Wow, hasn’t it been stressful over the past few months?
I think despite everything, we have come to realise that taking care of our minds as well as our bodies is more important than ever before, especially in the workplace.
The organisation Mind describes this period in lockdown as a ‘Mental Health Emergency.’ While work can be a distraction for many people, it can also bring an overwhelming sense of pressure.
With over HALF of all sick days due to work-related stress, the cost to your business can be significant if you don’t address the problem.
As an employer, it’s not only your responsibility but also in your interests to ensure your employees have your support and guidance to help them manage their mental health.
Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. But for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, they get back £5 in reduced absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover (Deloitte, 2020)
There are many facets to poor mental health, and they can show themselves across a broad range of behaviours from stress, anger and anxiety to depression, a lack of interest and withdrawal. According to the Health and Safety Executive:
Work-related stress, depression or anxiety is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work. https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf
The disruption of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has not only interrupted business but has caused severe damage to our economy and our state of mind. Fear can be debilitating, and worry can impact focus and procrastination. As a result, employees find themselves in a serious dilemma:
How can I return to work and stay safe from Covid-19 when I am worried about the stability of my job and financial security?
As a manager and business owner, it’s time to take action. We know you already have a to-do list as long as your arm. But trust us, this will enable you to get Back to Business quickly while reassuring your employees and instilling confidence safely and compassionately.
Follow our 5 Step Plan:
- Mental Health First Aiders: Proven to be a hugely successful program, implementing mental health first aiders in the workplace can significantly help to reduce mental health issues from escalating. Selecting and training the right employees to become MHFA is an excellent step towards reducing the stigma.
You can access eLearning programs online – even your furloughed staff can keep training from home!
SFB Consulting Courses: https://www.sfb-consulting.com/online-training/
MHFA online: https://mhfaengland.org/
- Regular Communications: Keep communications ongoing between you and your employees. It will not only reassure them that you are aware of their concerns, but it also encourages them to ask questions and gather the information they need to feel confident. You can also use their feedback to develop your risk assessment and to build a workplace safety plan.
- Mental Health and Wellbeing Policies: Reviewing policy regularly, is the key to getting your people back to peak performance. You can outline guidance which details help, support and training available, enabling employees to feel valued and empowered.
- Working Hours: Digitisation means you’re always on and always accessible. Smartphones, laptops and working from home has become the ‘New Norm’ which can be overwhelming if expectations are not discussed and managed. Encourage employees to take regular breaks, eat lunch and literally ‘switch off’ at the end of their working day. Also review holidays, bank holidays and consider implementing optional ‘Mental health days.’ Using these steps, you can begin to create your own company culture of health and wellbeing.
- Review and Revise: Ongoing assessment of your workplace programs will allow you to see what’s working, what’s not and track the progress, performance and productivity of your employees regularly. A flexible approach to change will allow you to adapt it according to data and feedback you compile. It will highlight where you need to focus and where to place future investment, both emotionally and financially.
Be a Mental Health Hero for Your Employees:
Reduce the stigma, encourage talking, offer support and guidance through training and programs. Create space and time for your employees to down tools, de-stress and create positive mental health habits for the workplace and life.
It’s proven to not only improve the happiness and positive mental health of your employees but increasingly impact your bottom line through increased productivity and performance. Get started today: We have the knowledge and expertise to help you create the culture you want for your workplace. www.sfb-consulting.com Call: 01279 874676.