Let's remember those facing a tough Christmas

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Richard Heap
December 15, 2017
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Let's remember those facing a tough Christmas

Christmas is meant to be a time for joy and celebration – but let's spare a thought for those who find the festive period a lot harder.

Mental health charity Mind has reported one in ten people feel unable to cope at this time of year, including one in three people with a mental health problem. The pressure to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify financial worries and put people in touch with difficult family members. Meanwhile, the Christmas party season can encourage an unhealthy level of drinking that can in some cases exacerbate other problems.

And yes, I wrote this before our office party last night!

Meanwhile, for some people working in the industry, this will be a tougher Christmas than most. Auctions are putting pressure on profit margins of developers and manufacturers, which is forcing firms to make financial savings including with job cuts. And the consolidation we see in the wind sector often means job cuts too.

In addition, we see a slowdown in key markets such as Germany, and the future of key US subsidies will only stoke anxieties there too. Yes, we should be happy that costs are falling and the wind sector is growing – but let’s not forget the human cost.

Let’s look back at 2017. In November, Siemens Gamesa set out plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs as it overhauls its operations after its merger. Manufacturers including Enercon, Nordex and Senvion have also cut jobs this year; and, last week, General Electric set out plans to cut 12,000 jobs in its conventional power business. The GE cuts are not in renewables but they do show how fast changes are affecting jobs. In many ways this has been a great year for wind, but a rising tide doesn't always raise all boats.

We’re not writing this because we want to be party poopers. We hope to enjoy a great Christmas, and want each and every one of you – our members – to do so too. But we’re also well aware not everyone will enter the season with a feeling of fun and optimism, and businesses should be mindful of how they can give support.

This is why we took an interest in the UK Government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ report in October. It showed the cost to businesses of failing to properly address mental health concerns among its employees.

This report said 15% of people at work show mental health issues, and that this costs employers in the UK between £33bn and £42bn each year. These figures are not specifically related to wind or the energy sector, but people in this industry aren’t immune from this type of pressure. The report also makes decent recommendations about how firms could support staff with mental health issues.

In brief, they are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and available support
  • Provide good working conditions, work/life balance and development potential
  • Promote effective people management via line managers and supervisors
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

We don't have time to go into all of that here, but I would urge you to read the report. And, on a wider point, helping the world shift to renewables is important work, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.

So if you approach Christmas with excitement, trepidation or a bit of both, we hope you have the best festive period you can.

Christmas is meant to be a time for joy and celebration – but let's spare a thought for those who find the festive period a lot harder.

Mental health charity Mind has reported one in ten people feel unable to cope at this time of year, including one in three people with a mental health problem. The pressure to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify financial worries and put people in touch with difficult family members. Meanwhile, the Christmas party season can encourage an unhealthy level of drinking that can in some cases exacerbate other problems.

And yes, I wrote this before our office party last night!

Meanwhile, for some people working in the industry, this will be a tougher Christmas than most. Auctions are putting pressure on profit margins of developers and manufacturers, which is forcing firms to make financial savings including with job cuts. And the consolidation we see in the wind sector often means job cuts too.

In addition, we see a slowdown in key markets such as Germany, and the future of key US subsidies will only stoke anxieties there too. Yes, we should be happy that costs are falling and the wind sector is growing – but let’s not forget the human cost.

Let’s look back at 2017. In November, Siemens Gamesa set out plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs as it overhauls its operations after its merger. Manufacturers including Enercon, Nordex and Senvion have also cut jobs this year; and, last week, General Electric set out plans to cut 12,000 jobs in its conventional power business. The GE cuts are not in renewables but they do show how fast changes are affecting jobs. In many ways this has been a great year for wind, but a rising tide doesn't always raise all boats.

We’re not writing this because we want to be party poopers. We hope to enjoy a great Christmas, and want each and every one of you – our members – to do so too. But we’re also well aware not everyone will enter the season with a feeling of fun and optimism, and businesses should be mindful of how they can give support.

This is why we took an interest in the UK Government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ report in October. It showed the cost to businesses of failing to properly address mental health concerns among its employees.

This report said 15% of people at work show mental health issues, and that this costs employers in the UK between £33bn and £42bn each year. These figures are not specifically related to wind or the energy sector, but people in this industry aren’t immune from this type of pressure. The report also makes decent recommendations about how firms could support staff with mental health issues.

In brief, they are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and available support
  • Provide good working conditions, work/life balance and development potential
  • Promote effective people management via line managers and supervisors
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

We don't have time to go into all of that here, but I would urge you to read the report. And, on a wider point, helping the world shift to renewables is important work, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.

So if you approach Christmas with excitement, trepidation or a bit of both, we hope you have the best festive period you can.

Christmas is meant to be a time for joy and celebration – but let's spare a thought for those who find the festive period a lot harder.

Mental health charity Mind has reported one in ten people feel unable to cope at this time of year, including one in three people with a mental health problem. The pressure to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify financial worries and put people in touch with difficult family members. Meanwhile, the Christmas party season can encourage an unhealthy level of drinking that can in some cases exacerbate other problems.

And yes, I wrote this before our office party last night!

Meanwhile, for some people working in the industry, this will be a tougher Christmas than most. Auctions are putting pressure on profit margins of developers and manufacturers, which is forcing firms to make financial savings including with job cuts. And the consolidation we see in the wind sector often means job cuts too.

In addition, we see a slowdown in key markets such as Germany, and the future of key US subsidies will only stoke anxieties there too. Yes, we should be happy that costs are falling and the wind sector is growing – but let’s not forget the human cost.

Let’s look back at 2017. In November, Siemens Gamesa set out plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs as it overhauls its operations after its merger. Manufacturers including Enercon, Nordex and Senvion have also cut jobs this year; and, last week, General Electric set out plans to cut 12,000 jobs in its conventional power business. The GE cuts are not in renewables but they do show how fast changes are affecting jobs. In many ways this has been a great year for wind, but a rising tide doesn't always raise all boats.

We’re not writing this because we want to be party poopers. We hope to enjoy a great Christmas, and want each and every one of you – our members – to do so too. But we’re also well aware not everyone will enter the season with a feeling of fun and optimism, and businesses should be mindful of how they can give support.

This is why we took an interest in the UK Government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ report in October. It showed the cost to businesses of failing to properly address mental health concerns among its employees.

This report said 15% of people at work show mental health issues, and that this costs employers in the UK between £33bn and £42bn each year. These figures are not specifically related to wind or the energy sector, but people in this industry aren’t immune from this type of pressure. The report also makes decent recommendations about how firms could support staff with mental health issues.

In brief, they are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and available support
  • Provide good working conditions, work/life balance and development potential
  • Promote effective people management via line managers and supervisors
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

We don't have time to go into all of that here, but I would urge you to read the report. And, on a wider point, helping the world shift to renewables is important work, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.

So if you approach Christmas with excitement, trepidation or a bit of both, we hope you have the best festive period you can.

Christmas is meant to be a time for joy and celebration – but let's spare a thought for those who find the festive period a lot harder.

Mental health charity Mind has reported one in ten people feel unable to cope at this time of year, including one in three people with a mental health problem. The pressure to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify financial worries and put people in touch with difficult family members. Meanwhile, the Christmas party season can encourage an unhealthy level of drinking that can in some cases exacerbate other problems.

And yes, I wrote this before our office party last night!

Meanwhile, for some people working in the industry, this will be a tougher Christmas than most. Auctions are putting pressure on profit margins of developers and manufacturers, which is forcing firms to make financial savings including with job cuts. And the consolidation we see in the wind sector often means job cuts too.

In addition, we see a slowdown in key markets such as Germany, and the future of key US subsidies will only stoke anxieties there too. Yes, we should be happy that costs are falling and the wind sector is growing – but let’s not forget the human cost.

Let’s look back at 2017. In November, Siemens Gamesa set out plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs as it overhauls its operations after its merger. Manufacturers including Enercon, Nordex and Senvion have also cut jobs this year; and, last week, General Electric set out plans to cut 12,000 jobs in its conventional power business. The GE cuts are not in renewables but they do show how fast changes are affecting jobs. In many ways this has been a great year for wind, but a rising tide doesn't always raise all boats.

We’re not writing this because we want to be party poopers. We hope to enjoy a great Christmas, and want each and every one of you – our members – to do so too. But we’re also well aware not everyone will enter the season with a feeling of fun and optimism, and businesses should be mindful of how they can give support.

This is why we took an interest in the UK Government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ report in October. It showed the cost to businesses of failing to properly address mental health concerns among its employees.

This report said 15% of people at work show mental health issues, and that this costs employers in the UK between £33bn and £42bn each year. These figures are not specifically related to wind or the energy sector, but people in this industry aren’t immune from this type of pressure. The report also makes decent recommendations about how firms could support staff with mental health issues.

In brief, they are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and available support
  • Provide good working conditions, work/life balance and development potential
  • Promote effective people management via line managers and supervisors
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

We don't have time to go into all of that here, but I would urge you to read the report. And, on a wider point, helping the world shift to renewables is important work, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.

So if you approach Christmas with excitement, trepidation or a bit of both, we hope you have the best festive period you can.

Christmas is meant to be a time for joy and celebration – but let's spare a thought for those who find the festive period a lot harder.

Mental health charity Mind has reported one in ten people feel unable to cope at this time of year, including one in three people with a mental health problem. The pressure to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify financial worries and put people in touch with difficult family members. Meanwhile, the Christmas party season can encourage an unhealthy level of drinking that can in some cases exacerbate other problems.

And yes, I wrote this before our office party last night!

Meanwhile, for some people working in the industry, this will be a tougher Christmas than most. Auctions are putting pressure on profit margins of developers and manufacturers, which is forcing firms to make financial savings including with job cuts. And the consolidation we see in the wind sector often means job cuts too.

In addition, we see a slowdown in key markets such as Germany, and the future of key US subsidies will only stoke anxieties there too. Yes, we should be happy that costs are falling and the wind sector is growing – but let’s not forget the human cost.

Let’s look back at 2017. In November, Siemens Gamesa set out plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs as it overhauls its operations after its merger. Manufacturers including Enercon, Nordex and Senvion have also cut jobs this year; and, last week, General Electric set out plans to cut 12,000 jobs in its conventional power business. The GE cuts are not in renewables but they do show how fast changes are affecting jobs. In many ways this has been a great year for wind, but a rising tide doesn't always raise all boats.

We’re not writing this because we want to be party poopers. We hope to enjoy a great Christmas, and want each and every one of you – our members – to do so too. But we’re also well aware not everyone will enter the season with a feeling of fun and optimism, and businesses should be mindful of how they can give support.

This is why we took an interest in the UK Government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ report in October. It showed the cost to businesses of failing to properly address mental health concerns among its employees.

This report said 15% of people at work show mental health issues, and that this costs employers in the UK between £33bn and £42bn each year. These figures are not specifically related to wind or the energy sector, but people in this industry aren’t immune from this type of pressure. The report also makes decent recommendations about how firms could support staff with mental health issues.

In brief, they are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and available support
  • Provide good working conditions, work/life balance and development potential
  • Promote effective people management via line managers and supervisors
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

We don't have time to go into all of that here, but I would urge you to read the report. And, on a wider point, helping the world shift to renewables is important work, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.

So if you approach Christmas with excitement, trepidation or a bit of both, we hope you have the best festive period you can.

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Full archive access is available to members only

Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.