1. Gosh, there’s a lot in that.

    When I was MD of a small company I hired my direct reports on the simple basis that I wanted them to be better than me in their chosen field. I hired without caring about depression, disability, race, colour, creed, sex, or sexuality. I just wasn’t interested in any of that.

    I hired people who either could do the job or were hungry enough to prove to me that they could do it. If they took a bet on themselves I took a bet on them.

    I hired for preference from those who were unemployed if all candidates were equal. I viewed those already employed as just wanting a change. The unemployed needed my jobs.

    I made hiring errors, too. I had to learn to terminate employment as well. And I helped my direct reports to build teams. My role was to give them the ability to succeed. Their success meant my success. My success meant the enterprise succeeded and pleased the shareholders.

    My team turned the company from loss into profit and doubled its revenue stream. My team received the credit, and in the way each appreciated. As an example I sponsored one through university.

    My message to any manager reading this is that your team is more important than you will ever be. Take care of them, put them and their needs first, lead and guide them and only direct if absolutely necessary. Usually it will not be.

    What does this have to do with mental illness or suffering?

    Not one thing, because you will prevent ailments like depression from being big things in your working environment. Sure, folk will still have those things, but their importance at work will be minimised. But take good human care of those who need that good care.

    • Oh, and “Team Building Events” are pure torture, inflicted by the incompetent on the teams they are unable to build themselves. We, the employees hate and despise any manager arrogant or stupid enough to hire in external charlatans to inflict your personal brand of torture upon us.

      Teams are not built by dodging fake laser beams nor by getting barrels over imaginary rivers. Teams are built by you and by your personal efforts in constructing a proper workplace that recognises the performance of the team and leads them into working even better together.

      Or you can destroy them.

      Inflict a Team Building Exercise on us and we hope you burn in eternal fire. You deserve all you get. You’ll unite us all right. We’ll become a very effective unit against you and your personal career advancement. And you will cause us untold stress and depression will rear its head inside the office. We will take sick days much more often. You will miss your goals. Exit interviews will reveal, albeit too late, that you need to go, and go you will, compulsorily and suddenly.

      Instead, if you want to build us as a team, if you truly want to build a team, reward us. Show us how much you appreciate us by going the extra mile and creating something fun. Show us that you have thought how to make us enjoy working for you, however mundane the work, and you will make us happy, we will suffer less from stress, hence depression, and you will hit your goals.

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