Actions to take
Whether you’re agreeing a wellbeing plan for the first time, or you’re reviewing existing support, ensure your post-production crew are fully informed about your wellbeing plan and all support available to them.
To communicate key messages and details regarding your wellbeing and mental health provision (if you haven’t already done so during earlier phases of your project), you can:
- Send out a wellbeing pack that includes your company’s policies regarding wellbeing as well as bullying, harassment and discrimination, helpful support numbers, suggested apps to use, along with tips on healthy habits and promoting a healthy work-life balance.
- Use our Working Well With Me guidance to encourage team leaders to complete our questionnaire and send one out to any new starters.
Make sure teams are kept up to date on any additions or changes made to existing policies or support.
To reduce the impact of any issues on crew and build healthy reciprocal relationships, create a communication plan to outline when and how you’ll connect with your team members.
It’s important that post-production teams feel part of a project and are kept updated on any developments, as well as given sufficient opportunities to raise ideas or concerns.
Your communication plan could include:
- Scheduling frequent catch-ups with individuals.
- Regularly including post-production team members in broader project discussions or calls – even if it’s just weekly or monthly meetings.
- Setting up a shared calendar highlighting any upcoming project meetings that all crew are welcome to dial into, if they wish.
- Sharing guidance with managers on how to establish open and clear communication.
- Identifying opportunities for production and post-production teams to meet or connect from the outset – for example, by arranging camera and grade tests early in the process, so crew can build relationships along with the development of the series or film.
- Holding regular progress meetings to improve communication between departments and create opportunities for post-production staff to contribute to discussions on expectations, workflows and setting realistic deadlines.
Post-production crew often work on multiple projects simultaneously, so ensure you always discuss other commitments that your team members may have and set achievable deadlines.
Likewise, regularly review whether adequate time is being allocated for specific tasks, such as ingesting and viewing files, with your team.
Clear and open language has the power to lift and energise a team and move projects forward.
The impact of positive or negative language on others can be enormous – for example, using ASAP, bold text or lots of exclamation marks in messages can cause unnecessary friction or anxiety, and being unclear can lead to misunderstandings.
When interacting with colleagues during post-production:
- Acknowledge the work of team members with a simple please or thank you.
- Use an appropriate tone in messages and be aware of how emphasis can impact others, such as when using capital letters and exclamation marks.
- Consider whether any sense of urgency conveyed is necessary – crew should be working to realistic and accurate deadlines.
- To motivate your colleagues, proactively recognise and appreciate their strengths and skills.
- If you have performance feedback, share this promptly and confidentially, and give very specific, clear examples to support your comments.
- Emphasise how the team and individuals are contributing to the wider vision and realisation of the project.
- Be clear that all questions are valued, welcome and encouraged.
Recognising the challenges presented by specific working environments is central to preventing potential issues and providing appropriate support when needed.
For example, remote working can particularly affect new starters or younger team members earlier in their careers – impacting their opportunities around social interactions and learning professional skills from more experienced crew.
Loneliness can be complex and subjective, but getting to know your team members and building healthy reciprocal relationships is key to identifying when someone may need support.
When working with their teams, managers should be particularly alert to:
- Significant changes in behaviour or routine
- Poor, unclear communication
- Reduced interactions with colleagues or participation in meetings
- Consistently declining performance
- Any patterns of conflict within working relationships
- A lack of emotional regulation
- Increased time off work due to illness
However, consider the following to help prevent or support crew impacted by feelings of loneliness or isolation:
- Stick to company policies around working hours and breaks, ensuring clear start and finish times.
- Encourage team members to prioritise downtime, social interaction and personal events.
- Support crew in creating peer-to-peer networks or groups.
- Share Mind charity’s tips to manage loneliness with team members working in isolation.
- Use our Working Well With Me questionnaire to help you get to know your teams and give crew the opportunity to supply information regarding any individual needs.
- If teams are working in dark/windowless spaces, encourage them to take regular daylight breaks.
- Match new starters/trainees with an experienced mentor or buddy.
- If the team are remote, encourage some shared-space working if possible – otherwise, organise a low-pressure online meeting to touch base and help everybody feel connected.
Managers can also find advice on starting mental health conversations with crew in our guidance on how to talk to your team about mental health.