How to improve mental health in the workplace.
Four crucial steps to improving mental health in the workplace.
Data from CIPD indicates that mental health difficulties cause more than half of long-term absences from work. This, coupled with the fact that 55% of employees surveyed in their research reported common mental health conditions in 2018 highlights the growing need for organisations to provide mental wellbeing support to employees.
It’s an important element of health and wellbeing that employees should address with the seriousness it calls for.
In this post, we look at 4 crucial ways in which mental health can be improved at the workplace:
Senior employees and managers are in the best position to identify negative effects on an employee’s mental health and make changes to their workload.
Remember that your managers are also positioned to spot the early signs of stress that may be caused by factors within or outside work. Considering these facts, it only makes sense that your managers are well trained to fulfil their capabilities.
Management training will provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to approach volatile situations with the right attitude and language.
The working environment.
Creating the right environment and supportive relationships within your organisation is key. Your working environment should be one that promotes mental well-being and reduces stress. Here are two of the several tips to create such an environment:
1) Policies that revolve around good work-life balance – Inflexible working arrangements starve employees of time both for themselves and their families, leading to stress and unhappiness. Smartly allow flexible hours and the option to work from home. Do not make the mistake of thinking the more time they spend in the office the more effective they are.
2)For those who are new to your company, a mentoring scheme or buddy system can help them to settle in. These relationships can also enable colleagues to help each other outside the official management structure.
There has definitely been a change in the attitude towards mental health within Ireland and the UK as well as around the world. However, the stigma and taboo around mental illness in the workplace still persists. This stigma prevents employees from opening up about the mental health issues they’re facing and how it’s affecting their work. They need to be assured that if they open up, they will get support and not judgement- that their job, reputation and career prospects will not be affected. An employee must feel as comfortable coming to their manager with stress or anxiety as they do with back pain or migraine.
An Employee Assistance programme is a free and confidential counselling and information phone based or online service designed to help any of your employees facing a work-related or personal problem. The EAP provides both here-and-now support, scheduled short term counselling and onward referrals to other mental health professionals, services and resources as needed. Equally importantly, an EAP can be a valuable resource for managers or colleagues looking for advice on how to approach a mental health issue and how to get the necessary conversation started with someone in need.
These are just four small steps to take to help create a mental health friendly work environment. It’s important to have it integrated into your overall wellbeing programme.
To learn about the onsite mental health services we can provide, visit our Workplace Mental Health section.