Supporting Staff Wellbeing during times of Change

We recognise that the past year has been a particularly difficult time for staff and their families and that the impact of Coronavirus has been felt in many varied and far reaching ways. As we look ahead to what the ‘new normal’ may bring for all of us at the University, it’s natural that staff may experience feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, emotions that are commonly associated with periods of change and upheaval. These resources have been collated as a means of support for those staff who feel the impact of this on their mental health and wellbeing and also for managers who will need to be equipped to support staff accordingly.

We are proud to be an inclusive and diverse university and we encourage everyone to continue to support friends, peers, colleagues and others at this time.

Looking After Your Own Wellbeing

The resources below have been highlighted as particularly relevent for looking after your own wellbeing during times of change.

Be Well Informed

It’s essential you have access to all the information and guidance you need to make informed decisions and choices. Visit the Voluntary Schemes landing page for detailed information about the specifics of the different voluntary schemes available and what this might mean for your own personal circumstances.

If you have questions about the any of schemes, your local HR Team is available to help you.

If you are a member of a trade union you can also contact your union representative for support and advice, the University recognises four campus trade unions, UNISON UNITE, GMB and UCU.

If you are a member of a Pension scheme, you may wish to seek more information about the impact of the voluntary schemes upon your pension entitlements. Please follow the links for further information or contact the Pensions.

Coping with Change

When we approach unchartered territory, it’s helpful to understand how change can directly impact on our mental health and wellbeing, why and what we can do about it. Covey's circle of control, influence and concern is particularly useful, view the How to focus on your Circle of Influence Webpage for more information.

Developing Personal Resilience

You might find these resources helpful in building resilience and identifying coping strategies to help you through a short term period of change and upheaval. It’s extra important to focus on your wellbeing and mental health during this time.

Mind - Developing Personal Resilience

Please view guidance on how to manage stress, here.

Wellbeing Podcasts available via The Mental Health Foundation

Please access the podcasts here.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

Please view MIND's 5 ways to wellbeing at work steps, here.

10 Mindful Minutes - Ted Talk

Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability - Ted Talk

Financial Wellbeing

Personal financial security can have an overwhelming impact on wellbeing, a change of job, employment or personal circumstances can potentially have an impact.

Health Assured, the staff advisory and counselling service, has partnered with the Money Advice Service to provide staff with access to a variety of helpful tools and calculators, to assist with keeping finances on track and improving your financial wellbeing.

To log in to Health Assured online and to access these tools, please use the following: Username - Sheffield, Password - University.

Wellbeing Activities and Resources

Although the usual Staff Wellbeing activities have been paused due to social distancing measures, we have brought together a range of accessible, varied and free online or virtual activities that staff can access from home Staff Wellbeing Activities.

Connecting with Others

Staying connected with colleagues whilst working remotely is increasingly important. Please see the working from home guidance which includes practical advice on how to stay in touch with colleagues and be well whilst working from home

Please see the Wellbeing Whilst Working from Home guidance here.

Emotional Support and Practical Advice

Health Assured

All staff have access to Health Assured, the staff advisory and counselling service, which is free, independent, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

  • Staff and their family members can contact Health Assured for advice and guidance on a variety of practical concerns. These can include advice on topics such as finance, legal, employment, consumer protection and family and childcare. Health Assured advisors have particular areas of specialisms themselves and can also signpost to relevant resources.
  • Health Assured is also the route to staff counselling. The counselling is designed to give those staff who need it short term intervention to help them to cope during a difficult time in their life. After an initial discussion with a BACP counsellor, if counselling is recommended you will be able to access 8 CBT sessions with an accredited counsellor in your local area.
  • Many self help resources on a variety of themes are available for staff and families to access online at Health Assured. Use the following log on details: Username-Sheffield, Password-University
  • Call 0800 028 1947 or download the ‘Health e-Hub’ App for wellbeing advice and guidance via the privacy of your phone.

IAPT Sheffield (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) Online Stress Control classes.

For staff who may be feeling a bit more stressed than usual and would like to learn some great ways, free-of-charge, to deal with common problems like anxiety, depression, panicky feelings, poor sleep and poor wellbeing these online classes may help you.

Please book on to the classes here.


Anxiety is a very natural response to many situations in life, however for some people anxiety can be a serious and long term condition that requires specialist intervention and treatment.

If you feel that you need further support or information, please visit Anxiety UK or get in touch with your GP.

Looking After the Wellbeing of Others

As a manager of people, you have a responsibility to look out for the wellbeing and mental health of others and to support them where necessary. The resources below have been highlighted as being particularly relevant to help you with managing and leading staff through periods of change.

How to have a Wellbeing Conversation

The starting point to supporting others with their wellbeing is the conversation. We recognise it isn’t always easy to know what to say or how to approach a potentially sensitive issue so here is a short video with some hints and tips:

MIND Wellness Action Plan Guidance for Managers.

In some conversations with staff it may become clear that a wellness action plan is needed, see how to develop one here.

Recognising Stress and Supporting Staff

You will need to continue to check in with your team on a regular basis, and the Stress Risk Assessment & Action Plan tool will help you to consider the needs of the team on the whole. Staff who are not directly impacted by change and aren’t participating themselves with the scheme, may still feel unsettled by what is happening around them and concerned about what work may look like for them in the future if some of their colleagues have left.

Leading through Change and Uncertainty

You may already be familiar with Kubler Ross's Change Curve, and the various transition stages of change. This short video gives an overview of the theory of the change curve and the mindtools webpage takes you through each of the 4 stages of transition and how you can best lead your staff through each stage.

There are also a range of resources available for Managers to use through the People Development pages for online learning.


There is a wealth of wellbeing resources available for you and your team to access depending on the situation. Please familiarise yourself with these resources for your staff so that you can signpost them on where necessary.

Look after Yourself Don’t forget to look after your own wellbeing, all of these resources apply to you too.