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The importance of “checking in” with hospitality colleagues

by Rose McDonald

Back in July in the first lockdown we made a series of team videos in conversation with Louise Lowe from ExecSpace. We thought we’d look back and see what’s changed. Back then a lot of valuable time was spent talking about mental health challenges and how our initial reaction going into the first lockdown was to ‘check-in’ with our clients, offer support tools and lend a ‘listening ear’. At that stage little did we know how prolonged the impact of the Pandemic would be.

Although the Mental Health agenda has been present throughout, there has been a lot more offers of support and better understanding of this issue in society generally over the past few months, quite rightly so, as it is not just about our physical health. There have been many self-help articles, videos, webinars and offers of support available from many quarters.

For our part, since the first lockdown, we have welcomed Laura from Stress Matters as our Well-being Associate and advice giver.  I achieved Mental Health First Aider accreditation last year and since then I have achieved Level 2 in Counselling Skills during the first lockdown and I am currently part way through Level 3 studies. Our colleague Julia recently wrote a heartfelt blog on how she found two weeks in isolation recently, along with advice if you find yourself in a similar situation. Sarah and Jo are shortly to receive Mental Health First Aider training. We are all passionate about knowing the importance of building our knowledge to do our jobs better too.

The Hospitality sector has been hit hard. Many colleagues in the industry have been made redundant, furloughed or their businesses have suffered from lack of income and financial support. This brings with it many stresses and pressures for us all and this can be particularly challenging mentally. We all have our limits to coping with all this going on. If there is a positive to be taken from the last ten months, it is that there is a better understanding of people, more kindness and personal support around.

It is more normal to ‘check-in’ with each other and more repeatedly ask, ‘how are you today?’. Please read my article written for HUGS (Hospitality United Group Support) about listening and empathy. Never more so than now is it important to lend a listening ear to each other and proactively ‘check -in’. Have comfort in knowing that is all you have to do; you don’t need to have the answers just listen and you will be helping more than you realise.

We remain resolute in offering help and support to our colleagues and friends in the Hospitality industry. Many of us have been affected throughout from the first lockdown to today.  Please do seek advice or get in touch if it would help to talk……

Some Useful Links

Stress Matters

MHFA England



Hospitality Action