When I introduce Umbrella to new organisations, I talk about how it all started with a book called I’ve had it up to here and, 10 years on, Gaynor had created a business that has supported many others in how to handle work stress and reap the performance benefits of building resilient workplaces.

I’ve had the privilege of leading Umbrella over the past seven months while Gaynor has completed her cancer treatment. As I hand the baton back to her this week, I’ve reflected on the step-change Umbrella has taken in the past year.   

In response to the change in our global environment we have not only moved our offerings online, we’ve also doubled the number of workshops we offer in response to people’s needs. Helpfully, topics I’ve previously written about, such as How to create wellbeing in dispersed teams and the frequently asked questions around designing effective wellbeing strategies, will now be available in a 90-minute, easily digestible format for your leaders.  

As you start to think about what support your people need this year, we’ve developed a one-page overview of the work we do – from strategy and assessments, to thought leadership and the 24 workshops available to build capability within your teams. These workshops have been designed around commonly requested areas and are a good starting point for a discussion:  

Working alongside our team of clinical psychologists, I’ve learnt a huge amount in the past months to both support my own wellbeing and how I lead and support others. For example:

  • How to create an environment of safety, not just to talk about wellbeing but to innovate and create, knowing others have your back. 
  • The four key areas that make up trust, which are so important within a team and yet so easy to lose. 
  • The 13 factors that promote and protect mental health in a workplace, when so many of us have experienced stress during 2020. 
  • The different boundaries each of us have between work and home lives and the impact dispersed working has on that.
  • And, importantly for me as I continue to practise, how to create healthy habits that I stick to! 

I know that budgets are tighter following COVID-19. I know that there are many priorities you’re juggling for the year ahead. I also know that investing in teaching your people how to be resilient and their best selves at work will come back to you ten-fold in how they work with you. It’s worth it.    

Note:  Tamara Mapp-Borren leaves Umbrella this month as she steps into a new leadership role in Auckland. We extend our deepest thanks to Tamara for leading our team so ably during this time and know we have a continued champion of workplace wellbeing.