Given the year that we’ve had, you might be feeling a little exhausted and a bit overwhelmed by it all. And if you’re feeling that way, the rest of your team probably are too. So how can you support the mental health of your tradie team as we push towards the end of such a crazy year?
Be a role model
Whether you’re the big boss or one of the boys (or girls), it’s important that you walk the talk and be a model for your team. Make sure you’re taking regular breaks, eating well and getting enough exercise. Not only will it improve your mental health, but it’ll encourage the other people in your team to follow suit.
You could even have some friendly competitions, like who can bring in the healthiest lunch, or who can do a quick sprint the fastest at lunch time – making things fun is key to improving mental health.
Sharing is caring
Because the tradie industry tends to be a macho, cup o’ concrete culture, it can be hard to feel as though you can talk openly. It might sound like a bunch of fluff, but talking things out will really help. You don’t need to get into every detail if you don’t feel comfortable, but letting your team know that you’re feeling a bit crap is a good place to start.
If you’re the boss, it’s important that you’re checking in with your team regularly. They should be feeling comfortable enough to talk to you about anything they’re going through.
If you know someone is having a hard time, don’t tell them to harden up – be there for them, in whatever way works for you. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it, just let them know you’re there if they want to talk. And maybe take the load off by helping them out with whatever they’re working on.
If you’re the boss, use flexibility when needed to make sure your team isn’t burning out. Actively work with your team to regularly set goals for them too. These can be a mix of personal and professional goals to give them a sense of purpose and help them to feel more engaged at work.
Know your resources
Mental health resources should be made available to the team. If there aren’t, get some sorted or get your boss to sort some out for the team. You can find plenty of resources and information at sites like ‘R U OK?’ and mentalhealth.org.nz.
It’s important to take mental health seriously, particularly within the tradie industry where mental health issues can be rife. Get the ball rolling and make yours a safe and fun workplace where everyone feels supported and motivated.