Does your organisation put employee wellbeing at the forefront? Mental health difficulties are one of the main reasons why people need to take long term absence. Research shows that 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress in 2018.
Developing a mental health awareness organisation helps to create a positive work culture. It’s unsurprising that a happy, healthy employee will be better engaged, more productive and more likely to stay with your company for longer.
Employee wellbeing should not be viewed as a cost but as an investment. Having an empathetic culture is also a key factor. It’s important for leaders to identify when members of their teams are struggling so they can support them.
We don’t need to stress the importance of a healthy workforce and taking care of your employees’ wellbeing. But being aware of something and actually putting that knowledge into practice are two different things.
We take a look at 5 ways you can invest in your team’s wellbeing.
Encourage personal growth
Offer growth opportunities for your employees. Have a conversation with them individually to ask what skills they would like to develop both personally and professionally. Then, offer your support to help your team members reach them.
When people feel their circumstances align with their values (such as growth), they are happier and more engaged because they feel valued and inspired by a sense of meaning. Tom Path, author of “Are You Fully Charged” says “the odds of being completely engaged in your job increases by 250% if you work on meaningful projects each day.”
Provide an online database that employees can go to full of development resources that are constantly updated — this may include videos, articles, podcasts and more. The more resources available, the more likely your team members will find something that resonates. Allow flex time so that people can set time aside within work hours to keep learning.
Organise regular social activities
Work relationships are super important for employee wellbeing. It’s more than just “getting along” with a co-worker. As humans, we crave contact and connection with other people. Happiness expert Annie McKee, author of How To Be Happy At Work, says, “one of the ways we can make ourselves happy and feel more fulfilled in our workplaces is to build friendships with the people that work with us, work for us and even with our boss.”
Employers can actively encourage employees to have time away from their desks or work areas through organised activities and interaction in the workplace. When implemented properly, effective team building activities are excellent for employee welbeing. Team building exercises can help colleagues unwind, have some fun and build connections. Some ideas include days out, book clubs, sports teams, or a weekly team breakfast.
Find different reasons to celebrate achievements too. Hold annual ceremonies to recognise employees for their hard work, host employee appreciation days once a month or take your team out for a nice lunch after achieving a company goal.
Provide wellbeing resources for employees
Ask your team what they would find useful. Gym memberships may seem like a good idea but they may actually prefer something else, such as a weekly yoga class onsite. A younger workforce might be more likely to value app-based wellbeing programmes and wearable tech. Whereas older employees might prefer a free health check or nutrition advice.
Share your resources through internal marketing channels to promote awareness. This could be mental health awareness training, self-help tools and signposting to additional support such as employee assistance programmes and employee counselling services.
Offer training to managers so they can support employee wellbeing
Perhaps now more than ever, managers are aware of both their own and their team’s mental health. The skills, knowledge and most importantly confidence help them to support their team and approach situations sensitively with employees who may be struggling.
Support can go a long way to help someone cope during difficult times. If you have noticed a change in a person’s behaviour or if there is something that is causing concern, then training can help you reach out and talk to employees about mental health.
Create an open culture for employee wellbeing
A workplace that supports mental health allows employees to feel able and comfortable seeking support. It starts from the top-down, with directors and management ensuring there is a positive culture where mental health is discussed openly.
Regular communication about mental health can also encourage staff to discuss any difficulties. Even just asking colleagues if they’re OK can be a huge support.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to mental health – but small steps will help to address the specific challenges facing your workforce and help you improve the wellbeing of your team.
Develop a data-led approach
Use data to develop an evidence-based strategy to support workplace wellbeing. This gives a real insight into the wants and needs of employees, highlights areas for improvement, and helps HR understand the impact of different working practices on mental health.
We are here to support your team’s wellbeing. Our large team of professional counsellors, psychologists, supervisors and trainers can help your organisation to support employee wellbeing, and increase, engagement and performance. To find out more just email email@example.com where one of the team will be happy to help.