Preparing to ask, Are You Okay?
If you noticed something about a team member that was unusual would you know how to approach it? Would it be awkward? Would they be grateful you did?
Asking someone if they are ok can lead to a range of answers that you may not expect. It can become awkward. Being prepared to ask the question and knowing how to direct the answer is a great way to change someone’s day. It may even empower them to make a change for the better.
Asking people how they are is good manners and is encouraged in most workplaces. In a high performing team, team members look out for each other, for the good of the team!
Some may think that it’s not their job to ask people if they are OK, when in fact, asking someone if they are OK is not a job it’s simply an act of kindness.
Some may think its peoples personal business so they should not ask. When you read on you will see its actually different asking people about personal matters and asking people who are showing the signs of being at risk. The fact is many serious outcomes are prevented because of this simple act of kindness.
The process only takes a few minutes to understand and is easily set out in a few steps. The steps are available in a handbook produced by ruok.org.au RU OK? Resource page
By the way RU OK Day is not limited to one day of the year. If people need your help please help no matter when they need it. Start a conversation with someone who may show the signs.
In summary, it is not up to you to tell other people what you have heard. It is up to you to encourage the person to seek help for themselves. Use the references in the hand book.
RU OK? Day is a great initiative that builds resilience and capability in a high performing team. Through participating in RU OK? Day we help stop little problems turning into big ones.Riviana Foods supports this program and encourages all staff to participate.
Consider changes in the people you work with and look for the signs that they may need you to ask RU OK? If we do not take note about changes in language, behaviour, appearance or mood it will impact on our ability to achieve success at work. Great employers support this program and encourage all staff to participate by following the guidance provided in the hand book.
Micheal is the Executive Director of C-Suite Safety Solutions and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He brings over two decades’ experience in working directly with key leaders from a diverse range of major global organisations; to deliver expert solutions in governance, risk and strategy that effect positive advancements in workplace safety.
Micheal has first-hand knowledge of the importance of safety practices, from the lunch-room, to the board-room, and the court-room; and combines this experience with a wealth of knowledge in fields of Business; Corporate Governance; Auditing; Industrial WHS; HR and Administrative Leadership.