Currently, 14.7% of employees within the UK are experiencing mental health issues that grow from or can lead to anxiety and depression. Alongside the principled and legal obligations of business good management, an employer has to ensure their workers’ mental health, its maintenance supports productivity and financial growth too.
Employees who are content within the workplace are set to be more productive and take fewer sick days overall. It is estimated that around 12% of all sick days are a result of poor mental health and that improving mental wellbeing within the British workplace could save the industry £8 billion a year. So, it is also in the interest of your operation to ensure that employees are both happy and worry-free.
While it is not always possible to entirely eliminate stress from the workplace, taking care of your staff’s wellbeing will also help them to feel valued. Developing employer-employee trust and respect also promotes the growth of loyalty, leading to greater commitment to your business.
Creating a Positive Environment
A fundamental quality of the workplace should be that your employees know that you care about their mental health. Due to the nature of an employee’s position, many are unlikely to feel comfortable speaking about their mental health to an employer for fear that it may compromise their job or give a negative impression of their capability. To counteract this and prevent your staff from suffering in silence, you should ensure that each employee has the means and the channels by which to approach you about any potential issues.
Once the workplace environment has cultivated an open channel of communication, it is then important to manage how you communicate with staff who utilise it. As with all stress and mental health issues, it is essential to be spoken about in a non-judgemental environment, one where each member of staff are allowed and encouraged to talk.
When responding to conversations, be honest. Aside from being the basis of trust, employees must also be fully aware of their entitlement and their obligations, such as sick days. Any confusion about such issues could create further stress of complications.
Use your judgement to see what changes can be made and how the workplace could potentially be flexible to certain issues. Working hours and responsibilities, even relatively minor, should be reviewed, and they are a low-cost, rudimentary method of improving an employee’s mental health.
Changes can be made within a working space. Reducing noise and providing softer lighting has been shown to improve mood. While this is not always feasible, the ability to offer a quiet room or break option to allow employees downtime can help greatly with any potential build-up of stress.
To support an employee’s wellbeing, a small change might be all that is needed, which could then result in a much healthier work environment. However, in addition, you should be ready and able to direct employees to professional help too.
Directing to Professional Support
If you recognise an employee is struggling with mental health and would like to discuss options, or you, as an employer, would like to seek counselling in Bristol, I am available for short- and long-term counselling.
For information on my experience, qualifications, and services, please visit the Work With Me page. Alternatively, to contact me directly, please call 07751271709 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.