Health and safety
The vast amount of visitors on social platforms, particularly Twitter and Mocospace, chattering about Mental Health At Work Programs Approaches continues to grow from day to day. What are your thoughts on Mental Health At Work Programs Approaches?
Support for everyone in the workplace is a matter of encouraging and nurturing communication and discussion. A modern approach to employee mental health requires leaders to be able to identify warning signs — and to know how to address them before they escalate. Metrics such as sleep deprivation and increased use of alcohol or other substances have triggered “silent disengagement,” which leads to burnout and declining mental health. Often employees will not feel confident in speaking up about mental health issues, so a manager making the first move to open up a dialogue can be key. Many employers encourage an ethos that supports staff, by encouraging colleagues to look out for each other and by allowing work patterns to be flexible enough to account for individual needs. Who hasn’t woken up in the morning after a good night’s sleep with the perfect solution to a problem they’ve been brooding about all week? Often, taking a break lets employees relax and rest their brains, which gives their subconscious the chance to see past preconceived solutions and objectively evaluate the task at hand. To help reduce the stigma around mental health, employees can share more of their own experiences with other co-workers when appropriate. Unless you feel very safe, this is more about sharing your humanness than getting into details — co-workers can’t substitute for mental health professionals.
Many impressively accomplished people have also had their own struggles with mental illness. Some of the most successful people I know have intense clinical anxiety, and their form of coping is by productively channeling it into their work. They remain passionate about their work, and impact their community in a positive way. A certain level of pressure in a business environment is desirable. Pressure helps to motivate people and boosts their energy and productivity. But when the pressure someone is under becomes too much to cope with, that positive force turns negative and becomes stress. Not questioning a decision can be because an employee is scared of speaking out. Mental health and well-being needs to be addressed at an organisational level. All elements of the organisation have a role to play in designing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing policies and practice. Ideally you should form a mental health and well-being working group with representation from senior management, employees, trade unions, human resources and occupational health. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around employers duty of care mental health need planning and implementing properly.
Emotional Resilience, or the capacity to calm your mind after a negative experience, is a major factor in emotional health and job satisfaction. A wellness program that helps develop emotional resilience will equip employees to deal with disappointment, failure, or crisis, learn from it, and continue to move forward. Stigmas are often subtle or used casually in conversation at work, which makes them difficult to perceive. For instance, most employees have, at one point or another, heard a co-worker refer to a mental health condition negatively or in the wrong context. In fact, even the term "mental health" all too often has a negative connotation. This stigmatization creates a work environment in which mental health is not openly discussed, for fear of judgment. Mental health symptoms are just as common in the C-Suite as among individual contributors. Sharing your own mental health challenges and modeling healthy behavior are two of the most important steps business leaders can take. Beyond insurance coverage, in-house wellness initiatives can also boost employee happiness. Many companies have taken steps toward this with office yoga or meditation, onsite massages, and work from home flexibility. Anxiety is what people feel when they are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which they think could happen in the future. Occasional anxiety is a normal human experience. But if feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, they can be overwhelming. Someone might also experience physical symptoms such as sleep problems and panic attacks. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around workplace wellbeing ideas in your organisation.
Business leaders have a number of responsibilities and investments that they need to be conscious of each year. However, when it comes to investing in their employees’ health and well-being, studies have proven that this has a direct impact on the quality of their work, productivity, and focus. Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way people expect, and it’s not uncommon to take these failures personally. When this happens in the workplace, it’s critical for employees to have the coping skills in place to manage the missteps, learn from the experience, and move on. Raising awareness and promoting discussion of mental health and wellbeing drives engagement, helps to overcome prejudice and means that employees will be more likely to disclose issues sooner. Whether your company does reviews annually, quarterly, or monthly, make wellness a part of the process. Take the opportunity to find out if your employees feel taken care of and ask for feedback on how the company is supporting your staff’s well-being. A review isn’t just a moment for managers to provide team members with individualized feedback; it’s a critical moment to hear from them whether they feel valued, heard, and cared for as members of the company. Just as you may have had a favourite teacher, you’ve hopefully had at least one key figure who inspired and developed you like no other. Be the leader you needed when you first started work. And take a minute to think about what that may look like. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing managing employees with mental health issues it is of utmost importance in this day and age.
As well as having a huge impact on individual employees, poor mental health has severe repercussions for employers – including increased staff turnover, sickness absence due to debilitating depression, burnout and exhaustion, decreased motivation and lost productivity. In seeking to move from rhetoric to reality employers must mainstream good mental health and make it a core business priority. A mentally healthy workplace and increased employee engagement are interdependent – by looking after employee’s mental wellbeing, staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits will rise. Talking to real people anonymously in a safe environment is an essential part of managing mental health in the workplace and often preventative – helping people express themselves before feelings become overwhelming. Frameworks such as Health and Safety Executive management standards for work-related stress can promote and protect employee mental wellbeing in an organisation. Most people who have ongoing mental ill health can continue to work successfully with either minimal support or no support at all. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for Wellbeing for HR today.
To manage mental health at work effectively, you’ll need good people management skills, as well as empathy and common sense. You should try to ensure you are seen as approachable, and listen when staff ask for help. You should also take into account whether or not the workplace culture encourages disclosure or not. Numerous mental health assessment tools are available to employers, and the most credible tools are reliable and valid from a research point of view. Reliability refers to consistent results over time and validity refers to accuracy of measurement. Employers must weigh the benefits of brief screening tools having lower user burden and more lengthy diagnostic tools with higher validity. There is an opportunity to achieve mutual understanding that crosses the generational divide, if we create moments to have those discussions with a mindset that’s open to learning. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is one of the most common workforce mental health interventions in the UK. But while most big businesses offer one of these, they often come under fire for being little more than a box-checking exercise. A nationwide employee survey found that what people want the most in the workplace are trainings and more easily accessible information about where to go or who to ask for mental health support. A more open culture about mental health at work is also important to employees, according to the survey. An opinion on workplace wellbeing support is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.
Awareness without understanding often leads to quick fixes, metaphorical mental health band-aids if you will: initiatives that look from the outside to be forward-thinking, but are really the easy option and still skirt the true issue. This might involve providing gym membership for your employees or championing the “positive mental health movement”, all the while doing nothing to curtail the culture of wellbeing shaming or the psychologically unsafe work environment. Employers are constantly seeking ways to maximise the productivity of their employees, and the enlightened ones understand that the way to do this is not to pile on the pressure, but to engage them and support them to work more effectively. Those with a long-term mental health condition lose their jobs every year at around double the rate of those without a mental health condition, and at a much higher rate than those with a physical health condition – amounting to around 300,000 dropping out of the labour market annually. You can discover extra insights on the topic of Mental Health At Work Programs Approaches on this Health and Safety Executive web page.