Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 59

LEARNER
MINDSET

MICHELLE EGGLESTON SCHWARTZ

NORMALIZING MENTAL HEALTH
CONVERSATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE

Despite growing awareness and support,
mental health is still a taboo topic. There
is a stigma surrounding mental health
conditions such as depression, anxiety,
trauma and burnout, leading many to avoid
discussing such topics in the workplace.
However, mental health problems have
an impact on business directly through
increased absenteeism, accidents and
employee turnover, as well as decreased
productivity and performance.
The pandemic has placed added stress
on employees, magnifying the mental
health challenges many employees were
already experiencing. From lacking in
childcare and financial security to coping
with isolation and burnout, employees are
struggling. With the boundaries between
work and home blurring, and work-life
balance becoming nonexistent - leaders
play an important role in supporting
employees during this challenging time.
Leaders cannot ignore the impact the
pandemic is having on their employees,
and its implications are likely to persist
for some time. Creating an inclusive
workplace culture that promotes open
and honest conversations regarding
employee wellness are needed to
destigmatize mental health. But, to truly
make an impact in the workplace, leaders
need to start speaking up.
CREATING MORE HONEST
CONVERSATIONS
A leader's job is to support their employees
during both good and challenging times.
Normalizing mental health conversations
requires leaders to show vulnerability
and lead by example, which is not always

easy. By being honest about your own
mental health struggles, leaders can help
employees feel more comfortable talking
about their own challenges.
Regular one-on-one meetings are
a great place to start. Leaders must
move beyond simply asking, " How
are you? " Questions should be more
specific to allow employees to discuss
the support and resources they need
during this time. Leaders must actively
listen with the intent to understand.
It's perfectly fine if employees do not
want to share. The important thing is
for employees to realize that they can
express how they're feeling without
fear of discrimination or judgement.

LEADERS PLAY
AN IMPORTANT
ROLE IN SUPPORTING
EMPLOYEES DURING
THIS CHALLENGING
TIME.
Organizations can provide additional
opportunities for employees to discuss
and support their mental health, including
employee resource groups, surveys,
teambuilding activities, or internal
communication channels and forums.
Providing these outlets for employees
to connect with their peers can create
a sense of belonging that can have a
positive impact on employee morale,
engagement and performance.
Cultivating a culture of belonging
requires psychological safety: the

ability to make a contribution without
fear of being ridiculed or rejected. We
need employees to be more aware of
the subtle - and often unintentional -
ways they can create exclusion in their
daily interactions.
HOW TRAINING CAN HELP
Training can help to develop effective
soft skills, such as empathy, vulnerability,
compassion and active listening. Having
established soft skills, commonly known
as people skills, enables employees
and leaders to better connect with
others. In fact, this is an area that needs
improvement in many organizations.
Training Industry research has revealed
a gap in soft skills across all industries
and functions. Effective soft skills
are necessary in all roles, especially
leadership.
The
pandemic
has
accelerated the need to close this gap
to properly support employees.
Beyond soft skills development,
organizations should also consider
training that uncovers and mitigates
unconscious biases and microaggressions
that can create a psychologically unsafe
environment, inhibiting employees from
feeling comfortable discussing mental
health challenges. By investing in training,
organizations are helping employees
have difficult and important conversations
in safe and inclusive workplace
environments.
Michelle Eggleston Schwartz, CPTM, is
the editorial director at Training Industry,
Inc. Email Michelle.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - BUILDING AN EQUITABLE W ORKP L AC E I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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https://www.trainingindustry.com/glossary/microaggressions/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/glossary/employee-resource-groups/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/articles/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/beyond-diversity-the-science-of-inclusion-and-belonging/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Table of Contents
Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Perpective-taking in VR
The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT1
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Perpective-taking in VR
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 24
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 62
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