Martina Witter

Please tell us your name, job title and place of work?
Martina Witter. Health and Wellbeing
Consultant :Rapha Therapy and Training Services and Co-founder of Black Women in Business and Professionals Network.

How did you come about working in HR?
I transitioned from working in the NHS in 2014 as a BABCP Accredited Cognitive behaviour Therapist and
set up my Company Rapha Therapy and Training Services in order to focus on Organisational solutions for employee wellbeing and diversity in mental health . I was passionate about having a greater impact in organisations through equipping them to improve employee performance, productivity and engagement
utilising dynamic wellbeing strategies such as training, coaching and therapy.

What would you say are the 3 key strategies organisation should focus on- post pandemic to
support their workforce?

  • Facilitating flexible working and acknowledging that tailored solutions for employees is critical as hybrid working benefits some Individuals where as office working is more beneficial some individuals who may not have resources or space to work remotely and for others they may live alone therefore isolation and loneliness could set in. Its important for managers to truly know their people and to create psychologically safe workplaces and environments.
  • Mental Wellbeing and Resilience strategies as mental health difficulties are on the rise due to the cost of living crisis and residual impacts of the pandemic .The estimated number of workers in Great Britain suffering a work-related illness is 1.8 million with stress, depression, and anxiety making up around half of cases, new figures show. (HSE , November 2022) therefore there is a strong case for workers to be supported in building resilience and thriving in the workplace as resilience is a protective factor against stress, depression and anxiety. Organisations should
    prioritise resilience training , mental health champions, providing therapy and coaching alongside inclusive cultures that foster psychological safety. Its important for line managers to be trained on stress management as most are not but require skills in supporting the workforce. ( Health & Wellbeing at work Report CIPD 2021)
  • Be mindful of employees developing delayed Trauma responses such as PTSD post pandemic as a consequence of the plethora of deaths/bereavements and also the secondary exposure to traumatic events following media reports and the death of George floyd which amplified generational trauma and racial inequalities globally.
    Culturally appropriate therapy and counselling should be provided alongside Employee Resource Groups being supported in creating safe spaces to explore and validate these experiences.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?
Mentoring Diverse Individuals (from undergraduates to senior Leaders) and being a visible
role model which encourages and facilitates other Black Women to take up space in environments that they may have previously avoided.
Taking a big risk and setting up my Consultancy business following working in the NHS for over 10 years.
Being selected for the Northern Powerwoman Future List 2023
Pre-career I’m proud that I completed my Psychology degree against the odds following suddenly losing my Mum in the final year of University.

How do you relax in your free time?
I enjoy going for regular Spa breaks to switch off and prioritise my self care. Cycling along the canal on sunny days and working out at my Health club. Mindful colouring is something I began doing during COVID and I find it extremely therapeutic and relaxing for the mind. I also like to dance and to let go to unwind and relax.

What would you say are the keys skills required to be a leader in your field?
Strong interpersonal communication skills, decisiveness, resilience and high emotional intelligence due to constantly
being exposed to uncertainty and living in a VUCA World.

What advice would you give to a young professional starting a career in HR?
Look for opportunities to gain new skills by volunteering and seek out a mentor as this will facilitate rapid growth and confidence.

What are your three wise words to anyone or a favourite quote?
Asking for help is a strength – Michelle Obama

How can our members connect with you?
Linkedin – Martina Motivator Witter