Mental health in the workplace is high on today’s agenda – employers need to get to grips with it.
There are 3 good reasons to manage mental health in your workplace: financial (there are huge costs associated with mental health in the workplace), your legal obligation and finally your moral obligation.
The majority of employers genuinely want to improve and support their employee’s wellbeing. So, what can you do to support mental health in your business?
- Make mental health awareness a business priority – get top-down buy-in from the senior management team throughout the business.
- Ensure staff take regular breaks away from the workplace – encourage some exercise even if its a walk around the car park.
- Ensure staff leave work on time – create a culture where work life balance is important and accepted.
- Get to know your staff and be able to recognise when things are not right. Are they behaving differently? Has their performance dropped off? Have they become tired and irritable? These are all signs of stress or depression.
- It is really important to create a culture where it is OK to talk about mental health and it is OK not to be OK on some days. It’s vital to allow and have open discussions around mental health. Allow employees to discuss times in their lives when they’ve battled mental health problems as this will make it ‘acceptable’ for other members of your business to ‘open-up’.
- Be able to signpost employees to organisations that can support them, such as MIND or an occupational health provision.
- Create a stress-free environment at work.
- Consider providing staff with mental health awareness training, or you could have mental health champions at work or mental health first aiders. Train your managers and supervisors on how to manage staff who are absent from work due to mental illness.
Mental health in the workplace is not easy to manage. It is often viewed as taboo and employers don’t know how to start or have conversations with their staff, but it’s crucial to address it because it’s not going away!
Mental Health affects all aspects of work from sickness levels and productivity through to engagement, so now is the time to act!
If you need advice to manage mental health in your business, Hill HR Consultancy would be happy to help.
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