Skanska – Focusing on mental health within the construction industry

The National Suicide Prevention Alliance recognises the importance of promoting good mental health at work, and the vital role this can play in suicide prevention. Skanska, a member of the NSPA, is raising awareness of workplace wellbeing and mental health with its workforce, supply chain and the wider construction industry. They have a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy which has four strands: Leadership, Building Capacity, Resources and Research, and Employee Voice.  Below are more details on their work in each strand.

Leadership

  • When Gregor Craig became CEO in 2017 he made mental health and wellbeing one of his four key focus areas. He has set targets around improving mental health and wellbeing across the business.
  • Skanska signed the ‘Time to Change commitment’ in February 2016.
  • Skanska collaborates across the industry to raise the topic of mental health literacy, for example by being members of the Health in Construction Leadership Group and launching initiatives such as the recently created Supply Chain Mental Health Workshops. These commence in September 2018 as part of their Better Together value, whereby they share their experiences with their supply chain partners.

Building capability

  • Skanska has introduced a mandatory requirement for managers to attend Mental Health Awareness training and aim to have 75% of managers and supervisors trained by the end of 2020. This training is also available to all employees, and they want everyone in the business to undertake it.
  • They have trained over 880 of their 6000-strong workforce in Mental Health Awareness Lite so far, with 304 of attendees becoming mental health ambassadors.
  • Skanska has collaborated with a clinical psychologist to develop Suicide Awareness workshops available for all employees, and so far over 120 staff have completed suicide awareness training.
  • They’ve introduced a work impact questionnaire to identify stressors and put in place control measures for individuals or teams who might be experiencing workplace stress.

Resources and Research

  • Skanska provide employees with access to a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme.
  • In 2017 they created Making the Connection resource cards for employees and their supply chain partners, which provide advice about what you can do or who to speak to if you’re concerned about the mental health of yourself or a colleague.
  • They have developed a post-incident plan called Out of the Blue, so they are prepared as a business to respond to the immediate and longer-term implications of a sudden death or suicide in the workplace. They also have a support pack, to help individuals, teams and the business recover from a sudden death or suicide, and deliver a workshop which details how a business recovers from the effects of a sudden death/suicide.

Employee voice

  • Time to Talk events are held twice a year to encourage people to have a conversation about mental health issues and know where resources can be found. Skanska also raise awareness among their workforce and supply chain on World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day each year.
  • Skanska regularly holds 45 minute Stand-Up sessions: events to get the mental health conversation going across the entire Skanska workforce and any supply chain contractors working on site. The Stand-Up sessions are loosely scripted events that are led by the leadership teams for people working within their dept/sites/projects.

You can read more about Skanska’s commitment to mental health on their website.

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