Mind your mind: How to manage mental health in the workplace
Supporting your team through turbulent and stressful times.
After dealing with the effects of the pandemic for over a year, it has never been more important to manage mental health in the workplace. Many people are feeling isolated working from home, while others are struggling to manage family responsibilities alongside the demands of their day job.
So what can businesses do to support their people and help them to manage mental health in the workplace?
Start with a plan
Creating a mental health plan for your business can help you to promote wellbeing for your team. A typical plan might include wellbeing tips, tackling causes of work-related stress, a system for recording sickness absences that are related to mental health and training for all staff on stress management.
Promote an open culture
As ever, communication is key. Business owners and managers should strive to create a culture that encourages open dialogue, where people can discuss issues regarding their mental health without stigma or fear of being judged. This is more important now than ever before, as your team could be juggling a range of interconnected issues such as childcare / family care challenges, financial worries or feelings of loneliness due to working remotely for a long period of time.
In addition to encouraging open dialogue, you could carry out an anonymous internal survey where you ask your team to feed back on their personal wellbeing, stress levels and general mental health. You could also use this as an opportunity to gather feedback on the types of wellbeing measures that the team would like to see from the firm.
Spotting problems before they become wider issues
Train the managers in your business to spot problems. Teach them to look out for employees who are showing signs of distress such as regular absenteeism, changes in behaviour or signs of irritable or irrational behaviour. If your team are still working remotely, managers should make contact on a regular basis in order to catch up and “check in” with other team members.
Offer support where possible
Often the best support that your people need is to feel like they have been listened to. Let your team members know that they have the option to have a confidential conversation about mental health, if ever they need to. Managers can then work with the individual to agree a course of action to manage stress and get them back on track.
(Credit: The 2020 Group)