May 14, 2019
Mental health is an issue employer’s simply can’t afford to ignore. Almost one in three people have experienced mental health issues while in employment. Statistics show that mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence within the UK, which is costing on average £1,035 per employee per year.
The stigma of stress and depression still exists with 95% of employees calling in sick giving another reason for their sickness absence. Tackling the stigma and discrimination and developing a culture where your employees feel able to openly talk about their mental health issues should be a top priority for your organisation.
Top Tips for Employers
- Monitor staff – Regular supervision or catch up meetings can help managers recognise symptoms such as stress, anxiety, paranoia or depression. It is also worth including some time in your meetings with employees to discuss their well-being.
- Wellness Action Plan – consider implementing a wellness action plan for employees.
- Training/Resources – have managers attend training courses on how to deal with mental health in the workplace so that you are better prepared.
- Make a commitment to change your organisations workplace culture – publicise that you are committed to promoting positive mental health across the organisation. Include staff and provide them the environment to be open about what the company does well and what needs to improve.
- Research your workplace – identify what areas of the workplace that might be the cause of mental ill health, gather information on staff turnover, sickness absence and performance, this could give you somewhere to start.
- Open Door policy – operate an ‘open door’ policy so that workers feel they are able to talk to senior managers. It is important for management to be seen as approachable by employees.
- Arrange ‘away days’ – take time away from the office by arranging group activities and social gatherings.
- Manage work environment – adapt the working environment for workers by managing the space, temperature, noise and light as these all have an affect on health and well-being. Have open correspondence with employees so that they will be open to discuss any issues that they have with you.
- Support processes – train managers in mental health and have a named mental health champion in the workplace who can be approached if the employee does not want to or is unable to talk to their manager.
For more information about mental health in the workplace, visit Mind for resources, tips and help.
If you would like to speak to one of our Employment Specialists about an issue in your workplace, call us on 0800 158 4147 to book an initial consultation at our Gloucester office.