While writing articles, I am forever studying Workplace Mental Health Interventions and topics around this.
In an economy struggling to increase productivity, reducing the huge impact of mental ill-health must be a priority. It’s important for businesses of all sizes to step up and take action, because you will only make things better, both for your people and for your bottom line. Taking time for yourself is a selfless act that enables you to feel at your best — not only for yourself but for others around you. Taking breaks of varied lengths, whether micro-breaks or longer periods of time, helps boost productivity and happiness, which, in turn, creates a positive ripple effect for your colleagues and loved ones. Managers can and should make an effort to ask employees how they’re really feeling, about work or otherwise. Ultimately, this can give them a better understanding of what challenges they’re bringing into the workplace that could impact performance, and how workflow changes or company policies can ease the stress. One in four people in England have been diagnosed with a mental health condition in their lifetime. In 2014, one in six adults in England met the criteria for a common mental disorder in the past week. Of these, around half have more severe symptoms. Many employees feel uncomfortable opening up about their mental health. Others feel their worries are not serious enough for EAPs or speaking to professionals. Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it. If you have fewer than five workers you don't have to write anything down. But it is useful to do this, so you can review it later, for example if something changes. If you have five or more workers, you are required by law to write the risk assessment down.
Consider offering a healthcare package available that includes cover for psychologists, counselors and a host of alternative medical treatments. Services like this often include a confidential 24-hour support line that covers mental health and wellbeing support. Having to choose between our need to belong and our need for rest isn't healthy. And it isn't fair either. Workplaces should take that option off the menu. Organizations have the power and responsibility to improve their employees' wellbeing. When leaders and managers cultivate the whole person at work -- not just the employee -- they promote the success of every individual in the organization. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for mental health. Income Protection, for example, provides a regular replacement income if an employee is unable to work due to illness for more than six months. It may also come with vocational rehabilitation services to support them if they are able to return to work. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for employers duty of care mental health
End The Silence
The importance of getting mental health in the workplace right is increasing – it is likely that larger businesses will actively seek to partner more closely with organisations in their network or supply chain that take a proactive approach to promoting and improving mental health, as it shows they are committed to the long term success of their business. How people are treated and managed on a day-to-day basis is central to their mental well-being and engagement, as well as the level of trust in the employment relationship. The behaviours of line managers will, to a large degree, determine the extent to which employees will go the extra mile in their jobs, are resilient under pressure and remain loyal to their organisation. People with mental health problems frequently suffer discrimination in the workplace and unemployment affects those with long-term mental health disorders more than any other group of disabled people. Anyone can become upset and reveal to their workmates that they are human. But if you have a mental health problem you may have a particular need for a safe space to express your feelings. If you are going through a mental health crisis, whether or not it’s caused by work stress, it is likely to have an impact on you at work. Studies have shown that regular physical exercise can assist lift your mood and reduce stress. This could be a regular routine, such as hitting the gym or going for a stroll during lunchtime or during a break. If all else fails, keep standing up at least once per hour, more if you work at a desk, to give your body and eyes a breather. Discussing ideas such as workplace wellbeing ideas
is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.
Mental wellness at work is an essential part of overall well-being that is often overlooked. Any job can be stressful, even if you love what you do. Some stress can be healthy, such as motivation to perform well, but long-term and unmanaged stress can be harmful to both physical and mental health. Too many people experience discrimination on the grounds of mental health in the workplace, and employers often go unpunished for not taking appropriate action. Government should look to set clearer expectations of employers, who do not feel clear on their minimum legal and regulatory responsibilities when it comes to mental health, nor confident in fulfilling these responsibilities. Organisation should think about the structures and workplace functions as well when devising a mental health poilcy. For example, field workers and physical labourers can be hard to reach with typical wellness supports. This is in part because of their scattered and often remote locations. Effective managers help employees to manage their workloads, create opportunities for coaching and learning, and promote a culture of open dialogue – all of which help to boost staff mental wellbeing and employee engagement levels. As more and more employees struggle with mental health, it’s important to debunk common myths, reduce stigma, and build the necessary skills to have productive conversations about mental health at work. If you don’t have the budget to invest in training, mental health employee resource groups are a low-cost way to increase awareness, build community, and offer peer support. Thinking about concepts such as workplace wellbeing support
is really helpful in a workplace environment.
Take Action At An Early Stage
If the workplace is not supportive to mental health concerns, it can trigger or exacerbate mental ill health, with anxiety, depression and stress-related disorders being the most common issues. Poor work environments, typically characterised by high demands, low levels of individual autonomy and poor support, can undermine the health and wellbeing benefits that 'good' work brings. In some cases the effect is toxic. In order to support your employees’ mental health, digging further into the work-related causes is a great place to start. Take a look at the processes within your business. Is there anything that stands out that could cause unnecessary stress? Is it a high-pressured environment? Do many employees work alone? Could you make the hours more flexible? Are your employees’ workloads manageable? The most common impact of conflict at work is that people find it stressful – underlining the need for employers to foster healthy working environments that have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. The most important thing employees need from leadership is genuine empathy and kindness. Take it from one employee who alerted her team that she would be taking a mental health day. The CEO responded with a personal thanks for “help[ing] cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.” His response quickly went viral and clearly struck a chord. Being kind and supportive doesn’t cost anything—and it can go a long way. Now, more than ever, flexible work is important to optimize effectiveness and satisfaction in the workplace. If your workplace has a flexible work plan in place, revisit it to make sure that it’s still serving the needs of all your staff. If your workplace doesn’t have a flex work policy, consider adding this important benefit. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, how to manage an employee with anxiety
can be a difficult notion to comprehend.
Stigma is reduced when people can talk openly about mental health. This leads to more understanding and a greater likelihood people will seek support earlier. Kind and engaging communication and management practices are the mark of a good manager-employee relationship. Poor communication and practices, on the other hand, create strain on the relationship, create poor mental health, and increase workplace stress. Your employees want to be listened to! When your employees have grievances that are not addressed, they start feeling like their opinion does not matter. Moreover, listening to your employees and acting upon their recommendations can make them feel like a valued member of your community. It makes your employees’ work more meaningful and therefore increases employee wellbeing. Effective leaders know the value of committing to their people and integrating health and safety and wellbeing into everyday business. Leaders need to give high priority to prevention, early intervention and embracing the health benefits of work. Senior leaders set the ‘tone at the top’ and tackle the challenges to a life in work for those with mental health conditions. There are many internal milestones that can help to put mental health on the agenda like board meetings, staff surveys, staff absence reports. Think about the times in the year when your business is busiest and staff are under the most stress, so you can raise the issue ahead of time. Subjects such as managing employees with mental health issues
can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.
Minimal Staff Turnover
Recently though, evidence suggests that mental health organisations are putting in concerted efforts to change this opinion. ACAS is a valuable HR source and the organisation teamed up with the NHS Mindful Employer Initiative to develop a training package and advisory booklet that promotes positive mental health at work. Often people do not recognise (or want to recognise or want anyone else to recognise) that they are struggling with their mental health and other people will notice it first. If you see that someone you know – a friend, colleague, family member or employee – is showing the signs of a mental health difficulty, please don’t ignore it. Employees will respond negatively to wellbeing initiatives if they believe they are merely being implemented to get them to work harder. This is why harnessing the right culture in the workplace is important. So it is an environment where employee wellbeing can flourish. Leadership is key to developing this culture and its success relies upon buy-in and cooperation of all leaders from the board level down. Unearth more info on the topic of Workplace Mental Health Interventions at this Health and Safety Executive