How Do We Understand More About Employee Mental Health Initiatives?


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If you look after your employees’ mental wellbeing, then levels of engagement will rise and so will staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits. Ignoring the mental health of your staff comes at a high price. And will only make problems worse. Workplace wellbeing programs are integral for an organisation's staff, encouraging and promoting health and wellbeing. Colleagues who are struggling with their mental health may become more irritable or conversely complacent, and make reference to increased alcohol consumption. For employers striving for team or departmental peak performance, the lines blur when judging if an employee is genuinely suffering from depression or simply ill-suited to the job they are paid to do. And because it’s an imbalance of chemicals and therefore hidden, many miss the signs and forget to walk a mile, or even a metre in their colleagues' shoes . Mental health is a growing issue in our workplaces with more and more people struggling with their mental wellbeing. As an employer, you have the moral obligation to look after the mental wellbeing of your employees. When things go wrong, our first reflect is to investigate our errors. That's the bit that's under our control. We never stop to consider the circumstances that lead to our choices. We call this self-centred retrospective 'taking responsibility'.

Employee Mental Health Initiatives

Mental wellbeing is a dynamic state in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others and contribute to their community. It is enhanced when an individual is able to fulfil their personal and social goals and achieve a sense of purpose in society. What are your thoughts on your job? You are not bound to suffering if you are worried and dissatisfied but feel trapped with no choices. Whether your job is moderately stressful or plagued with friction and challenges, there are techniques to boost your psychological well-being at work. People in lower paid jobs are more likely to experience poor working conditions, such as a lack of control of their workload, lack of job security, limited support and exposure to physical hazards. Consequently, improvements in the quality of work and working conditions may help to reduce health inequalities. The aim of Mental Health First Aid is to enhance understanding of mental health problems and how it can impact on individuals and society; to develop skills, motivation, knowledge and confidence in offering help to those with symptoms of mental illness; to guide you towards appropriate professional help Subjects such as managing employees with mental health issues can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace

It goes without saying that a happy, healthy workforce is the key to a successful and high performing business. When staff are distracted with stresses or concerns in their life, they are less productive, motivated and creative in their work life. Absenteeism may also increase. When companies give employees resources to help tackle these issues, the effects on the employee and their work are reduced. While the workplace has the responsibility of duty of care to its employees and to create a workplace culture that helps people to feel respected and safe, each individual also has a responsibility to self-advocate for their needs, share when something is up, and ask for help when needed. You are an independent being who makes your own choices. Speaking up, and how you speak up, is your choice. Think about the resilience, tenacity and mental toughness required to manage ongoing mental health issues, manage your finances, relationships, succeed at work, and to deal with the challenges we face every day. Living with a mental illness takes serious self-awareness, courage, and insight, not to mention the vulnerability and openness required to address and work through issues that arise from it. Many business leaders assume an employee's mental health is none of their business. But the way employees think, feel, and behave impacts everything from productivity and communication to their ability to maintain safety in the workplace. External triggers may have an effect on an employee’s mental health and well-being, such as childhood abuse, trauma or neglect, social isolation or loneliness. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for workplace wellbeing ideas today.

Managers can and should make an effort to ask employees how they’re really feeling, about work or otherwise. Ultimately, this can give them a better understanding of what challenges they’re bringing into the workplace that could impact performance, and how workflow changes or company policies can ease the stress. All employers can and should promote effective people management to ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and well-being with their line manager, supervisor or organisational leader and train and support line managers and supervisors in effective management practices. Mental health becomes even more important in an era of constant change. As businesses undertake broader transformation initiatives, an employee’s wellbeing, including how valued they feel, is critical in helping achieve an organization’s broader change objectives. Taking care of staff mental health issues and supporting them through any difficulties isn’t just a sign you’re a good employer - it can actually be good for your business too. Work-related stress is defined by the Health and Safety Executive as the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them at work. Stress, including work-related stress, can be a significant cause of illness. It is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as increased capacity for error. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as employers duty of care mental health should be welcomed in the working environment.

Worker Well-being

Despite the fact that some companies still clearly foster environments where employees are afraid to ask for what they need, others have shifted to offering support for employees’ mental health and general well-being in recent years. Something that can lead to work-related mental health problems is when employees don't receive enough information and support. There’s a huge stigma around talking about mental health in many UK workplaces. Employees remain too reluctant to talk to their managers about any mental health issues they may be having. Break this stigma by promoting discussion about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. It can be tempting to invest everything in building self-esteem around work success. That often means that people with mental health problems give everything at work and are high achievers. It also creates a risk that when things go wrong, when mistakes are made, or when change is necessary, people may take it personally. Be honest with yourself about if you’re ready to talk about mental health at work. You can choose when you’re ready to share – how, with who, and why. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing workplace wellbeing support it is of utmost importance in this day and age.

People do not have to be 100% well to be at work. However, in some circumstances you may notice that an employee is not well enough to be at work and that they require professional help. Talking about sensitive issues takes a lot of courage. If your employee is confiding in you, it means they trust you. This is also information that they probably don’t want the entire office to know about. To ensure confidentiality, you can create strict laws about sharing information. You can also discuss with them how much they would like to be shared with their peers. People not being supported with their mental health by their employers can have a knock on effect on other members of teams/organisations if problems are left un-managed e.g. if someone isn’t supported with the right adjustments to stay in work, they may need to take time off, meaning other team members have increased workload. There are also turnover costs from the recruitment and training new employees when someone is off sick from work or leaves the organisation The reduction of health risks for physical conditions needs to be complemented with action to prevent and address mental ill health, an often-ignored reality in the workplace. Mental ill health is a condition of the brain that should not be treated differently than other chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. It’s important to note that someone experiences a mental illness, not that they’re suffering from a mental illness. You, hopefully, wouldn’t say that someone is suffering from diabetes, but rather, that they have diabetes. To say that someone is suffering from mental illness stigmatizes it further and makes it seem as though it’s the entirety of who they are, which is not the case. Discussing ideas such as how to manage an employee with anxiety is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

Prioritising Employee Engagement

It is difficult for most people to achieve the six hours of social time they need if they don’t get some of it at work. The difference in total social time between an engaged and a not-engaged worker is less than one hour. While identifying work-related risks and taking preventative measures should help minimise stress for most staff, it may still affect some team members due to issues inside or outside of the workplace. Managers should be prepared to help and support a team member experiencing stress. Most people spend one-third or more of their waking time working. Gallup’s analytics and academic research show that there is a reciprocal relationship between work and life overall — that is, people take their work experience home and their home experience to work. Organizations demand a person’s full energy at work. It is in both the individual’s and the organization’s best interest for people to thrive in all aspects of their life. You can get supplementary information about Employee Mental Health Initiatives on this World Health Organisation link.

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