How to: Support Your Team’s Mental Health

Worried about the mental health of your employees? Struggling to genuinely connect with your team members while they work from home? Not sure how to have tough conversations with your team about the impact of current events?

In the midst of a global pandemic, nationwide protests for racial justice, multiple wildfires, economic uncertainty, and social isolation, there’s another crisis looming in the near future: our mental health. The events of this year are taking a toll on our mental health, and many business leaders are wondering how to support mental health in the workplace — especially with so many people working from home.

We opened up our Zoom room and brought leaders together for an informal, open roundtable discussion to share strategies for supporting employee mental health and advice for how to approach this topic with compassion, honesty, and openness.

We discussed:

  • How to start the conversation around mental health with employees
  • How to support varying experiences across your team
  • How leaders can model mental health and well-being
  • Balancing productivity with mental health needs
  • Mental health tools and resources

Click below to view notes from the roundtable:


5 Traits of High-Performing Teams

What does science have to say about leading high-performing teams? What are the driving behaviors and how can you encourage them within your own organization? In this interactive workshop, Amber Johnson, Ph.D., and Jim Ludema, Ph.D. brought evidence-based insights for leading high performing teams and shared strategies for implementing them with your team.

We covered:

  • The 5 traits of high-performing teams
  • Building psychological safety
  • Fostering a growth mindset
  • Leveraging your team’s strengths
  • How to develop your team members

Developing Your Bench of Leaders: A Small Giants Leadership Academy Panel

Have you identified your bench of future leaders? Are they confident, emotionally-intelligent individuals who are prepared to lead? Is your organization struggling to have its values understood and practiced at every level of the organization?

In this panel discussion facilitated by Small Giants Community co-founder Paul Spiegelman, two Small Giants Leadership Academy graduates shared how the experience has impacted their leadership and organizations.

How to: Lead with Purpose in Turbulent Times

In times of change, the most effective leaders are those who create positivity and psychological safety for their team members. Watch the recording of this virtual workshop with Zach Mercurio, Ph.D., to learn how to identify and focus on the three most important aspects of change leadership: the purposeful, the positive, and the possible and put it into action at your organization.

Participants in this virtual workshop:

  • Learned what positive and purposeful change leadership looks like
  • Completed an assessment to determine their strengths as a leader specifically in times to change
  • Drew on past experiences to identify techniques for navigating change

Guided Meditation for Leaders During COVID-19

Get calm and present with this virtual guided meditation session led by Small Giants leader Rob Dubé. In this session, Rob leads the group through a 10-minute guided meditation and helps us all examine six simple habits to help us thrive in uncertain times.

How to Build Your Leadership Bench

In this Fishbowl featuring Paul Dreyer, Chief Empowerment Officer of Avid4 Adventure, attendees learned how this outdoor adventure company maintains healthy, intentional growth by developing an active pipeline of future leaders.
Avid4 Adventure has seen 25-40 percent annual growth over the past decade. As revenue increased, their need for more people also increased. But just creating more seats around the table is not healthy growth — you have to make sure you have the right people in the right seats.
This need led to the development of Avid4 Adventure’s 3-Year Staffing Plan — a plan that helps them stay ahead of the staffing growth curve while putting a heavy focus on personal and professional development for full-time and seasonal employees.
In this Fishbowl, attendees learned:
  • How transparency and over-communicating predicted future staffing needs lead to better applicants and better hires
  • How Avid4 Adventure develops future internal candidates
  • How to create your own three-year staffing plan

Win the War for Talent with One Word

Through the experience of being fired as CEO of his own company, Jay Wilkinson learned the importance of showing his employees that he cares. By making them feel loved, being vulnerable and including them in important decisions, his employees remained loyal despite being asked to work longer hours and take massive pay cuts. During his leadership journey, Jay learned that the word “love” needs to be used more often in business. 
In this Fishbowl, attendees learned:
  • How to retain great employees by showing them love
  • How to make every employee feel seen and appreciated
  • Why being vulnerable is the best way to show employees you care

Successfully Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Leadership Culture

Check out the recording of this interactive fishbowl (a.k.a webinar!) with Small Giants leader and mindfulness expert Rob Dube. Rob is the author and founder of donothing: the most rewarding leadership challenge you will ever take.

In this Fishbowl, attendees learned how meditation will help you become a more mindful leader and person by:

  • Having a clear and settled mind
  • Cultivating calm when you’re anxious
  • Improving your sleep
  • Being at your best each day
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A Strengths-Based Culture: Boosting Your People and Your Profits

One key attribute that differentiates a Small Giant from other businesses is the devotion given to employee development. We know that when people feel valued in their workplace, they work harder. How much harder? 6 times, to be exact. Can you imagine walking in on Monday morning to the buzz of folks working hard and loving it because their Strengths are at work? Motivated employees results in motivated profits…and there’s nothing wrong with motivated profits.

Heidi Convery, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and founder of Flourish LLC, introduced attendees to the productivity and profitability effects of building a Strengths based organization.

Key Takeaways

  • An introduction to Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment and Movement
  • Understanding Your Strengths and How to Leverage Them as a Leader
  • Ways to Incorporate Strengths into Your Everyday Culture
  • Introducing the Process of Claiming Our Strengths
  • Aiding Employees in Utilizing Their Strengths in Their Roles

Leaders were encouraged to take the Top 5 Clifton Strengths Assessment before the fishbowl.


From Me to We: Creating a Culture of Leaders

In 2014, Pegasus Logistics faced a crisis – employees were leaving, the culture was decimating, and sales were at a stall. So, when a group of dedicated longtime employees formed a “coup” and took to the leadership team about what needed to change: investing in employee development was one of the first on the agenda. Now, 3 years later, Pegasus’ sales and culture are thriving, including higher employee engagement levels, productivity, and overall retention. Candice Gouge, Talent and Culture Cultivator, at Pegasus Logistics discussed the employee development tools she designed and implemented to create a culture of leaders including Individual Development Plans and multi-level leadership tracks for all employees.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn what an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is and how it can be used to engage employees and help them achieve their goals
  • Learn how to create IDPs for employees and how to incorporate them into management one-one-ones and check-ins
  • Learn about the multi-level leadership tracks Pegasus has implemented, so that all employees have a clear destination to the leadership roles they are interested in
  • Receive samples of both Individual Development Plans and Leadership Track Materials to take back to your organization

Coherent Leadership: How Your Physiological State Impacts Your Ability to Lead

A powerful mindset is only one aspect of good leadership. Leaders also need to infuse that mindset into their teams and culture. Research in human physiology is revealing that when the heart and brain are working together we enter a coherent state and our frame of mind shifts. We increase cognitive function, increase creativity, increase decision-making abilities, and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone). How you show up physiologically as a leader matters more than you think. Interestingly, when we change our physiological state, we also influence the physiological state of the people we interact with. As teams enter physiologically coherent states together they are more authentic, feel more supported, are more productive, and more innovative. Attendees joined Tyler Mongan from Heart Lab as we explored human physiology, coherent leadership and how your physiology impacts your company.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn About the Science of Brain and Heart Coherence
  • Discover How Physiological Coherence Influence Your State
  • Experience Simple Techniques to Develop Coherent Physiological States
  • Learn How to be a more Coherent Leader
  • Discover How Coherent Leaders are more authentic, more connected with their teams, and create a more innovative culture

Writing to Lead

Evaluating Performance

Managing the Risk of the Right Person

Finding Peace of Mind

6 Qs for Building a Great Business Online

Managing Millennials

A Chat with Bo Burlingham

Intentional Energy & Leadership