Wellbeing and work-related mental health problems are issues that are climbing higher up the business agenda lately. The working environment and work culture affect all employees as we spend a large part of our time in the workplace. Mind, the mental health charity, reports that 60% of employees would feel more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing.
As an employer, what steps can you take to make your workplace more supportive and healthy? The charity Mind has a number of useful tips which we’ll summarise, you can also find the full report here.
There is a clear correlation between companies that perform well and a healthy, motivated and valued workforce. Well-supported and focused employees are more committed to a company’s goals and perform better. So what are the best ways to promote a positive mental health culture in your business?
Leading by example, employers can support healthy practices such as taking a lunch break or working sensible hours. When leaders join the conversation about mental health, it can have a huge impact.
Spread the message
Raising awareness and promoting discussion about mental health and wellbeing can proactively challenge harmful cultures where people are too scared to talk about it. Some ways of raising awareness are:
- incorporate mental health support information within equality and diversity training
- invite a speaker to talk from experience at a wellbeing event
- use all communication channels to open the discussion with staff
- identify mental health champions in the business.
Working long hours and a poor work/life balance leads to stress, weak productivity and low morale at all levels of an organisation. Sometimes extra work is unavoidable but prolonged, regular weekend work or taking work home, not taking full holiday entitlement or lunch breaks have a detrimental effect on employees’ mental health. Flexible working around time, location and work patterns can contribute to a healthier, more productive workplace.
Engagement and decision-making
Staff who are involved and informed at work, become more motivated and understand the issues a business faces more easily, offering solutions and accepting changes. Dialogue with employees through surveys, focus groups, forums and review meetings encourages engagement with senior managers and brings together different departments.
These are just some of the ways that your business can create a healthy workplace and support some of the mental health challenges that are faced there. Mind, the mental health charity, has lots more useful information about tackling mental health issues in your workplace at www.mind.org.uk.