When you ponder Employee Mental Health Programs Schemes, who were the people that started it? Will they ever be emulated?
Well-supported employees work harder, work smarter, and repay that support in loyalty and reputation. Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace include involving employees in decision-making, conveying a feeling of control and participation. Some proactive steps employers can take to understand and assess their employees’ mental health include making mental health training mandatory for the company’s leaders to help them be more aware of and invested in this aspect of their employees’ well-being. The importance of mental health is appreciated more than ever today, with studies showing that wellbeing interventions can boost productivity, improve workplace culture and even positively impact physical health. But this does not need to be a daunting task, as not all initiatives need to be time- and resource-costly. Across offices, wellbeing has become a more openly used word. Organisation should think about the structures and workplace functions as well when devising a mental health poilcy. For example, field workers and physical labourers can be hard to reach with typical wellness supports. This is in part because of their scattered and often remote locations.
External triggers may have an effect on an employee’s mental health and well-being, such as bereavement andsevere or long-term stress. Organisations should ensure that discrimination on grounds of mental health status is seen to be as unacceptable as discrimination in relating to other protected characteristics such as race, gender or sexual orientation. The work environment is known to have a significant impact on employee mental wellness, productivity, job turnover and overall profits. Leaders can influence a healthy workplace environment by having an open-door policy, keeping employees informed of developments, departmental changes, business goals, and policies. These provide direction, build trust, and reduce employee stress. It is important to understand your employees and how they can benefit from a better approach to mental health, along with the pressure points you and your employees currently face. It is also worth seeing how much benefit your business could receive from investing in mental health, to help assess the scale of the programme you want to create and help you to prioritise your options. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around workplace wellbeing support in your organisation.
Build A Culture Of Connection Through Check-ins
Good mental health is vital to business performance, because when staff feel happy and well cared for, they are more engaged, more motivated and more loyal. As many as a third of employees would consider leaving their job if they didn’t feel looked after by their employer and a further 21% would be less motivated and productive. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 20% of adults in the US live with mental health issues — and I count myself among them. In Lattice’s State of People Strategy Report, respondents also ranked “emotional exhaustion” as one of their top three challenges. Workplaces that support flexible working, carers’ leave, childcare voucher schemes and other initiatives to support caring roles can have a big impact on staff mental health and productivity. It might not be feasible for your company to hire a full-time clinical psychologist. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help. Managers themselves can do a lot to help employees facing challenges and normalise talking about mental health in the workplace. Employers have a key role to play in supporting employees' mental health and wellbeing. The government has given increasing recognition to the importance of workplace mental health as have forward-looking employers who are creating strategies around workplace mental wellbeing. This change in emphasis has been supported by a number of trends, namely greater public awareness of mental health, increasing political interest in mental health and greater transparency around corporate responsibility. Subjects such as employers duty of care mental health can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.
With 14.3 million working days lost per year in the UK due to stress, depression and anxiety the cost to employers is around £45 billion each year which is a rise of 16% since 2016, to the cost of an extra £6 billion a year. It has been found that every pound spent by employers on mental health interventions leads to a return of £5 in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover. Some questions that employers can ask about their mental health approach include: How does your organisation manage change and redundancy processes? How well do you involve staff in making decisions about internal changes? How do you look after your own mental wellbeing at work? A focus on mental health is an ongoing effort, not a one-time occurrence. The work doesn’t stop on the day you launch your mental health strategy. There needs to be a continual review process. This is because your organization’s needs – and effective strategies – may change over time. A range of public services are provided for people with mental health problems that could potentially support participation in employment but there are significant challenges with provision for this purpose. Poor mental health can lead to a lack of impulse control, unhealthy thoughts, and poor decision-making. Poor decision-making may lead to missed meetings, showing up late, dropping commitments, or not adhering to company policies. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around managing employees with mental health issues need planning and implementing properly.
Significant strides have been made through the masses of information available to HR that is provided by the Advisory, Council and Arbitration Service, (ACAS). Organisations like Mind and Time to Change are constantly battling to keep awareness of mental health issues at the forefront of the minds of not just employers, but people throughout the UK. We will all be touched by mental ill health at some stage in our lives and some of us live with a mental health condition. Leaders and managers must build their levels of confidence around mental health issues to better include people with mental ill health in our teams, and to enable appropriate support of employees during illness and recovery. With 1 in 6 employees currently experiencing mental health problems, mental health is an essential business concern. There is a strong relationship between levels of staff wellbeing and motivation and performance. Taking a positive, proactive approach to mental health at work can help you grow your staff and your organisation. Individuals who struggle with poor mental health may suffer from distressing symptoms that can impair their ability to participate in everyday activities. For example, major depressive disorder (MDD), can include symptoms of feeling worthless, suicidal ideation, loss of interest in activities, changes in sleep or appetite or difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can negatively affect functionality at work and strain personal and work relationships. Everyone has been stressed by work or life at some point. Even if you as an employer have not struggled with mental illness, or you’re not yet ready to share with coworkers, find someone in leadership who would be willing to open the dialogue. Employees will follow the lead, but someone needs to take the first step. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as Wellbeing for HR should be welcomed in the working environment.
It’s important for team members to feel empowered to instigate ideas and suggest mental health initiatives in their workplace — either way, one voice can make a difference. So, whatever your role or level of seniority, remember that each person in a company makes a difference and that you can be that voice to create a meaningful change in your company’s culture. There is a common belief that if team members are at work, then they must be coping. A similar belief goes that if you are ill, you cannot be at work. As you may know this is not necessarily the case. When employees are struggling with stress, or any other mental health issue, they will usually come to work – at least to start with. It’s not always easy to discuss mental health and wellness — especially in a work setting. But sometimes, talking with your co-workers can really help them (and you) feel a little less overwhelmed, a little less stressed, and a lot more supported. Management actions can help to create workplaces that are good for mental health and wellbeing and prevent harm to mental health caused by job-related stress, poor work design and management practices. Workplace conditions, which include good quality jobs, are strongly related to engagement and emotional health and wellbeing, and reduce the negative consequences of disengagement, ill health and sickness absence. Aim to prevent periods of unnecessary stress by providing support before an issue arises. Create a mental health toolkit with accompanying literature and call a meeting to help your employees know the techniques, tools and coping mechanisms. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing workplace wellbeing ideas it is of utmost importance in this day and age.
Use Communication To Reduce Stigma
Organisations now need to be on the front-foot of employee wellbeing, ensuring that environments, processes and strategies bring out the best in people. Leaving it to chance is no longer an option. Your work culture, intentionally or not, determines the unsaid rules that we need to play by around the disclosures of mental health or mental illness at work. An important time in managing and supporting someone with a mental health problem is when they are off sick for periods of two weeks or longer. During this time it is important that the line manager agrees with the employee how often and how they communicate, for example by telephone, email or home visit. It is useful to set out the importance of this contact in the absence management policy so managers and employees are clear about the need to maintain contact. One can unearth further particulars regarding Employee Mental Health Programs Schemes on this Health and Safety Executive entry.