Health and safety executive

In this feature are a deluge of succulent pointers around the subject of Workplace Mental Health Initiatives.

For many of us, work is a major part of our lives. It is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing. Management behaviour is often highlighted as a major factor by those suffering from work-related stress. Employees whose line managers have learnt good people management skills are more likely to develop healthier ways of coping with the competing pressures on their time. The result is higher levels of wellbeing and resilience, which can help to prevent more serious mental health issues. In order to let go of the stigma associated with mental health, although it’s crucial to understand mental ill health, long-term conditions, and how to access quality support, this must be counterbalanced with information on how to nurture, support, and practice mentally healthy habits that enhance your well-being. With a national emphasis on mental health, UK employers have never had a better opportunity to start a conversation with their employees about their wellbeing. And with seven in ten employees having suffered from a condition that’s related to mental health – from stress to suicidal feelings – it has become even more to put employee wellbeing at the top of the corporate to do list. A survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that many people choose not to disclose about their mental health problems for fear of jeopardising their career progression, being victimised as a direct result of a mental health issues and having a lack of clear established protocols and procedures for managers to follow if staff experience mental ill health. A workplace culture where employees feel able to voice ideas and are listened to, both about how they do their job and in broader decision-making about the organisation’s direction of travel, is also a key driver of employee engagement. Employees feel more committed to the organisation’s goals when they feel that their work is meaningful and valued.

Workplace Mental Health Initiatives

If you look after your employees’ mental wellbeing, then levels of engagement will rise and so will staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits. Ignoring the mental health of your staff comes at a high price. And will only make problems worse. External triggers may have an effect on an employee’s mental health and well-being, such as bereavement andsevere or long-term stress. A common assumption is that mental health problems are just caused by issues at home, so some employers feel it is not appropriate – or indeed their responsibility – to intervene and support staff. In fact, in most cases people’s mental health issues are a combination of problems they face at work and outside work. Including mental health training in your company’s management training program provides your leadership team with the tools, resources, knowledge and skills they need to successfully promote a mentally healthy workforce. Mental health training for management can cover topics such as recognizing and responding to warning signs and creating a work environment that encourages open and honest communication. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as workplace wellbeing support should be welcomed in the working environment.

Overall Mental Health

There are many effective actions that organizations can take to promote mental health in the workplace; such actions may also benefit productivity. Employers have a legal duty to protect staff from any form of discrimination related to protected characteristics. This includes a mental health problem if it’s recognised as a disability. Most people who experience an episode of distress or mental ill health recover completely and can resume work successfully. Effective planning by the individual and the line manager will increase the likelihood of this happening, as will supporting and monitoring the individual during the early stages of their return. All organisations, whatever their size, should be equipped with the awareness and tools to not only address but prevent mental ill-health caused or worsened by work and equipped to support individuals with a mental health condition to thrive from recruitment, and throughout the organisation. Employees should also be aware of how to get access to timely help to reduce sickness absence caused by mental ill health. The World Health Organisation defines mental health as: “A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Discussing ideas such as workplace wellbeing ideas is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

Recently though, evidence suggests that mental health organisations are putting in concerted efforts to change this opinion. ACAS is a valuable HR source and the organisation teamed up with the NHS Mindful Employer Initiative to develop a training package and advisory booklet that promotes positive mental health at work. Employees should have certain amount of autonomy in organising their own work. Professionals have agreed on this for quite some time. Freedom to organise their own working day and to carry out tasks under their own initiative, is an important health resource to the employees. Ensure your team feel like they can count on management and the company to be fair and even-handed. When employees trust their managers, they’re much more likely to ask for help when they need it. Mental health is a very personal issue, so as an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure employees know from the outset that anything they come forward with is completely confidential. It may even be beneficial to invest in reporting software that offers anonymity. A person’s mental health will change as s circumstances change and as a person moves through different stages of their life. Subjects such as Wellbeing for HR can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Everyone’s Experience Of Poor Mental Health Is Different

When we consider words that are often associated with mental health, while we’ve come a long way in raising awareness in recent years, there remain outdated perceptions of primarily viewing mental health from an illness perspective. Organizations have a responsibility to support individuals with mental disorders in either continuing or returning to work. Research shows that unemployment, particularly long term unemployment, can have a detrimental impact on mental health. The majority of people want to discuss mental health at work. Stress is an adverse reaction to excessive pressures or demands in your work life, home life or both. Prolonged periods of stress can adversely affect the way you feel, your behaviour and your health. At work, it is vital that your employer addresses stress by tackling the root causes of any stress that your work is causing or exacerbating. To achieve excellence in mental health, it may take time, but investing time in ongoing development of your approach will produce a number of rewards. Excellence means happier, healthier staff with greater productivity, morale and staff retention, and reduced absence. It means mental health and physical health being managed effectively and positively, as equals. Don’t forget to send out proper internal communications around managing employees with mental health issues in your organisation.

A staff session on mental health and wellbeing is a good way to get colleagues together, share information and explore relevant issues. Increasing awareness can help to normalise the conversation about mental health at work. In order to support your employees’ mental health, digging further into the work-related causes is a great place to start. Take a look at the processes within your business. Is there anything that stands out that could cause unnecessary stress? Is it a high-pressured environment? Do many employees work alone? Could you make the hours more flexible? Are your employees’ workloads manageable? Remember that just because your work basket is piled with umpteen things to do, it doesn’t mean it’s realistic for you – or your boss – to expect you to be able to do them all. Organisations with strong organisational health (i.e., investment in quality people management) typically exhibit better service delivery performance. Organisational health is associated with stronger financial performance, typically 2.2 times above average. If you realize that the mental help you’re providing to a colleague isn’t enough, encourage them to seek professional help. Allow them to take time off if that’s what’s necessary. Because an employee dealing with such challenges will not be able to perform his best. His inability to perform will help neither him nor the company. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing employers duty of care mental health it is of utmost importance in this day and age.

Prioritize Emotional Wellness

Risks to mental health can arise out of the nature of work. This includes customer related stress, remote work, shift work and exposure to traumatic events. Risks can also arise out of the context of work including poor team climate and poor quality people management practices such as lack of role clarity, poorly managed change, a breakdown in relationships and high work pressure and demands. A mentally healthy workplace will increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and save you money. Every organization will have different needs around mental health and as long as employers and employees work together, they can come up with a unique solution that works for them. You can get further details on the topic of Workplace Mental Health Initiatives in this Health and Safety Executive link.

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Health and safety executiveultima modifica: 2022-05-23T17:27:15+02:00da sansara7