5 tips to improve mental health in the workplace

Graphic of people working on computers

The pandemic highlighted causes of mental health problems as well as exacerbated them, bringing the conversation around mental health to the fore. With adjacent radical changes in working culture, now is the perfect time for organizations to implement change and integrate mental health support into everyday working practice. Not only will this positively impact on employee experience and working culture but, as mental health is the leading cause of staff absence in the UK and costs approximately £2.4 billion per year, these changes can make real difference to an organisations overall performance.

Here are our 5 tips for managing mental health at work:

1. Introduce Wellbeing Activities

Whether your staff work from home, out and about, or in the office, there are a whole range of wellbeing activities that can be introduced across the workplace. From arranging time for a no-work catch-up with a colleague to turning the conference room into a yoga studio, integrating wellbeing activities into the work day can actually increase productivity and quality of work.

2. Introduce Meaningful Supervision Sessions

There is still a stigma around mental health, especially in the workplace. Shockingly, 67% of employees fear potential discrimination or embarrassment from their employers and feel unable to open up to them about their mental health.

Meaningful supervisions are protected time for employers and employees to discuss any factors which are affecting them either at work or outside of it. These sessions create an opportunity for employers to directly address mental health and introduces a safe space where employees can feel open to talking through any positive or negative emotions.

Implementing regular meaningful supervision sessions means that conversations around mental health are not just happening when there is absence or incident, employers are creating a regular, open space for employees to talk through anything that is affecting them thus paving the way for a more open working culture.

3. Know Your Staff

Recognising that your staff are more than just your employees, and will often have varied lives outside of the workplace, can help them to feel seen and valued as well as help you to know how to help them work to the best of their ability.

Understanding how to cheer someone up when they’re having a bad day, or how to calm someone down after a crisis, shows that you care and also improves an employee’s job satisfaction as well as increases focus and productivity.

And why wouldn’t you want to know that your newest employee is exceptional at making dog costumes out of coconuts?!

4. Recognition And Reward

The value of recognising and rewarding staff achievement is huge and it really is worth the effort; up to one third of employees would consider leaving their job if they didn’t feel valued by their employer which could lead to resounding impacts on recruitment, reputation, and business resilience. By sending something as simple as an email to say thank you for a task well done you can boost an employee’s sense of recognition and validation, ultimately helping them to invest more in the work they do.

5. Access BeWell@StepOne Courses

Here at Step One, we offer a free and accessible way to support individuals who are experiencing mental health problems or who even just want to find out more about supporting someone in distress. BeWell@StepOne offers interactive courses which can help both employers and employees to understand the problems people can face with their mental health and help them to respond to difficulties with confidence.

Topics include Wellbeing and Resilience, Understanding Depression, Changing Negative Self-Talk, and Food and Mood. The courses and workshops focus on self-management and independence, enabling those who worry about their mental health to take back control. Offering an employee the time to learn about their own wellbeing can make a real difference to how they see you, your organisation, and themselves.

If you are interested in Mental Health First Aid Training for your organisation, or would like to find out more about BeWell@StepOne courses, please visit www.steponecharity.co.uk/bewell@stepone-online-courses.

And finally, with 1 in 5 people in the UK now experiencing a mental health problem, our work is more important than ever. So if you’re able to make a donation, raise money, or simply attend one of our fun events and help raise awareness of what we do, please click here to learn how to support us.

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