Globe International: asking the tough questions to support their staff’s mental health

While Globe’s customers are renowned thrill seekers, the specialist apparel, footwear and skateboard manufacturer and distributer isn’t taking any risks with its staff’s mental health.

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With a head office in Melbourne, Globe International Ltd has offices, distribution and manufacturing centres in the United States, France and China - selling products in more than 100 countries worldwide.

In early 2021, Globe engaged the Victorian Chamber to design and deliver a mental health risk management tool that would enable the fast-growing organisation to accurately measure and address mental health hazards that arose in its workforce.

The Victorian Chamber’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) team advised Globe of the importance of capturing the direct voice of the workforce in order to build a mental health strategy – most easily done through a survey. However, as businesses differ in size, demographics and cultures, our HSW team recommend investing time into a customised survey tool.

Designing a survey

In the early stages of scoping the project, the HSW team carefully considered how the survey’s questions, duration and tone would influence the level of uptake by staff. In Globe’s case, it was important to combine questions about common mental health risk factors (workload, relationships, bullying, etc) with questions about personal wellbeing (sleep, diet, exercise, etc) to enable a holistic and comprehensive response.

Duration was also important. In a fast-paced work environment, staff are more likely to respond to a survey that is short, sharp and to-the-point. After curating a list of 33 carefully selected questions, drawn from a mixture of well-established Australian and international sources, a survey tool was built that was synoptic and accessible.

To the management’s credit, Globe did not shy away from asking the tough questions.

A common mistake made by many employers is their reluctance to approach difficult topics such as workload, bullying, and sexual harassment simply out of fear of what the answers might be. Any business who confronts these questions directly and openly has a powerful opportunity to address high-risk topics proactively, rather than reacting to catastrophic outcomes after the damage has been done.

Distribution and delivery

After promoting the survey internally, it was distributed to staff using a popular off-the-shelf survey tool, with QR codes posted in common areas of the warehouse for non-computer-based staff.

The survey received a high response rate, providing Globe with meaningful insights into their greatest areas of risk as well as positively reinforcing areas of strong mental health performance.

Prior to launching the survey, the HSW team developed a customised analysis tool to allow Globe to quickly and easy easily identify key areas of risk and identify significant differences between different workforce demographics (length of service, gender, work location). This approach provides the employer both freedom and flexibility to now repeat the survey, modify questions, and evolve analysis without the need for web-based platforms, annual subscriptions or user-based pricing.

In addition to developing Globe’s mental health risk management tool, the HSW team also developed written guidance material to assist managers in responding to staff who are experiencing poor mental health, including case scenarios and FAQs.

Register FREE for our Business Boost Webinar on mental health

We are proud to launch a new Business Boost Webinar Series aimed at supporting business during lockdown and prepare them for reopening with free, 45-minute webinars featuring subject matter experts.

The mental health of you and your employees has never been more important. Join us on Wednesday 27 October where we will discuss the current state of mental health in Australia with guest speaker Vinay Nair, Victorian Chamber Mental Health Consultant.

This webinar will look at studies on how lockdowns have impacted mental health, the issues a manager is likely to be confronted with as staff gradually return to work, how to spot early warning signs and intervene with a supportive conversation, mental health self-care strategies for both managers and employees, and resources available for businesses.

Attendees will also have the chance to have key questions answered via a live Q&A.

Click here for further information and to register FREE.

Further support

Managing mental health risks in the workplace can be a challenging topic for many businesses. However, the rewards that await any business that has the courage and perseverance to genuinely tackle this subject are well worth the time and investment.

Congratulations to Globe for leading the way; we hope this story inspires other businesses to do likewise.

For more information, HSW consulting, training and other support please contact us on 03 8662 5333 or hsw@victorianchamber.com.au to discuss your needs.

Living Beyond Lockdown

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