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Nike gives staff a week off to support mental health – reaction from Kelly Metcalf, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing at Fujitsu

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@Nike has announced that staff at its corporate headquarters in Oregon have been given a week off to support their mental health, ahead of the return to the office in September (@fujitsu_uk).

From today until Friday, the US firm will “power down” to give employees a rest after a tough year. This follows similar moves from dating app Bumble, as well as Linkedin

Below, Kelly, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing at Fujitsu, explores why businesses must establish a mental health strategy in the post-Covid-19 world, and how when businesses treat employees on a case-by-case basis it improves business resilience across the board.

Kelly Metcalf, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing at Fujitsu:

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“The natural consequence of the pandemic has increased the focus on mental health and wellbeing for employees. Nike’s ‘Power Down’ for employees is a brilliant example of how organisations can develop methods and techniques to better enable people to manage their balance of circumstances and their own wellbeing. This is a positive trend that has helped individuals and managers spot behavioural patterns that might indicate a need for adjustment or support. When done well by organisations that understand there is complexity to be navigated, organisations can improve business resilience across the board.

“As we shift to post-Covid working – with hybrid environments a common theme – organisations must ensure their efforts to support mental health and wellbeing continues. Fujitsu found that UK leaders care deeply; top-of-mind for them is employee mental health with 90% of leaders stating that this is a priority. Carrying that forward means organisations must establish a mental health strategy in the post-Covid-19 world.

“It is, however, important employers understand that when supporting mental health and wellbeing, each individual’s experiences are their own. As ever, the role of line managers is essential, meaning line managers need to also be supported with education and training so that they are equipped and comfortable working with their teams on a challenging topic. It’s about creating a sense of being cared for by an employer, but on a case-by-case basis. This is can be immensely productive, enhancing a very powerful sentiment that can increase discretionary effort and engagement and help to retain employees in a competitive talent market.”

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