Workplace Wellbeing

Why You Should Invest in One-On-One Support for Managers

Written by
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Mandie Conforti, LCSW
Senior Director of Employer and EAP Strategy
Clinically reviewed by
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Man in a blue shirt on a laptop talking with his manager on a video call

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    People managers are in the middle of a variety of intense, unique circumstances in the workplace. They likely know more about their team members than what used to be considered “normal,” and have been navigating difficult conversations, providing support for personal and mental health issues, and even found themselves in a therapist’s role. These challenges are putting an immense amount of responsibility and often intense stress on leaders, and a recent study found that “nearly 60% of leaders feel used up at the end of the workday, which is a strong indicator of burnout.”

    Your People leaders need to be equipped to support and effectively guide their teams. Here’s how our Care Navigators can do this, while also giving managers the tools and resources their employees need.

    Partnering with Care Navigators

    When an organization implements Spring Health, we provide a dedicated management consultation team of Care Navigators—who are all licensed, master’s level clinicians—to provide training and support for your leaders. Care Navigators help managers handle the emotions and experiences that come with leading in a time of constant change, and give them the resources they need to support their team’s mental health. We know that what works at one company may not work for another, so our Care Navigators dive deep into understanding each and every nuance of your organization, including your policies and procedures, your ecosystem, and how you work with formal and informal referrals.  We ensure that we have a broad enough understanding of the culture and unique challenges to take the most thoughtful approach to helping you solve them. Then we put together the educational materials your leaders and employees need most, and provide extensive manager training on a variety of topics relating to mental health—including substance use, resilience, coping, and trauma. We have the ability to provide customized topics as needed as well. 

    Unlimited access for mental health support

    Leaders receive unlimited access to our dedicated team of Care Navigators to support their team’s mental wellness and their own. With Spring Health, they can quickly and easily access mental health solutions for themselves, their household members (age 6+), and their employees. Care Navigators can help with managing stress or other mental health challenges, and provide emotional support. They’ll give you access to personalized and on-demand wellness exercises, and dedicated clinical support to guide you and your team through difficult circumstances, including local and global crises. 

    Care Navigators also train managers on what to do if they suspect that an employee is dealing with significant personal problems, and how to make an informal and a formal referral to Spring Health

    Elevated support for your leaders

    As a People leader, despite the mounting pressures you may have been feeling over the past two years, you’re not expected to know how to manage an employee’s mental health concerns. But it is your responsibility to ensure your team feels supported and set up for success. If you see performance issues or behavior changes in any employee, they may need additional help. And if you’re not sure where to begin, your Care Navigator, who is well-trained on your benefits, can give you real-time coaching. 

    Our Care Navigators act as a confidential thinking partner to help you handle and navigate sensitive employee challenges. Their guidance can help you respond to tough situations with confidence. 

    Here are a few more examples of ways they offer support:

    • Discussing different approaches to address an employee situation 
    • Teaching varying communication techniques 
    • Practicing role playing various scenarios 
    • Providing coping strategies and skills to support employees

    Guidance for difficult conversations 

    No one enjoys walking into a tough conversation about a sensitive, potentially triggering topic—especially at work. It’s become increasingly challenging to know what to say and how to help employees without offending them, or making the situation worse, and this is where a mental health solution like Spring Health comes in. Our Care Navigators are there to provide support before, during, and after a hard conversation. They role play with your managers beforehand, giving them guidance around what to say and not say, how to respond in a productive, supportive way, and how to avoid making assumptions about or judging employees. They also check back in to see how that conversation went and if the manager needs additional support. 

    Care Navigators train managers to use the ALEC framework with employees:

    • Ask – Help them open up by asking open-ended questions, and mention specific things that have made you concerned for them.
    • Listen – If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence. Encourage them to open up by asking questions. Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard (in your own words) and ask if you’ve understood them correctly.
    • Encourage Action – Encourage them to think about what they might do to help the situation. Consider suggesting the use of Spring Health for a variety of services like coaching, therapy, and on-demand wellness exercises.
    • Check in – Ask if it’s okay for you to check back in with the employee on a specific day to see how they’re doing. 

    Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) 

    Critical incidents are stressful and/or traumatic events that can impact a workplace, its employees, and their family members in a variety of ways. Examples include the death of an employee, natural disasters, racial violence, workplace accidents, downsizing of a company, or any event or situation that results in physical or psychological harm. We’ve seen far too many of these events already this year, and it’s not easy for People leaders to know how to respond. So, we respond to these traumatic events by helping your team cope with the stress and emotional impact associated with them. Services may include an onsite or virtual response, one-on-one and group counseling sessions, telephonic crisis support, and post-event follow up. Providers work with employees to help build resilience and recovery, facilitate understanding, and promote hope—and ensure employees have ongoing support through Spring Health as needed.

    The Critical Incident Support line is available 24/7 and is available globally. 

    A team of mental health advocates and champions

    When your organization partners with Spring Health, your managers gain the support they need no matter what the issue, problem, concern, or question. People leaders often feel so alone in what they’re facing, but the truth is that the same kinds of problems have all come up and been solved before.  When your managers have this level of training and support, they can become a well versed leadership team of mental health advocates and champions. They can ask open-ended questions instead of making assumptions, and their ability to make an impact on one person’s life increases. Someone in HR at a company that partnered with Spring Health had an employee disclose to her that they were going to attempt suicide. She was trained, she understood the security protocols, and knew the right levers to pull to get this person help through Spring Health. 

    When a People leader is able to make an impact like this, it stays with them forever.

    About the Author
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    Mandie Conforti, LCSW
    Senior Director of Employer and EAP Strategy

    Mandie currently serves as Senior Director of Employer and EAP Strategy at Spring Health. She has clinical experience in EAP and substance use treatment, and has previously worked as a Behavioral Health Consultant at Willis Towers Watson and Mercer. Mandie spent the last 20+ years working with Fortune 500 companies to promote emotional wellbeing in the workplace. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. Bonaventure University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois. In addition to being certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Mandie is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and is working on her RYT 500.

    About the clinical reviewer
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