Mental health is a hot topic, and rightly so. It is widely recognised now that being open about our mental health is generally a good thing and can help us overcome issues that we are all likely to experience at some time in our lives. But what about your employees? Would they feel comfortable in opening up to you, and would you be supportive?
Here’s our brief summary of a very useful guide written by MIND, the mental health charity, that we think you will appreciate. If you like this article, look out for part two soon —Tackling The Causes of Mental Health Problems in the Workplace
Research shows that when employees feel valued and supported, they tend to have higher wellbeing levels, are more committed to the organisation and they perform better too. By supporting staff wellbeing you can reap the benefits through better morale, loyalty and commitment.
Open and supportive workplaces benefit everyone – employees, employers and the bottom line.
Employers should send a clear message that staff wellbeing matters. Colleagues take cues from how leaders behave. Show the organisation’s commitment to staff wellbeing by simple actions such as supporting a campaign to encourage all staff to take lunch breaks and to work healthy hours.
Too often, employees are scared to talk to their manager and problems can spiral. Raising awareness and promoting discussion of mental health and wellbeing can start to challenge this harmful culture.
When staff feel involved and well informed about what’s happening in the organisation it increases motivation and helps people understand how their role fits into the bigger picture. Try to be as open as possible about strategic vision and direction and involve all staff in decisions.
Speak regularly with team members to check how they’re doing and to reflect on what might be causing them stress. You can do this at a team level by adding a standing item to team meetings where people talk about wellbeing and stress as a group.
Poor communication can be a significant cause of stress. Where communication is clear, open, effective and responsive, staff will be able to access all the information they need while avoiding overload.
In the short term long hours might seem manageable, but sustained pressure and a poor work/life balance can quickly lead to stress and burnout, reducing levels of employee productivity, performance, creativity and morale.
Flexible working, in terms of working time, location or the pattern of working, can support healthier and more productive ways of working for all staff.
Give staff development opportunities where possible. This can be done in a cost-effective way by using skills and knowledge within the organisation to develop coaching, learning, training and job-shadowing opportunities. Managers should also make themselves available for regular work-related conversations with employees.
In some cases, people find it easier to speak to someone who isn’t their manager. Mentoring and buddy schemes can help new staff to understand your organisation faster and can support all staff to gain confidence and develop new skills.
Posted on 6th Feb 2018 10:43:49
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