OTC 2018: Jacobs Training Leaders to be More Aware of Worker Mental Health
Jacobs, a services firm that supports the upstream and downstream oil and gas sectors, is training its leaders to be more aware of the mental health of its workforce, the company’s chairman and CEO, Steve Demetriou, has revealed.
“At times [it’s] considered to be a tough guy type of culture in our industry … one where a lot of times it’s a culture of blame rather than a culture of caring, a culture of understanding and a culture of support,” Demetriou said during a presentation at the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, which was attended by Rigzone.
“We’re training all leaders, especially frontline leaders, to be able to understand and recognize where stress and anxiety and depression exist in the workforce. That’s a big thing to do, that’s a whole change in the way leadership needs to really engage with each of their employees and make sure they understand the whole person that is talking to them,” he added.
“There has to be a culture created of comfort for employees to be able to come forward and feel comfortable to talk about mental health or whatever issues facing them, without repercussion and without reputational downside,” Demetriou continued.
In a recent Rigzone poll, the vast majority of Rigzone readers revealed that they would not talk to their boss or co-worker if they were struggling with a mental health issue.
“There is still a great deal of stigma around admitting a mental health problem and this might be the most overwhelming reason an employee does not want to talk about it,” a spokesperson from UK mental health charity SANE told Rigzone earlier this month.
“Creating a culture where staff feel empowered to speak up early can be one of the greatest means of preventing mental health problems deteriorating. We know the longer people leave getting help for a mental health problem, the worse it can become,” the spokesperson added.
Jacobs currently has around 54,000 employees in more than 230 locations around the world, according to its website.
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