes, it takes more work because we’re so busy.
To support the consistency of our team feeling seen, considered and happy with the work they’re doing and the people they’re doing it with, we have regular monthly Friday BBQs in our yards for our staff teams, we try have team outings (golf days are a hit!), or just taking an early Friday arvo for a cold one (sometimes a beer, sometimes a Kombucha!).
These activities are fun, for sure. But more than that, with each one we are working on the fabric of the company, keeping it tight, keeping it secure and ensuring everyone feels like All Lift can be their close knit mental health safety net, in whatever way they need it.
Stand by our values
Our values aren’t reinventing the wheel. It’s just the common sense stuff that supports a human-approach to everything we do. The All Lift team and business is founded on family, and that rings true through everything we do.
At the forefront is trust. This means our team knows that, whatever they’re going through, we are here first and foremost to support them and never judge them. This supports earned trust in our workplace. Of course, this trust-approach extends to our clients too.
Transparency. As mentioned, the unknown is a factor for exacerbating mental health decline in construction and similar industries. All of our team members know exactly where they stand at any given time, no surprises. For the most part, this is through glowing quarterly check-ins with the team. In the few instances where there has been an issue though, we always talk it through and find the best outcome for everyone involved.
Support. Whether supporting through a rough time, or supporting through career goals and working their way up through the ranks, we’re here to be a positive support for our team. We have many team members who came in through entry level positions and are now heading state-wide responsibilities (here’s looking at you, Mark!). It helps our team retain the enthusiasm for the work, know they are going places and are always ready to support others down the line.
But, in the end, it’s the small things.
While we focus on a really positive working environment, it’s the day to day interactions that make all the difference. Facilitating a work site that has people working together who genuinely love working together, an open line of communication always and checking in regularly with the team is our response to improving mental health for men in our industries.