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WORKSHOP: Team Check-ins: A proactive approach to workplace wellbeing

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2020 was most likely the most stressful year that most of us have ever experienced, and for many of us, it has raised an awareness of how critical mental wellbeing is for our teams to thrive and persevere. With this in mind, we have secured experts to help us understand how to do team check-ins - how to recognize signs of distress in staff, what you can not ask, how to address issues, and why taking a proactive approach can help your business.

(timing below expert info)



Debbie Opoku-Mulder, Inside Mental Health
Debbie is a Registered Psychotherapist, speaker and mental health advocate in Simcoe County. She owns and operates Inside Mental Health which offers Mental health trainings and seminars, speaking engagements and HR/organizational consultation. Sharing personal journeys and expertise, Debbie helps to break the stigma surrounding psychological health and addiction. She gives people the necessary tools they need to structure their life around their mental health, giving them the ability to live the life they imagined and recognize that they are not alone on this journey.

Michelle Donaldson, Lakelee Human Resources & Controller Services
Michelle is a Human Resources Consultant and the co-owner of Lakelee Human Resources and Controller Services. I offer a Virtual HR Department for small to medium sized businesses that may not require full-time HR leadership or perhaps can’t afford it just yet.




- 00:04 – Michelle Donaldson

- 00:05 – Debbie Opoku-Mulder

00:09 – Q&A

00:09 – what kind of focus on themselves can managers take to better prepare themselves to properly handle mental health concerns in their team?

00:12 – how do I check in with somebody without it becoming part of the office gossip

00:18 - As a small business owner, I’m finding it very difficult to run my business and remote teaching my kid is just not able to work for us so it’s not happening. My staff is only completing 1/2 at most of their job rolls because of remote learning as well. How do I ask them to take a leave of absence so I can get a team that can work the way I need them too in the mean time?

00:21 - How do I ask my team how they’re doing without seeming like I’m prying? Is there some kind of documentation we can both sign off on that will let them know mental health issues won’t impact their job security?

00:24 - Should I have a documented plan of what to do for my team members that have mental health concerns? Like an opt-in voluntary disclosure? What would such a plan include? Am I opening my business up to risk?

00:29 - How do you suggest finding out what staff feel they need? We have a lot of team zoom calls, but find the individual check ins difficult or, as you mentioned, people are not forthcoming. Would you suggest anonymous pulse surveys?

00:32 - I am an employee with a mental health issue that I have been managing for the majority of my adult hood. It worries me to come forward with my employer to tell them about my mental health issue in fear of judgement in not getting promoted into higher roles.

00:36 - If I’m noticing employees who are at all different stages of handling the pandemic what is the best way to approach this? I’ve noticed it’s been a roller coaster of emotions, denial, grief, stress, optimism etc. Should I be concerned about extreme optimism in addition to the obvious extreme negative emotions? What are some ways to notice if it’s a bad day or becoming a mental health issue?

00:38 – what are some ways that people can engage with consulting services in a meaningful way?

00:44 - Is there a good way to proactively handle staff relationships to avoid resentment and jealousy? I run a large sales team and from a business decision I have had to only keep my strongest sales staff working during the lockdowns because I need the maximum sales closed. Each team member brings something to the team and is valued, but for right now to stay in business I just need sales closed. Any thoughts on integrating the team back together when I am able to? Is it something we openly discuss?

00:50 - I have a very sensitive employee that is known to cry a lot. She is a great worker but when I approach her about anything less then joyful she cries at things that would not necessarily be a ‘crying’ situation. I would like to help her excel in her position but don’t know how to manage the emotions. Any suggestions on managing sensitive employees?


Ontario government support

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Link to the Standard and Implementation Guide

Bell Invest Barrie TD Canada Trust Barriston Law LLP Ontario Chamber of Commerce Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chamber Executives of Ontario