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‘Spring Clean’ more than our premises

Just Saying with Delia Cannings
1. The inside story on outside dirt
2. Behind the scenes at party time
3. Facing up to a crisis in cleaning
4. Support the ‘We Clean We Care’ campaign and radically change perceptions
5. It’s Holiday Time!
6. The battle for deserved recognition
7. Looking after our precious floors
8. ‘Spring Clean’ more than our premises
9. Just Saying: Rising to the challenge

We’re in that time of the year when we think about what was called in the past ‘Spring Cleaning’ and it’s important to note within the hospitality sector this activity is ongoing. It’s part of refurbishment programmes and our periodic and detailed cleaning activity.

There’s also planning for booked business and celebratory events – beyond Easter celebrations the summer holidays quickly roll round. It can be difficult to plan in the required ‘Spring Cleans’. This is particularly true as we are experiencing staff shortages and recruitment problems. Housekeepers are working tirelessly to fill gaps to maintain the expected standards and fit everything in… but at what cost?

This started me thinking. Do we really take the time to consider the personal ‘Spring Clean’ required to support staff’s wellbeing? Many will be aware that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem at some point. It should be noted that while mental health problems are common, most are mild, tend to be short-term and are successfully treated, often by a GP.

Mental health is about how we think, feel, and behave. Problems are often a reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, but can also be linked to work-related issues. Employers have a duty of care to be mindful of the pressures staff can be under, not always work-related but often brought to work with them.

In 2017 the government commissioned Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer (Chief Executive of Mind) to independently review the role employers can play to better support individuals with mental health conditions. The ‘Thriving at Work’ report set out a framework of actions – called ‘Core Standards’ – they recommend employers of all sizes and business types can put in place to support staff. Such as:

  • Develop mental health awareness by making information, tools and support accessible. Communicate what support mechanisms are available to staff and how to access them.
  • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development.
  • Ensure effective people management so all employees have a regular conversation about their health and well-being with their line manager.
  • Train and support line managers to be able to identify if staff are having issues.
Delia Cannings reminds us all that support for struggling team members can help us all to thrive

Ideally we should be promoting and supporting employee wellbeing as part of the daily routine. Make sure it is not isolated from everyday business. Healthy workplaces which promote wellbeing help people to flourish and reach their potential, benefitting the employees and the business. It is key that support measures are communicated to staff, such as occupational health services or employee assistance programmes. Line managers should have the guidance needed to support their teams so they can have sensitive conversations when needed. They can signpost to access expert help or programmes that may be available in the business which can support physical, mental, and emotional needs.

We can also do simple things like encouraging staff to have a good self-care routine, including a healthy approach to diet and sleep. Not attending work when they are unwell, having meaningful return to work interviews and signposting if more support is needed is important. As is actively listening to what our staff are telling us and listening as colleagues so there is support from the teams we work in.

Managers can lead by example, regularly reviewing workload, duties, and responsibilities, and making sure potential conflict and people issues are dealt with quickly and effectively. When teams are happy, healthy, and engaged in their work, they are more likely to meet their goals and help to meet organisational goals. It’s difficult to completely eliminate stressful situations. But there are actions that can be taken to prevent stress, as well as helping others to deal with stress when it arises. If we have the tools and training in place, we can create an environment where all staff can be ‘Spring Cleaned’ when they need it.

As we enter the Spring period will we skip in fresh as a daisy, dance in with the moves of Jagger, or will we drag our bodies in worn out, tired, defeated, covered in dust? Own it my friends, take control, you have the power!

Must go, I’ve a few mind files to delete as they are no longer required and are blocking my thinking space!


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