As an employer, you have a role in promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace. It doesn’t make any sense for an employer to neglect mental health. First of all, the wellbeing of the employee should be paramount anyway. And second, it’s known that companies that place importance on mental health outperform those that don’t.
It’s also true that if your employees aren’t mentally healthy, then they are at greater risk of becoming physically unhealthy. It’s in everyone’s interests to make sure the prevention of, and support for, mental health conditions is top of every employer’s list of priorities. So, what can you do?
Managers with Mental Health Training
Your company should have people who act as the first port of call if someone in the workplace has an issue related to mental health that they want to bring up. Usually, this will be a manager or line manager. Simply knowing that there is someone there to talk to if a problem should arise could be of great reassurance to your employees.
The managers could be supported by an external employee assistance program (EAP). This will provide workers with greater professional support. The training these managers take should focus not only on dealing with mental health issues, but also promoting the wider issue of mental wellbeing. Build up a knowledge of mental health in the office and raise awareness of the issues at hand in a casual, relaxed environment.
An Open Culture
Mental health charity, Mind, found that 60% of employees said they’d feel more motivated if their employer took more steps to support mental wellbeing. This is how important an open culture, happy to discuss and take action on mental health can be. It’ll mean a much lower turnover of staff if they feel they’re working in a safe and supportive environment.
Make mental health something that’s talked about as soon as an employee joins the company. It should be clear to them that the support will always be there if they should need it. Don’t just say it to employees either. Make a public declaration so everyone knows that you stand for openness and inclusion.
Tackle the Causes of Mental Health Problems
There are countless ways to cut down on stress – the biggest cause of mental health problems in the workplace. You need to understand the problem before this can be done effectively though. One of the easiest ways to cut down stress levels is to simply talk to your employees and let them have their voices heard.
You should also be aware of when an individual is not coping well with a workload, pressuring them further won’t help at all. Make your expectations realistic and ease the workload if it’s getting too much for people. Insist upon breaks and lunch hours away from the desk. People who take lunch breaks are less likely to suffer from work stress. Another great way to stop stress is to foster workplace collaboration and teamwork at all times. Don’t let people feel like they’re working alone.
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