good workplace wellbeing
Recognise the potential: Investing in employee wellbeing can bring returns up to nine times your investment. Prioritising mental health in the workplace is crucial for boosting productivity, reducing absenteeism and retaining top talent while fulfilling legal and ethical responsibilities. It also promotes a positive workplace culture, leading to better team dynamics and a positive organisational reputation.
According to the Equalities Act 2010, employers are legally responsible for supporting their employees when work affects their health, especially when a mental health condition becomes a disability. Assessing work-related mental health concerns is crucial to evaluating risks to staff. When a risk is identified, steps must be taken to eliminate or reduce it.
However, beyond legal obligations, supporting your employees’ mental health is a responsible decision that benefits everyone. While practical challenges like time and resource limitations can be obstacles, even small steps within employers’ available means can yield significant advantages. So, what can we do?
What is wellbeing?
Wellbeing refers to an individual’s overall health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes physical, mental, and emotional health and social and economic factors contributing to a fulfilling life. In the workplace, wellbeing focuses on creating a supportive and positive environment where employees can thrive professionally and personally.
What are the benefits of a healthy workplace?
Increasing employee productivity
When employees are mentally well, they are more focused, motivated, and productive. They can perform their tasks more efficiently, resulting in better organisational outcomes.
Good mental health reduces the likelihood of employees taking sick days due to stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues. This leads to fewer disruptions in workflow and better overall attendance.
Elevated employee engagement
Employees with good mental wellbeing are more engaged. They are emotionally committed to their roles and the organisation, positively impacting job performance and satisfaction.
Attracting top talent
Companies known for their commitment to employee mental wellbeing are more attractive to potential hires. This can give them a competitive edge in recruiting the best talent in the industry.
Organisations prioritising mental wellbeing tend to have higher employee retention. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that supports their mental health needs, reducing recruitment and training costs.
Improved team dynamics
A workplace that values mental wellbeing fosters empathy and understanding among colleagues and creates a positive and supportive environment. Employees collaborate and communicate better, leading to improved team dynamics and creativity.
What are the most common myths about workplace wellbeing?
wellbeing is just physical health
Wellbeing is a multidimensional concept encompassing physical but also mental, emotional, social and even spiritual health. Recognising that a holistic approach is essential for a thriving workforce.
How do we promote good mental wellbeing at work?
- Speak up
Promote an environment where employees feel safe discussing mental health concerns. Encourage open dialogue through regular team meetings that address mental health topics such as depression and stress.
- Offer resources
Ensure easy access to mental health resources, such as counselling services and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), counselling services, helplines, or workshops. Educate employees about the available resources and how to utilise them.
- Set boundaries
Discourage a culture of overworking and promote setting boundaries between work and personal life. Respect employees’ time outside of work hours and encourage recharge using vacation time or mental wellbeing days.
- Be flexible with employees
Implement flexible work arrangements to accommodate employees’ needs. This could include options for remote work, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks. Allow employees to adjust their work hours for personal appointments. Focus on the results of work, not the hours.
- Foster positivity
Foster a positive, inclusive work culture where appreciation, recognition, and kindness are valued. Celebrate achievements and milestones to boost morale.
- Encourage learning and development
Support continuous learning and professional growth, allowing employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. A sense of purpose, progress and accomplishment positively impacts mental wellbeing.
- Encourage physical activity
Promote regular physical exercise by providing incentives, organising group workouts, or incorporating physical activities into the workday. Physical activity has proven to have a positive impact on mental health.
- Check-up regularly
Schedule one-on-one check-ins between managers and employees. Encourage managers to ask about employees’ mental and physical wellbeing during these conversations.
What resources are available?
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has created a range of free resources to help promote mental health in the workplace. These resources include advice, information, and templates that can be used to encourage conversation about mental health, allow people to stay well at work and support those who experience stress and mental health issues while at work.
If you’re a rural employer with a team of fewer than 50 members, discover the transformative potential of our Rural Connections training programme. It’s designed to elevate mental health awareness, ignite meaningful conversations, and empower you to confront and conquer the stigma surrounding mental wellbeing.
If you’re seeking a proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing, consider Insight into Mental Health. The following programme focuses on unaddressed mental health issues that lead to staff turnover, which costs £26 billion annually for UK businesses. If you’re ready to invest in your staff’s wellbeing, embedding Insight to Mental Health can significantly boost staff retention and deliver an impressive return on investment – an astounding 430% increase.
If you want mental health training, please contact our Training team. They can give you more information and answer any questions you may have about online and face-to-face training.
Our Advice and Support Service is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, where advisers can signpost you to local support that most fits your needs, including our Change Mental Health services. We offer initial advice on money worries and help to deal with emergencies.
Contact 0808 8010 515, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the enquiry form on the Advice and Support Service page.