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How to support your employees’ mental health

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Last editedMay 20222 min read

Supporting mental health in the workplace is vital. It’s vital for a number of reasons, beginning with the fact that you have a duty of care toward your employees. This is combined with the fact that applying the right well-being in the workplace ideas will not only make your employees happier it will mean they are bound to be more productive, boosting productivity and cash flow through your business.

The well-being in the workplace ideas detailed here are useful in isolation but, even more importantly, when taken as a whole they help to create a workplace culture in which supporting mental health in the workplace is seen as the norm. It’s all too easy to let stress overwhelm a group of employees in a modern working environment, but these ideas will help to ensure that doesn’t happen.    

Supporting mental health in the workplace

Practise what you preach

Much of the culture in any workplace extends naturally from the behaviour of the people in charge. As the boss, you need to demonstrate a degree of self-care and an understanding of your own mental health requirements, and a willingness to take positive steps to meet them. Open up the lines of communication between employees and managers so that they know, for example, you turn off work emails when you go home so that you can relax, or that you make sure you take a break every day to step back from work.    

Get rid of the stigma

Although there is much less of a stigma attached to dealing with mental health issues than previously, it has not been banished altogether. This can make some people reluctant to come forward and talk about their own issues, so you need to work to ensure that any stigma or embarrassment has been banished from your workplace.

Employees should know that mental health issues and the impact they have on work (and vice versa) are taken just as seriously as matters of physical health. Even something as simple as posters around the workplace advertising the support employees will receive if they suffer from workplace stress or anxiety can help create a supportive atmosphere.  

Get to know your employees

You may know all about the strengths, weaknesses and habits of your employees as workers, but do you know them as people? One of the best well-being in the workplace ideas is to make sure that you understand how your employees are feeling. An environment in which they feel empowered to reach out for help will play a big role in this, as will more formal structures such as regular one-to-one meetings.

Tracking patterns of absence could also help – an employee who is absent on a Monday more than any other day of the week, for example, may be signalling that returning to the workplace after a weekend off is difficult for them to handle. 

Gather the data

Mood and atmosphere are vital parts of supporting mental health in the workplace, but building a mental health toolkit can also make a huge difference. Organisations such as MIND, which specialises in supporting mental health, have a wealth of literature to consult online. Building a set of tools, techniques and mechanisms to use when dealing with stress, anxiety or depression, then setting up a meeting to share these tools with employees, would be hugely positive.

A survey

It will be easier to instil mental well-being in the workplace if you understand the base you’re working form. Create an anonymous employee survey asking questions about well-being and happiness. The information gathered by this survey will set out exactly where your employees currently are in terms of how they feel about work. It will also pick up any potential or existing problems in the way the business operates.   

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more about supporting your employees mental health, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

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