The racing community has a strong tradition of caring and looking out for each other when a person is in difficulty or the chips are down.
When someone’s doing it tough – it’s the people that work beside them each day who can be the first to know, and who can make the biggest difference. Getting involved - early, and appropriately - will not just make a huge difference to the person suffering, but contribute to a more connected, productive workplace for everyone.
There are key things both individuals, and employers can do to be part of a more supportive culture in their workplace. But ultimately, it can just come down to being aware of the people around you - and being prepared to reach out.
Basic signs that someone’s struggling can include them ‘not seeming themselves’; having fluctuating moods; being withdrawn or grumpy; being forgetful or having trouble concentrating; and not performing well at work.
If you think a colleague or worker might need help, you don’t need to be their counsellor, or diagnose them. Just looking for a chance to open up a conversation, is the key thing you can do. They may not choose to take that opportunity - but they know that you are there.
If you do have a conversation - try to listen openly with genuine care and concern, and without judgement. And instead of trying to find solutions yourself - think about the people in your workplace, or other resources, that might help - and encourage the person to make use of them.
There’s further advice on having effective conversations, in our resources below.
For employers, having a supportive organisational culture is part of optimising employee health, safety, and well-being. From supporting employees' growth and development, to building positive relationships between people and their work - supportive cultures have been proven to increase employees’ sense of competence, their work performance, and their willingness to go beyond their required duties.
Advice for business owners:
Mental Health Foundation Workplace Guide:
Watch this video.
While some of the content might feel a little obvious and dated - it has some good advice about how to have an effective conversation that is equally relevant for managers and workers in racing.