Creating an “open environment” in which people can talk about their anxieties and worries is crucial in helping staff going through a tough time mentally during the Covid-19 crisis.
Three major travel companies talked about what they are doing to support staff and improve their mental health during TTG’s first Get Travel Talking seminar as the industry goes through enormous changes due to the pandemic.
The importance of showing “kindness” to colleagues and “looking out for each other” were also key recommendations, during a session titled: Supporting staff and building resilience.
Rachel O’Reilly, UK head of communications at Kuoni, said: “It’s important to be kind – mental health is invisible which is one of the major challenges. A lot of people will remain silent.
“Talking is really important and encouraging an open environment where people feel able to ask colleagues for support. Not everybody is going to feel comfortable sharing, but encourage a culture of communication and sharing; asking if people are ok."
Danielle Grant, head of HR EMEA at Royal Caribbean Group, said the cruise company had targeted “breaking down barriers around mental health”.
“Education and building awareness is important,” she added. “We went through a journey to break barriers and change the conversation so it’s ok to talk about mental health and share your stories.
“You need to find ways in an organisation to start that conversation – it doesn’t cost anything but can make a huge difference.”