The world of work is a different place now. Businesses are cutting costs, employees are working longer hours and have increasing workloads, and this is bad news for their wellbeing. According to figures published by MIND, one in six employees in Britain suffer from anxiety, depression or stress. The problem is made worse by the fact that talking about mental health is still considered taboo in some workplaces.
Looking after the mental wellbeing of employees is not optional, it’s necessary. Mental-ill health related to work costs the economy £26 billion per year in sick pay, high staff turnover and low productivity. Thankfully more businesses are catching onto the idea that if they promote good mental health in the workplace, employees will be happier, healthier, more motivated and productive which can only be good for business. So what makes a mentally healthy workplace?
Making your workplace mentally healthy
Employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1984 to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees. As part of this duty, you need to assess the risk of work-related mental ill health, and the best way to do this is developing a workplace mental wellbeing strategy which makes your workplace a happier and healthier place to be.
Day to day actions you can take
- Encourage a good work/life balance: If employees don’t have enough downtime, this can affect their mental health, productivity, and performance.
- Be flexible: Staff who have childcare responsibilities or who need some flexibility around where, when, and how they work will be more committed to an organisation that recognises this.
- Encourage good working relationships: Deal with bullying, harassment, and poor working relationships promptly as these are detrimental to mental health and workplace morale.
- Encourage physical activity and have regular team building events: Exercise is great for overall wellbeing and teamwork improves working relationships and creates a sense of belonging.
How to tackle the causes of mental ill health
- Give employees manageable workloads. Nobody should be expected to do more than they are capable of.
- Managers should be trained to recognise the signs of mental ill health and should learn how to support employees.
- Introduce a mentoring or buddy system so that employees can support each other.
How to support staff when they are mentally unwell
- Communicate openly with them.
- Ask what you can do to help make things more manageable for them at work.
- If a staff member needs to have time off, keep in contact with them to ask how they are, discuss a possible phased return to work, and work with them to make an action plan to help them stay well and plan for what to do if the mental health issue recurs.
How we can help
Traincon Learning offer a range of accredited mental health awareness training courses, and we use our 12 years of experience in the Health and Social Care and Public Sectors to help you identify and meet your training needs.
Whether you’re a global company looking for a programme of staff training, or a local charity looking for a one-off training session, we can work with you to deliver the learning your organisation needs.
We’re professional, we’re friendly, and we are so proud of the work we do. We aim to provide every organisation with a high-quality and truly worthwhile learning experience.
Contact us today to find out what we can do for your organisation.