Mental health affects one in six British workers. It’s the leading cause of sickness absence. And it’s costing UK employers between £33 billion and £44 billion a year.
Improving your employees’ mental health is no longer a warm sentiment, it’s business critical.
The Government has recognised this and commissioned an independent review called “Thriving at Work” to address the issue. As a result, core standards were drawn up, some of which are detailed here but do get in contact for our full guide.
Create a mental health at work plan.
Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan that encourages and promotes good mental health of all staff and an open organisational culture.
The following suggestions should be included within your plan.
There’s three parts:
Part 1 is about promoting employee wellbeing
Part 2 is about tackling the causes of work-related mental health problems
Part 3 is about supporting staff who are experiencing mental health problems.
Part 1: Promoting employee wellbeing.
- Get senior leaders on board.
- Raise awareness of mental health – In many workplaces mental health is the elephant in the room. Too often, employees are scared to talk to their manager and problems can spiral.
- Involve staff in dialogue and decision making to create a culture of openness 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.
- Promote a healthy work/life balance – A poor work/life balance can quickly lead to stress and burnout, reducing levels of employee productivity, performance, creativity and morale.
- Provide opportunities for learning and development – Research on employee engagement tells us employees need to feel valued, and supported and that their work is meaningful.
Your mental health plan should outline ways in which you provide staff with learning and development opportunities.
- Offer positive working relationships and social connections – Organisations should take positive action to make the workplace a mutually supportive environment where good work relationships thrive.
Part 2: Tackling the work-related causes of mental health problems.
- Routinely take stock – If you don’t take stock of your employees’ mental wellbeing, you won’t have a clear picture of what’s really going on.
- Upskill line managers – The way you manage and support staff who are experiencing a mental health problem can be key in shaping how they cope and recover.
Your mental health plan should outline ways you will support your managers in recognising poor mental health among their team members.
- Regular one-to-ones – Regular one-to-ones have significant benefits for employers, employees and the bottom line.
- The physical work environment – Noise levels, space, temperature and light can significantly affect staff wellbeing.
Part 3: Supporting staff experiencing a mental health problem
Organisations need to send a clear signal to staff that their mental health matters and being open about it will lead to support, not discrimination.
In your action plan, you should detail the support available to staff if they are experiencing a mental health problem.
Okay, there are a lot of points here and it may feel a bit overwhelming. That’s where we can step in and make things easier for you. Feel free to get in contact for our full guide.