World Mental Health Day is celebrated globally on October 10. Given one in four people is affected by mental health disorders, according to the World Health Organisation, it’s an issue employers cannot ignore. Therefore, it may be worth evaluating your business to see if you’re doing enough for the wellbeing of your employees.
Here’s a list for the top three things employers can do to protect the mental health of their employees.
(1) Put the right policies in place
The first thing you have to consider when looking for ways to protect your employees’ mental wellbeing is that there are practices to follow at your company. “[Ensure] you have the right policies in place,” said Janice Haddon, founder and managing director of Morgan Redwood, the business coaching consultants, when speaking with Elite Business. “Employees need to know that they are protected in the workplace and that they will be free from bullying, harassment and an aggressive leadership style.” However, these policies can’t just be for show but something you and your workers can really rely on. “Poor policies and lack of clarity on duties can lead to anxiousness and stress and, ultimately, lead to deterioration in mental health,” continued Haddon. So make sure you take creating and following these policies seriously.
(2) Communicate more
Elvis Presley may’ve been the king of rock and roll but you shouldn’t listen to him when he says he wants a little less conversation. In fact, you should be talking more with your staff. “Good communication and connection with others is a key element to positive mental health,” said Haddon. Confiding in someone at work and being able to talk about problems is really important as it helps to convey the message that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s also paramount that your managers are trained to see the signs when someone is struggling and know how to approach this person. “Develop a culture where it is good to talk respectfully and freely to colleagues and managers,” continued Haddon.
(3) Invest in wellbeing
Sometimes it just takes that extra step to ensure your employees are okay. This is especially true if you can’t find a solution within the office. “Examples of positive interventions are employee assistance programmes from which employees can call a counselling advice line free of charge,” Emma Bullen, HR expert at MHR, the HR software company, told Elite Business. That also means looking at employment perks like offering gym memberships as well as therapy sessions. “[Providing] funding for employees to see a private counsellor is a fantastic benefit and one that really sends a powerful message that employee wellbeing is a priority for the company,” said Bullen.
Implementing these things in your office could make a huge difference in keeping your employees’ headspace healthy.