Five ways to look after employee mental health

We have outlined a few ideas for businesses of any size to improve their approach to employee wellbeing and mental health.

Invest in mental health training

We regularly see that managers do not feel confident or supported when faced with an employee experiencing mental health issues. 

Training on mental health management is now widely available and can be a worthwhile exercise, especially considering that poor mental health is now the leading reason for staff absence. 

Training can be tailored to your business to ensure your managers feel equipped to spot and support an employee with an issue.

Implement a wellbeing culture

Are your staff members encouraged to take all of their lunch break? Do they feel able to get away from desks and e-mails? Do they take all their annual leave? 

Ensuring employees rest adequately and have time to spend with family or friends helps promote a healthier work-life balance. 

Offering access to quiet spaces and promoting healthy lifestyle options, like free fruit or subsidised gym memberships, can promote staff wellbeing and show people that employee health matters to you.

Poor mental health is now the leading reason for staff absence.

Offer space to talk

Do you have regular one-to-ones with your team? One-to-ones can be the ideal place to have conversations with staff members about how they’re feeling, especially if you see that they are struggling. 

Doing this also means employees have the opportunity to raise any matters that are causing concern.

Get practical advice from the experts

Access to advice from specialists can be invaluable when faced with an employee struggling with their mental health. 

Having the ability to ask the right questions and find the right counselling or other emotional support is critical. 

Many businesses now have partnerships with external counselling providers and networks to support their staff through mental health issues. 

You may also need guidance from a relevant HR or legal advisor to deal with the potential implications of long-term sickness absence.

Update policies and procedures

Do you have adequate workplace policies and procedures addressing stress and wellbeing at work? 

It is important to understand and familiarise yourself with any policies relating to the mental health of your employees, including sickness absence and capability procedures. 

Ensure team members know where to find these documents and what they include. 

Review your staff handbook regularly to ensure your policies reflect current working practices.

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