From fears about job security and financial concerns to findings of fatigue and poor work, life balance – the pandemic has taken a HUGE toll on employee wellbeing and the pressure is on for organisations to up their support game. But, are all workplaces taking the mental wellbeing of their employees as seriously as they should be? Here’s three indications that they’re not...
1. There’s no training offered
Start by asking yourself the following questions…
Could you spot the signs of an employee / colleague that’s struggling mentally?
Do you know how to start a conversation about mental health?
Would you know how to help an employee / colleague that is mentally ill?
Too often, workplaces are led to believe that employee wellbeing is something that the HR department should take care of, when really everyone from the top level down should be adequately trained to be able to confidently answer yes to the questions above.
An organisation that improves its people’s know-how on the mental health essentials, including the likes of stress awareness, managing anxiety and building emotional resilience can make a genuine and profound difference to staff not only managing their own mental health, but also supporting others.
Not only that, data highlights how an investment in seminars, workshops and web-based materials that promote wellbeing at work can save companies a fortune in the long-run, with evidence of reducing presenteeism and absenteeism. The below example from Mental Health Matters helps to put the financial benefits of mental health training into perspective…
For a company with 500 employees that makes an initial investment of £40,000 on wellbeing at work will result in a net return of £347,722 in savings.
Seems worth it right?!
2. Nobody really talks about it
From World Mental Health Day to Stress Awareness Day – your workplace may mention them all, and that’s great. What isn’t great is when employers believe that sending out a mass email on such days with a quick mental health mention, counts as them ‘doing their bit’ in supporting employee wellbeing.
Conversations about mental health are something that need to happen on a daily basis and considered as normal, just like we would chat about the weather - otherwise it’s very unlikely that those who are struggling will actually ask for help. Managers are key to making this happen.
By being transparent about their own struggles and taking the time to have regular catch ups with their team, managers can help to create a safe, non-judgemental workplace culture in which their people feel comfortable to speak openly about their mental health and know that they can ask for support whenever they need it.
3. Your wellness support options are limited
You may be provided with the opportunity to access a professional and, often free workplace counselling service, which is amazing, and talking to a specialist can be life changing. However, there are many other pieces that make up the employee wellbeing puzzle and organisations should be offering support that caters to each element.
Whether that’s supporting employee’s physical health with access to online fitness sessions, reducing financial worries by helping salaries go that little bit further with dedicated staff discounts, or encouraging your people to take time out to totally chill with a guided meditation. For a workplace wellbeing strategy to be meaningful, it needs to adopt a holistic approach that supports employee wellness as a whole.
Employers, it’s time to get serious. We can help you place staff health and wellbeing at the heart of your business, creating an overall healthier, happier workplace. Get in touch