Mental wellbeing, and overall health should be a priority for any business strategy. It’s no longer enough to just ‘get the job done’ – we must also take into consideration the mental health of our team, especially the leaders who drive the business forward.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why it’s important for your business strategy to include a mental health strategy targeting the workforce and how to do so with a friendly voice. By emphasising mental health – and how it impacts how we think, feel and behave – we can not only create a healthier work environment but also convert that into increased productivity and growth.
The mental wellbeing of employees has a direct impact on productivity. When employees feel supported and valued, they’re more likely to be creative and take risks, leading to innovation. On the other hand, when employees are struggling with their mental health, they’re more likely to take days off, be less productive, and care less about their contribution. It is estimated that poor mental health cost the UK economy almost £92 billion in lost productivity in 2019.
Importance of mental health strategies for businesses
Businesses rely on people to do great work. But what if those people aren’t thinking and feeling well?
Mental wellbeing, which includes our emotional health and resilience, is important for everyone. And if not looked after, it can not only cause a negative impact on people’s lives but can also dampen the success of a business.
Poor mental health can either be diagnosed or not diagnosed by a healthcare professional. Anxiety disorder and depression are the most common diagnosable mental illnesses, but poor mental health can also be undiagnosed and can be caused by stress, burnout, and other external factors such as a sick child, a recent divorce, or a death in the family.
If this poor mental health isn’t treated, this can contribute to a person experiencing low morale at work, which can make them less productive and unmotivated.
It’s important to highlight that those that have a diagnosis of mental illness can and do lead very productive, high performing and meaningful lives and careers with the right treatment plan in place.
Most people spend more hours at work than they do at home, which is why it is extremely important for all businesses to encourage open communication about mental health, and offer support and a listening ear in all circumstances, no matter how big or small the problem is.
Having a robust mental health strategy in place benefits staff, the organisation, and customers.
So, how can businesses create a mentally healthy workplace?
There are a few things businesses can do to support employees and create a mentally healthy workplace:
Promote a healthy work-life balance
Most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work, so it’s important that businesses promote a healthy work-life balance. This can be done by offering flexible work hours, encouraging employees to take vacation days regularly, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Provide mental health resources
Many businesses offer health insurance that covers mental health services, but it’s also important to provide other resources, such as an employee assistance programme, mental health days, and access to mental health professionals.
Offer Mental Health First Aid training
A valuable starting point for your mental health strategy is to offer mental health first aid training to members of your business, especially team leaders who spend a lot of time working closely with other employees. The right training will help them identify the signs of poor mental health and provide support early on, in order to help their team’s wellbeing.
At POINT3, we provide MHFA England First Aid training to individuals within an organisation who wish to obtain a qualification in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). It’s a great way to learn more about mental health and boost confidence in using practical tools to offer support to others who may be experiencing a mental illness in the workplace.
Foster a supportive environment
This includes creating a supportive and inclusive environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their mental health. Additionally, managers should receive training on how to identify and support employees who are struggling. By emphasising mental health, businesses can create a healthier work environment and improve productivity. POINT3 also offers manager mental health awareness training. This training builds empathy and confidence around mental health, helping to create a psychologically safe working environment – one where people are open and honest about how they are feeling and coping and leaving them with practical solutions to help them navigate stressful situations.
Support employees in seeking help
A mentally healthy workplace usually has a clear plan for supporting employees who are struggling with poor mental health. Among these steps is the creation of personalised action plans and clear workplace policies that facilitate workplace adjustment and the gradual return to work. Workplaces should also notify employees of these options available in their contracts so they are aware of the avenues they can access as an employee for mental health support.
By taking these steps, businesses can make a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of their employees – and in turn, the success of the business.
It’s no secret that mental health has become a hot topic when it comes to the discussion of business strategy. Companies of all sizes are taking the initiative to include mental health strategies within their business plans. However, it’s important to make sure that these strategies are specifically crafted to meet the needs of employees and business leaders.
If you’d like more information on how you can train your employees in Mental Health Awareness, then we can help. We have personalised Mental Health Training and Wellbeing agency services available to help people to re-evaluate their approach to total wellbeing in the workplace.