Mental health and wellbeing in the workplace
22nd August 2018
A guest blog from our friends at Fusion about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
With more awareness being placed on the importance of mental health issues, it’s great to see that attitudes towards the wellbeing of staff in the workplace are changing for the better.
However, with one in three people saying that they experience some form of mental health issues whilst in employment, is there more that we could be doing? We explore how a shift in attitude towards mental health is improving the workplace and what businesses can do to support their staff and lessen the stigma attached to it.
Creating a supportive culture
Our attitudes towards employee health & wellbeing are evolving, with an emphasis on improving the awareness of mental health issues. Businesses are now investing heavily in creating open cultures to provide a more solid support network for staff who may be struggling.
The openness that now surrounds mental health has led to an increase in people seeking support, which means that employers are looking at ways to extend their mental health support provision.
It’s worth noting that the younger generation are far more likely to talk about these issues, so it’s important that employers tailor their communications to reflect the differing age demographics within their businesses.
In an attempt to break the stigma that some might still feel, senior management must empower their team members so that they can feel comfortable enough to speak openly about any mental health concerns.
Mental health days
When it comes to mental health awareness, we could learn a lot from America. Businesses across the pond have adopted policies and concepts which aim to improve employee wellbeing by tackling the issues surrounding mental health.
One example is the introduction of mental health days. These allow an employee to take a day off when they feel it might benefit their mental health.
Those suffering from depression and anxiety needn’t worry about the knock-on effect of calling in “sick”. It also shows a recognition that recovery time is just as important in relation to mental health as it is with physical health.
By strengthening a sense of community and support within a business, employees will feel valued by their employers.
Stress-related illnesses are one of the biggest causes of staff absence.
While stress is unavoidable at times, it can be effectively managed in a way that needn’t be expensive or time-consuming for a business.
The key to creating a balanced and relaxed company culture is to be aware of what’s going on and spotting the warning signs before they escalate.
Regular reviews and stress-risk assessments are simple and effective measures that businesses can introduce to manage stress, improve employee absence management and ultimately reduce sick leave.
It’s also important to acknowledge busy periods and offer additional support where appropriate. Overall, you should aim to create an open-door policy so you can spot the signs of stress before they get too far.
Implementing your own occupational health strategies or employing the services of an occupational health provider can help you to achieve this.