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Mental health week: our commitment to new joiners

By Sarah Pettinger

Over the last few months we’ve begun to onboard many new Omobonians into our team. The learning curve has been steep so we've really reflected on the mental health pressure that must come with joining a new team.

I’ve not had to join a new company for 16 years so, to be honest, the thought of it at the best of times seems stressful to me, but the thought of doing it remotely during a pandemic is seriously anxiety inducing.  

Over the last few months we’ve begun to onboard new Omobonians into our team for the first time since lockdown began. The learning curve has been steep (and I’m happy to share the learning, that’s another post) but this morning, when sharing a reminder with our team about and upcoming Sanctus coaching day, I really reflected on the mental health pressure that must come with joining a new team who you’ve never seen or met in 3D, can’t chat with by the kettle in the morning and have to actively reach out to for even the smallest of questions.  

It’s made me realise that as well as continuing to support mental health in our existing team, we need to think more about the mental health of those who are joining our team in these remote times; that being physically remote means we need to work even harder to be emotionally present for people.  

Over the last couple of years we’ve worked towards a success statement for Omobono that puts our team bringing their wholehearted selves to work as its priority. It comes from a belief that without that foundation of people being themselves – feeling supported, able to be authentic and vulnerable, to be treated with compassion and respect and able to bring all parts of themselves to work – we can’t achieve the other elements of success that are important to us, like happy clients and work that delivers extraordinary outcomes.   

In these remote times we need to work towards bringing people quickly into Omobono, our culture and we need to be even more active in connecting new people into our teams and networks. Services like Sanctus can give new joiners a welcome outlet to share the inevitable anxiety and stresses of starting in a new role, but on their own they are a sticking plaster and we can’t outsource mental health support for new joiners any more than we can, or would, for our established team.  

So reflecting on mental health week and how we are contributing to normalising mental health conversations; we’re making a strong commitment to our new team members. To reach out more, to ensure we’re giving all of the support we can to help them navigate their way through their first few months and to help them feel as connected into the company as our teams, who still remember the chats during the walk out to get lunch or whilst making a morning coffee.  

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