1 in 6 workers will experience mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and burnout over the course of their working life. Employers are in a unique position to help support their employees and nurture their mental health and wellbeing by implementing simple support measures and by fostering a culture of collaboration, understanding and communication.
Why supporting mental health in the workplace is so important
Providing mental health support has benefits for both your employees and your business. These benefits include:
- It boosts productivity – According to a study by Oxford University happier employees are up to 13% more productive. By supporting employees’ mental health, employers can improve morale, loyalty, and performance.
- It promotes inclusivity – Inclusive teams regularly outperform those who are less inclusive. By supporting employees with mental health problems, they feel valued and less likely to drop out of the workforce increasing the inclusivity of your overall team.
- It increases engagement – Part of increasing employee engagement means treating your employees with respect, listening to their concerns, offering feedback, and making them feel valued. Mental health support and concern for employee wellbeing can be an effective part of that strategy.
- Reduces costs – Stress, anxiety and employee burnout cost UK businesses nearly £35billion every year through absenteeism and staff turnover. Happy, healthy employees are more motivated and employers are less likely to incur costs around covering shifts and recruiting fresh staff.
5 ways employers can support employees’ mental health
Here are five creative workplace wellbeing ideas employers can use that to support employee mental health:
1. Make a serious pledge to address stigma
By making a commitment to providing a safe, stigma-free and understanding environment you will show to your employees that you deserve their respect and trust because you take their mental health and wellbeing seriously. It is an extremely brave and demanding thing to speak up about mental illness at work and to ask for help.
2. Emphasise communication
Checking in with your employees is crucial to establishing a workplace culture that embraces mental health. Nearly 40% of employees say that no one at their company has asked them about their mental health and wellbeing. Establish regular check-ins with your staff and ask them what they need to support their wellbeing. Make sure you take the time to listen to the answer, encourage questions and allow employees to express their concerns.
3. Offer mental health services as part of your wider health coverage
Employers often offer private healthcare and dentistry to their employees as a benefit. Mental health services should not be excluded from this. Try to include access to mental health services as part of your wider healthcare coverage. Subsidised counselling and therapy, ensuring someone on your team has had mental health first aid training and support groups are all great ways to offer mental health support.
Specialist charities and organisations like Mind and Time to Change in the UK offer numerous online and offline resources, guidance and training services for employers looking to improve their mental health and wellbeing services.
4. Model healthy behaviours
As a manager or employer your mental health is important too. You can ensure that you are taking care of your own wellbeing whilst modelling healthy behaviours for your employees. Share that you are taking a mental health day, taking regular breaks throughout the day, or prioritising your family. If your employees see that you encourage healthy behaviours and do not penalise them, they will feel more comfortable doing so.
5. Be flexible and inclusive
Support that may work for one employee would not necessarily be helpful to another. Many people will need different support at different times in their working lives. Taking a flexible approach that accommodates your employees differing circumstances and stressors will help your team to thrive.
How can Davies Resourcing help?
Supporting your employees’ mental health will go a long way to improving employee satisfaction, increasing productivity, and reducing turnover.
If you are looking for further help and advice with implementing an effective employee wellbeing programme that prioritises mental health, our team of dedicated recruitment consultants at Davies Resourcing are happy to help and find a solution that’s tailor-made for your unique requirements and needs.