Now that you know about the basics of mental health and different ways you can help improve your own, you may feel comfortable sharing your knowledge and helping others within the workplace.
Stress is something all of us are likely to face in our life. Sometimes stress can be a good thing as it can help to motivate us and complete our tasks for the day. However, when stress crosses a threshold, it can impact on how we are able to function in life.
According to Mind, UK mental health charity:
More than one in five employees have called in sick to avoid work when stressed at work
14% had resigned and 42% had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
30% of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed‘.
From the above statistics, it’s clear that a change is necessary, when looking at the list from the previous blog, here are some ideas to implement within the workplace environment:
Let you employees know of times when you are freely able to talk either by sending out an email or addressing the entire office at once.
Some people, regardless of how long they’ve been at the job, may feel uncomfortable talking to you if you’ve never told them that you are there for them should need they someone to confide in.
Unless you work in a gym it’s unlikely that you will have the facilities for your staff to go for a workout.
However, during the pandemic, many people turned to walks to help their mental health. So, with this in mind you should make it clear to your staff that if they wish to go for a walk during their working hours then they are more than welcome to.
You may find that productivity levels rise because staring at a screen or doing the same job for long hours can lead to feeling tired and unmotivated so allowing for this break will mean your employees return feeling recharged and motivated to work.
Food and Drink
Ever heard of a fuddle? It’s where attendees bring food or drink and then socialise for a delegated part of the day.
Of course it’s up to you when and how frequently you wish to do this but you may find having this halfway through the week can boost the mood of colleagues.
It’s also a chance for everyone to talk and get to know each other. Why not give it a go?
Equally, just keep in mind that some people find eating in front of others stressful and embarrassing so if someone chooses not to participate then don’t comment on this—just leave it as an open invitation where they can choose to come along or not.
Mental Health Days
Some employers have begun to implement ‘mental health days’ whereby staff are allowed to take a day or two off if they feel they need to focus on their mental health wellbeing.
This also helps reduce presenteeism, which is the act of showing up for work without being productive due to an illness.
According to a report from Deloitte:
Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year.
On average, for every £1 spent on supporting their people’s mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment in reduced presenteeism, absenteeism and staff turnover.
So this might be something to consider implementing in your business in the future.
Supporting someone if they are off work
Following on from Mental Health Days, whether you are an employer or employee, keeping in touch with someone whilst they are off work is incredibly important for different reasons.
Firstly, if you are the manager (or similar role) then you should establish with the colleague who is off what they would like their fellow employees to be told if someone asks for them.
As mentioned previously with the fuddle, always invite them out to staff events because even if they decline, they’ll likely appreciate the thought.
Before they return to work, you may want to give them a call just to check if there’s anything you can do for them (e.g.,have a meeting on the first day back to catch up).
Remember, there is no “right way” for someone to behave when they are struggling with their mental health. We all have preconceptions about this, try not to let this cloud your approach when supporting a colleague.