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Women's health in the workplace

Updated: Feb 26


In my opinion, oftentimes employees are put into positions of management without the correct training and support. Not only can this impact on the Manager's own job satisfaction and work pressure, but it can also impact those that report to the Manager. Being a Manager is usually an additional role that requires training just the same as any other duties. But quite often we see Managers that have been given no support, mentoring or training in being a Manager. It all comes down to the word 'Expectation'.

If we do not make our employees aware of what it is we require of them, it will be impossible for them to achieve your requirements. How often do we write in to contracts of employment or into policies 'report to your Line Manager'. We put an awful lot of responsibility onto this person that has usually had little training in people skills, dealing with grievances, how to effectively persuade, how to instigate or engage in effective two way communication or how to reassure or support employees when they have an issue.


Scenario

You're a manager. You feel you do this well and have a good team that respects you. Monday morning Linda asks to have 10 minutes with you when you have chance.

Naturally you oblige and ask how you can help.


"I've just lost my baby and I don't know what to do"

"We've been going through fertility treatment and I'm not coping."

"I'm going through the menopause and finding it really hard"


What you say next is key. Your employee will no doubt have been worrying and fretting about bringing up the subject and how their 'Employer' will react. And how you react is not only going to have a profound effect on your employee, it could also have legal implications.


Would you know what to say? Would you know your company's procedure? The words that follow from you will stay in your employees mind and determine whether they feel supported or let down by their employer. It could lead to stress and time off, or being effectively supported and staying in the workplace. It could also land you as an employer in hot water if your approach is wrong.


The ongoing issue

Whilst delving deeper into this issue, I realised that whilst we are improving with similar subjects such as mental health and how Managers can support in this, there is very little in the way of accredited or approved training. MHFA offers courses so that you can ensure as an employer your training for staff meets a set standard, but there is nothing for other subjects. As a result I have been speaking to various charities to see if this is something that can be progressed. It is clear we have much more progress to make, not only in addressing how these issues affect our employees in the workplace and how they can be supported, but how we can support our Managers to carry out their role effectively.

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