10 Tips to Support Mental Health at Work
The challenges we’ve all faced during the global pandemic
means there has never been more focus on mental health, and with World Mental
Health Day having taken place over the weekend, we’ve teamed up with USW Therapy
Services to provide tips that will help you to take care of your employees.
The way we work may have changed forever. Many organisations adapted during lockdown to accommodate working from home, and while it feels like we’re heading back to normal life, the office 9-5 may become a thing of the past. For many this is welcome news, saying goodbye to the early morning commute and benefiting from additional flexibility. But for others, the Covid-19 pandemic brought a sense of isolation, and a struggle to strike the balance between home and work life.
According to the Royal Society for Public Health, people who
switched to working from home as a result of Covid-19 had experienced health
and wellbeing impacts, with the most common being feeling less connected to
colleagues (67%), taking less exercise (46%), developing musculoskeletal
problems (39%) and disturbed sleep (37%).
The health and wellbeing of employees should be high on the
agenda for every organisation. Here are our top tips to ensure you are taking
care of your staff.
1. Make a Commitment
Traditionally, mental health has been an unspoken subject, and many have suffered in silence. Over the past decade, and especially during the last 18 months, attitudes towards mental health have shifted, and there is far more access to help. However, many people still feel the stigma that surrounds discussing mental health, and fear discrimination if they are open and honest about their struggles.
Our first tip is to make sure your employees know that the organisation is a safe space for them to speak up. Make a commitment to the health of your staff, and let them know that you are taking action to improve their wellbeing.
2. Structure Each Day
A lot has changed over the last 18 months, our day-to-day lives look completely different to how they used to. While the structure of each day may have changed considerably, make sure you staff fully understand their role, how it has changed and their new daily routine. This routine will help your employees to have a sense of control over their day and improve productivity.
3. Realistic Goal Setting
Feeling like you’re not achieving anything can have a negative impact on mental health. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, but breaking big ambitions down into smaller realistic goals will help your employees to feel more fulfilled in their role. With each step forward, they will get a sense of achievement that will motivate them to do even more.
4. Promoting Self Care
Now that a lot of people don’t travel to a physical workspace, they spend all day within the same building, and often within the same few rooms. Promote the importance of exercise, getting some fresh air and taking a lunch break. This will help to relieve work-related stress and boost the mood of employees.
5. Practice Empathic Listening
Empathic listening is a dynamic and compassionate process that calls for more than taking in someone else’s words. You’re communicating with that person as well. You’re showing that you care about them, their thoughts and feelings, and are willing to take the time to hear them out.
Practicing empathic listening will help to create a safe space for your employees, and build positive working relationships.
6. Provide Social Support
According to Royal Society for Public Health, 67% of people now feel less connected to their colleagues. Many people now only see their colleagues through a screen, and for those who don’t attend regular meetings, this can mean going days with no workplace interaction.
Try to find time to create social meetings, to have a catch up both professionally and personally. This may feel more structured than the previous catch up in the kitchen whilst making a cuppa, but could still go a long way to ensuring your colleagues have social support.
7. Be Flexible
For many people, work is now being juggled with parenting, running errands, socialising and more as our lives have significantly altered over the last 18 months. While we are slowly returning to normality, there’s still a need for organisations to be flexible while we continue to navigate our way out of the pandemic.
8. Address Discrimination
Dealing effectively with discrimination is a twofold process: become knowledgeable with regard to antidiscrimination laws, and pay close attention to what’s happening in your company. You can’t always see it, prove it, or stop it, but if you ignore even the hint of discriminatory behaviour, your company and your employees could suffer in the long run. Low morale, employee conflicts, and even lawsuits are just a few of the serious problems that could arise.
9. Create a Positive Culture
Setting up clear communication processes, celebrating achievements and having fun are all ways in which you can create a positive culture within your organisation. Cultivating a positive atmosphere, where employees feel respected and important, can yield many benefits for the employees themselves and yourself as an employer. Research from Deloitte shows that 94% of executives and 88% of employees think a positive corporate culture is an essential part of a company’s success.
10. Implement Mental Health Training
According to Mind, poor mental health is now the number one reason for staff absence. Implementing mental health training for managers and staff is a cost-effective way to promote mental wellbeing in your organisation. USW Therapy Services can support your business in developing mental wellbeing packages, and also provide a range of counselling and therapy services.
Working with USW Therapies
Our experts within USW Therapies work with organisations to improve and maintain positive staff wellbeing through bespoke programmes & interventions. To discuss how USW Therapies could support your organisation, email [email protected] to get connected to our team.
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