Having a stressful job seems like the norm these days. Often, when we’re asked how we are, our first thoughts are “stressed” and usually, a large part of that stress can be from work.
But what impact is this having on our mental health? And what impact is it having on our engagement and productivity when we’re at work?
Studies suggest that around a third of the UK workforce experience stress at work, and if this is left unchecked, then the consequences to businesses could be significant.
Therefore, looking after your employee’s mental health is an important part of your overall staff wellbeing policy. Perhaps in today’s climate too, it’s now more important than ever to consider the mental health and wellbeing of employees, including tackling the root cause of stress at work.
With a culture of competitiveness, expectations of long working hours and unrealistic workloads can all contribute to stress and poor mental health.
It’s vital to encourage an open door policy to employees who wish to raise problems and issues
This will help all employees feel happier and appreciative of having their opinion and voice valued. In turn, this can lead to better productivity and staff happiness scores.
In today’s world, where employees are seeking out the best employers as well as the other way around, having a reputation for a happy, valued and satisfied workforce could also help you attract the best candidates.
Here’s our tips on fostering the right environment to support employee mental wellbeing…
- Let staff know that taking time off for mental ill health is just as acceptable as taking time off for physical ill health. Short term stress, anxiety and depression can be helped enormously with time off to decompress, and a day off sick here and there is more financially viable than long term sick leave or employees being physically but not emotionally present.
- Use supportive language if someone is requesting mental ill health leave, and have policies in place that enforce this. Hold discreet meetings on someone’s return, and check in to see if their workload is working for them, rather than removing too many responsibilities.
- Learn from employees’ feedback and use this to create policies and put support systems in place that support all staff, if and when they need them. Group emails, staff notice boards and chill out areas can all be used to post details on the mental health support available.
- If away-days and parties have a distinct theme of alcohol based “fun” running through them, try to balance things out by introducing retreats and mindfulness practice too.
- Fitness in general is a good thing, so promoting ride to work schemes, running clubs and having showers and places to hang damp towels and clothes if possible is helpful.
- Flexible working hours, work from home days and the easy ability to work from home should all be encouraged.
- Regular appraisals should be used to flag up any members of staff who are struggling with their responsibilities. In addition, regular face to face meetings between management and employees of all levels, both on a formal and an informal basis should be encouraged. Using email as your main contact could mean that messages and updates are incorrectly interpreted that can lead to stress and anxiety among staff.
For more on this and how Babble Health can help your organisation, get in touch here to set up a call