Mental Health of employees in the workplace

Whether you manage a team of casual workers, part-time staff, or salaried employees, you need to make your team’s mental health a priority.
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mental health and wellbeing
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It is Mental Health Awareness week 2021: 10 – 16th May. We have put together 10 tips tips on how to support your employees mental health and wellbeing.

  1. The Law

Employers have a ‘duty of care’. This means they must do all they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing. This includes:

  • making sure the working environment is safe
  • protecting staff from discrimination 
  • carrying out regular risk assessments
  1. Create a positive and supporting environment

There is nothing to be ashamed about if you struggle with your mental health. Ensure your employees feel they work in an environment where they can share and be open about their feelings. Treat mental health as equally important as their physical health, have regular open discussions surrounding the topic, and hold regular one-to-ones with each employee so they feel comfortable with you as a manager and know you can be trusted with such sensitive information. 

  1. Create conversation

Get involved with your staff and have full scale conversations with them, ask them how they are doing, are they getting on with the rest of the team or even ask about their lifestyle and personal lives (without probing too much of course). 

Having this transparency and communication are essential in helping your employees be open about the mental health issues they may face. If you are unfamiliar with this type of conversation and want to know the right way to have a discussion about it; do your research, use resources or the HR team to guide you on the right path.

  1. Listen and take action

It is extremely important to listen to your employee and what they have to say – the fact they have spoken to you personally about their mental health issues highlights that they trust you, so respect their situation. Taking action does not always have to be immediately, especially if you are unsure of what to do. Reinforce to the employee that they are a priority and you want to deal with this in a professional manner and that you’ll get back to them with an outlined plan and the next steps moving forward.

  1. Training

Do online training. Taking up that extra learning will provide you with more background and the ability to support your employees. There are ‘Wellness Action Plans’  available which you can use to put steps in place to support your mental health. If you’re a manager you can use them with your team members. Find out more about Wellness Action Plans from Mind.

  1. Assess your current policies

Do you have up to date policies in place and are they working? Take the time to review your employees’ engagement, happiness, and wellbeing. With Bizimply, we have created an employee engagement survey within our product so you can get a sense of how your employees are feeling across your business. Ask staff if they feel equipped with the right tools and resources needed to do their job and if they feel their mental health is fully supported by the managers and the company overall. It is important here to ask open-ended questions so you get the feedback you need to improve the situation if required. 

  1. Keep employees informed

You may manage multiple teams across multiple locations. The main factor is you want to keep them all informed of resources in relation to mental health. Use the in-app features in your Bizimply account to communicate with all your employees at once. You’d be surprised who appreciates being sent that information surrounding mental health and how it can help – or they can use it to help others. Also use this feature to update your employees with new policies, health and safety guidelines and levels of management; in particular who to approach when they are facing a problem. 

  1. Communicate a zero-tolerance policy

This follows on from the previous point but the importance of communicating a zero-tolerance is also critical. You want to work in a happy and safe environment and so do your employees. No bullying of any type should be tolerated and any behaviour should be dealt with immediately. Make this clear to all employees and implement a policy to reinforce the level of importance within the workplace.

  1. Work-life balance

Health and Wellbeing Suvery 2021 reports 77% of respondents believe their organisation actively promotes good mental wellbeing (last year was 58% ), although just half believe it is effective in tackling workplace stress or in identifying and managing the mental health risks arising from COVID-19.

  1. Support a mental health day

There have been huge reports over the past year of employees suffering from burnout. Why not offer them a mental health wellbeing day? If you feel you can afford to allocate 1 day a year to each of your employees then it will highlight to your employees your loyalty to their mental wellbeing. It will also be a benefit to highlight when putting out job advertisements. Encourage your employees to spend time doing their favourite hobbies, doing some retail therapy, spend time with family, go for a nice walk or hike, or even just rest. Employees don’t need to provide you with a reason as to why they’re taking this paid day off. It’s just a way for them to feel rested and recharge for when they get back to business and it stresses how the business is fully supportive of their employees mental health and wellbeing. 

Outside of work, you don’t know what is going on in your employees lives. Following these 10 tips could help to make their personal lives that bit easier by making them aware that the time they spend in work can be as stress free as possible.

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