Giving back to our community is so fulfilling. Even if we end up working over 12 hours a day, there’s nothing that can beat that rewarding feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference. But in the pursuit of doing something good in the world, we can end up forgetting about ourselves. Does this sound familiar?
75% of charity leaders were very or fairly concerned about staff burnout in their paid staff due to pandemic strains, while 45% were similarly concerned about their volunteers. So, what can you start doing today to better support your retail staff and volunteers’ mental health and wellbeing?
Find some stability
One of the biggest contributors to poor mental health and wellbeing in the charity sector is job insecurity. During the pandemic, many charities were struggling to find the funds and support needed to survive. And this will have had many adverse effects on their staff and volunteers.
Anything you can do now to stabilise your charity, providing your staff and volunteers peace of mind that their job is secure, will remove a heavy weight off their shoulders. To achieve this, you might want to rethink your spending. Large capital expenses on technology or other assets are great if you have the extra money to spare. But with the next twelve months still uncertain, is that a risk you’re willing to take?
Instead, shifting your technology and systems over to operating expenses can provide some much-needed relief. Smaller, monthly payments allow you to spread out the cost of large investments, helping with cash flow long-term, and providing more stability and security for your people.
To look after your staff and volunteers’ wellbeing, you want to be mitigating as much of their stress as possible. While you can’t rid them of stress entirely – staff shortages and lockdowns unfortunately aren’t in your control – there are steps you can take to ease some of their burdens.
Let’s take your till system as an example. Is it complex and easy to make mistakes on? Is the onboarding process quite intense and complicated? If so, this could be adding unnecessary stress to your staff. A more streamlined, user-friendly till system would make for a more calm, enjoyable work environment.
Similarly, are you providing enough support regarding your tools and technology? The more supported your staff feel, and the quicker they can resolve any issues, the more relaxed they’ll be at work. Unnecessary work stress only compounds with poor mental health, making it important for you to consider ways to make your staff’s lives easier while they’re at work.
Create a safe space
And finally, simply letting your staff and volunteers know you’re there and that you understand them can make a difference. Over two-thirds (67%) of people who had struggled with their mental health didn’t tell their employer. The more open your lines of communication with staff, the more likely they’ll be to share any struggles they’re facing. And the more you’ll be able to support them.
Sharing guidance about mental health, verbally acknowledging the hardships they’ve experienced over the past few years, or being vulnerable with any of your own struggles (if you feel comfortable doing so) can all be excellent ways to establish a more open, honest space with your staff.
Your staff and volunteers’ wellbeing isn’t something to take lightly. But giving it the attention it deserves also doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s the little things that will add up, helping you to support your people and making your work environment a more relaxed, uplifting place to be.
Nisyst’s CHARiotWeb was designed with charity retail in mind. Keeping everything simple and straightforward for your staff and volunteers, offering technical support for all levels of users, and flexible, monthly payments to improve stability, we’re here to help you and your staff do more. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch on 01204 706 000.