Time To Talk Day - how the Twiin managers are upholding team mental wellbeing

As part of the Time to Change goal to end mental health discrimination, Time To Talk Day is all about getting people to talk about mental health.

That's why at Twiin, we'll be partaking in some team bonding at Chroma Yoga tonight, and we couldn't be more excited to feel balanced and zen. Watch this space (or Instagram specifically) for stories from the night's event.

In 2018, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive reported that stress, anxiety and depression make up 43.8 percent of all workplace illness, previously 32 percent in 2001 and 2002. In the US, 71 percent of adults reported at least one symptom of stress, according to a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fashion is a notoriously difficult industry to break into, and working long hours for little pay is widely seen as the price of admission. Junior employees often tolerate these conditions just to be part of the scene, outwardly living glamorous lives while enduring stress, overwork and economic instability.

The good news is that the industry is slowly but surely changing...

H&M runs internal awareness workshops for management staff in partnership with charity Mind to help employees identify mental health issues and provide support. The retailer also launched an internal campaign earlier this year called “Let’s Talk About Mental Health” to raise awareness among employees. This included interviews in its internal online magazine with staff happy to share their experiences of managing their own mental health conditions.

The growing focus on well-being and mental health support in workplaces is a step forward. Companies across a variety of industries are waking up to the fact that looking after employees’ mental health not only leads to a happier workforce, but it is economically beneficial. Mental ill health costs the UK economy £94bn a year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has calculated. The Mental Health Foundation estimates that policies to support well-being at work boost productivity by 12%.

We asked the managers here at Twiin to answer the following question:

What are you doing in your team to ensure that mental health is being acknowledged and mental wellbeing is being implemented?

Ayla - Digital Marketing Manager

One thing I always have in the back of my mind is to give my team enough freedom, particularly crucial with creative projects. Control is a killer for creativity and micromanagement is pointless. It makes everyone less productive and motivates employees to leave the company.

I like to give my team independence and autonomy in their projects from the start. I let them decide about the way they want to work on projects, instead of giving rigid work instructions.

Most importantly, I let my team set their own deadlines, you would be surprised how much smoother the project runs. I want everyone to feel free, respected and be able to express themselves through their work.

Richard Branson sums it up pretty well: "Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business

Ben - Store Manager

I always try to ensure the workplace expectations are set early and understood by all.

This way, it is easier to have a relaxed and professional atmosphere, where everyone knows the boundaries and the scope of their activities, without having to second guess everything or stress about avoidable things. 

I also encourage free speech and non-hierarchical exchange of ideas between every team member. 

I listen to everyone when they raise issues with me about work, personal topics, or health, and make sure to prioritise making decisions that will benefit them the most. 

Also, just being nice to everyone works wonders!

Polly - Head of Wholesale

We work in a super stressful, target driven environment and my team has to deliver those targets under enormous pressure. It’s not easy and I’m the first to admit that keeping it together can be very challenging for all of us.

I find that little coping strategies can be very compelling: allowing people the option to hot desk or work from home, not putting up large barriers to life admin, doctors, dentists etc, even bringing in a bottle of prosecco on a Friday where appropriate!

I can’t remove the pressures and stresses, they’re just a fact of our business, but I can for sure help my team to manage those stresses.