Like physical health, everyone has mental health and all we need to look after it. Whether it's excercise, eating well, meditation amongst other things, we all need to find ways of looking after our wellbeing. As employers we also need to think about how we can promote wellbeing in the workplace.
Research carried out by charity, Mind confirms not addressing mental health at work can be costly to employers. In their research they found;
- More than one in five people said they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them
- 14% had said they had resigned and 42% had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them
- A third of staff felt they would feel unable to talk openly with their line manager if they were feeling stressed
- 60% of employees say they’d feel more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing
How can you find ways to increase wellbeing at work?
Mind has a whole resource dedicated to promoting wellbeing and tacklinge the causes of work-related mental health problems. Here are just a few examples of how to bring wellbeing into your workplace, fromt he boardroom to break out areas.
- Get senior leaders on board and talking - it not only shows an openess to talk about issues but shows a commitment to improving staff wellbeing. This could be organising talks with your leadership teams, it could be through regular communications at work like emails, or meeting catchups
- Raise awareness - through training and inductions, employees begin to see the value and the commitment from the organisation to make wellbeing a priority. It also creates a culture of openess where employees can talk openly and and be involved in key decisions
- Peer support - Having active ambassadors to promote the inititiatives and forming buddy relationships with employees, can help people talk about issues and find resolutions. It can also encourage positive working relationships and actitivies which help employees feel valued and part of a team
- Look at your working enviornment. The environment and the atmosphere of your workplace can have a big effect on how you and your employees feel at work. Perhaps introducing quiet, private areas for people to step away fromt heir desks or areas where you can shout about the team's successes.
- Make yourself available - as a line manager being open to talk to groups or to individuals, and to show your talking about their stresses at work can go a long way in normalising feelings of anxiety at work as well as actively looking for solutions.