Business Health Matters and Lancashire Mind are encouraging businesses across the county to champion mental health within the workplace and assess current working practices to make 2022 the ‘Year of Employee Wellbeing’.
With 1 in 6 workers experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace has never been so important and good practice doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Embrace open dialogues surrounding mental health in the workplace
Creating a workplace culture where staff of all levels of seniority feel they can speak openly and ask for support is vital, not only in promoting positive health and wellbeing but also for general productivity, staff retention, team connectivity and overall business success.
Great business leaders understand that good mental health and wellbeing within the workplace starts at the top, and this means that management teams and business leaders also need to prioritise their own mental health.
Sharing challenges transparently often helps to connect teams and remind colleagues that we are all human and can only do our best.
How do you connect your team virtually?
Feeling connected in a virtual world can be challenging, especially with diminished levels of human interaction.
Pick up the phone instead of sending emails, take virtual tea breaks with colleagues and put five minutes aside to ask how someone is feeling.
How well do you know your team?
Are you aware of which colleagues need more support?
Do you know which team members live by themselves or reside in busy households and may struggle to find quiet spaces?
Prioritise check-ins, 1-2-1s and team brews, and don’t be afraid to ask someone how they are feeling.
Set healthy boundaries
When the lines between work and home blur, it can be difficult to distinguish positive workplace boundaries.
Do staff send emails out of hours, regularly work at weekends and reply on annual leave?
If so, then you may need to assess your overall wellbeing approach and remind staff that downtime is important.
Management teams should also look out for each other and ensure that they prioritise their own mental health and wellbeing, creating a culture where all staff feel valued, supported and able to share challenges.
Encourage daily activity
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups, and is a key part of keeping a healthy, productive workforce.
Why not introduce virtual-walk-meetings, or allow flexible working to encourage employees to exercise during their breaks?
Walks in the fresh air or taking time to stretch in between meetings can help boost energy levels and overall wellbeing.
If the past two years have taught us anything it is that we never know what is around the corner and that mental health is no longer the taboo subject it once was.
Championing mental health and wellbeing at work could be our chance to create a happier, more productive and engaged workforce, and surely that is a winning formula for all.
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