Today’s society has seen a big push to break the stigma surrounding mental health, and one of the big questions is are employers doing enough to support their employees? In this article Max Mackin, CEO of BlackFox Solutions and Reactive Recruitment highlights the importance of supporting your employees and offers some tips on how to do this.
No matter what industry, what role or what level on the hierarchy an employee is on, they may be silently suffering from mental health problems. While many focus on the importance of maintaining physical health, mental health is just as vital to be aware of.
After all, as mind.org revealed it does affects one in six of us in the workplace, so the question you must ask yourself is, are you doing enough to support your employee’s mental health?
2019 has seen a rise in people speaking out about their struggles with mental health with influencers, celebrities and charities such as makeitok.org backing the ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ campaign and stating that it’s time to take about mental health more frequently, which covers many issues including stress, depression and anxiety.
It has been highlighted that these are the most common problems for workers in a workplace, with a survey from mind.org revealing that 21% agreed they had called sick into work due to stress and the option of resigning crossed the mind of 42% of workers when stress got too much.
Josh Krichefski, from Campaign often highlights the importance of breaking the stigma of mental health, especially at work. He says that “most workers present an image of themselves in the workplace” and that the extrovert ones are assumed to be able to brush stress off easily, but this isn’t always the case. There needs to be more office support, with Josh revealing only 36% of UK businesses currently doing so.
However, there are measures you can take to prevent these issues from becoming prevalent in your company and keep your team fighting fit.
Recent developments from The Economics Foundation has shown that simple steps such as talking to someone instead of emailing, asking them how they are and properly listening and speaking to someone new can really help improve wellbeing in the workplace.
Having an open-door policy in your workplace will help employee’s feel more comfortable to speak about issues they may be having. However, you can’t expect openness if you don’t emphasise the importance of it. Mention occasionally during meetings that if anyone is feeling over-stressed or anxious, that you would rather they come to you instead of keeping it in. Staff who feel supported are less likely to take time off, resulting in a more productive workforce.
Ensure your company culture is positive, as fostering this environment will help more staff with work. A happy workforce equals a motivated workforce.
Incorporate a mental health section into your company policy, you should also offer your team counselling and training sessions focused on awareness of mental health. Encourage staff to be productive during the day, make sure their workloads are realistic and keep check over those who seem to be acting differently.