Your team are your most valuable resource and when they are mentally healthy are more likely to enjoy their work and fulfil their potential. By creating the right working environment, you as an employer can make a positive contribution to the mental wellbeing of your staff. Supporting staff via good practice and management structures as well as positively employing people who have experienced mental health problems will make a huge difference.
If employers can make a difference to the wellbeing of their workforce, they are also likely to see improvements in workplace performance!
Awareness of mental wellbeing is key. Why not ask a mental health professional to give a presentation on mental wellbeing at work and if you have them, make staff aware of your organisation’s personal support services.
Mental health awareness training can help employees to be more aware of their own mental wellbeing, and how to protect it. It can also help staff to spot the early signs of mental health problems.
Managers and supervisors need to have the skills to be able to promote the mental wellbeing of their employees and manage mental health and stress problems effectively. More generally, competent managers have a positive impact on stress and mental wellbeing.
Beat Stress With Activities
You can also enhance good practice through activities for your team. Stress-busting sessions can involve stretching, relaxation or perhaps massage. We asked a local reflexologist to spend an afternoon in our office for example. Organised classes might be worth considering so that specialist practitioners can teach relaxation techniques that your team can not only use at work but also use outside of the workplace at home.
These sorts of activities can be especially important at times where there’s potential for high stress or when major changes are happening within an organisation.
Having a Break
It’s important that your staff can get away from their desks for lunch or when they need to clear their minds and re focus. It’s a great idea to create a ‘chill-out’ area where staff can take a proper lunch break or have a few minutes away from their desks during the day.
Engage With Your People
Good communication channels and enabling your employees to have a 'voice' at work will help to make them feel trusted and valued. Be clear about what is expected of them and give them the support, tools and training they need. Regular reviews are also essential but make these more of a coaching and shared goal setting session rather than using a performance appraisal style approach.
Ensure your line managers and supervisors have the right training to enable them to support and develop their team and create an environment where co-worker support is encouraged.
Create opportunities for employees to use and develop their skills. This could be by asking them to work on special projects or secondments as well as providing training and coaching.
Are You Paying Them Enough?
Of course, everyone wants, and deserves to be paid correctly for the job they are doing and rewarded for the value they add to your business. Salary is a motivator but also think about other benefits such as flexible working, opportunities to take additional holidays, “dress down” Fridays. In a recent survey, free tea and coffee came out as one of the most favoured benefits offered in the workplace! Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.
Treat Them Well.
Richard Branson said “Train your people well enough that they can leave but treat them well enough that they don’t want to”
Your employees are the key to your success and by communicating and talking about wellbeing and mental health with them you can only be adding to that success.