Creating a mentally healthy workplace is crucial to an organisation’s successful operation.
Mental illness can affect anyone. As a result, it is the leading cause of workplace disability around the globe. Around twenty percent of people suffer mental or stress-related illnesses every year. And the workplace is often one of the key environments involved in the development of mental health issues. Therefore, managers play one of the most vital roles in maintaining mentally healthy working environments and cultures.
Protecting and promoting mental health in the workplace benefits everyone and is everyone’s responsibility. And oftentimes, your people will look to you, as a manager, for guidance.
Here are 8 helpful tips for creating a mentally healthy workplace:
You don’t have to be an expert on mental health to help. However, part of your responsibility as a manager is to ensure a workplace that supports your workers’ well-being. Listen to issues that your workers have and focus on developing solutions. Find out what you can do to help with performance and collaborate with workers to set realistic goals. And don’t forget to check in with them on their progress.
Mental health issues still have a lot of stigma attached to them, particularly in the workplace. So, creating a mentally healthy workplace requires education and training. Educating your people and providing training on mental health issues can help to alleviate some of the fear. As a result, it will create a more compassionate and understanding environment for all of your people.
Mental health is not a dirty word. Open and honest communication is an incredibly powerful tool. Encourage your workers to talk about it. Remind workers of the availability of mental health resources and to seek care if they need it. Ensure they’re aware of how to access care confidentially. And reinforce these messages during the more stressful times of the year.
If one of your workers is suffering from mental health problems, help them out. Develop workplace plans that address issues regarding their work or performance to help them get back on track. Offer flexible working arrangements during times of need, such as reduced hours and workloads or temporary changes of duties. Show your support and help your workers get better.
Make sure that your management style is beneficial to your workers. Ensure that you provide your people with the information and resources they need to be successful in their work. Strive to help them achieve a balanced workload. And don’t forget to encourage your workers and let them know when they are doing a good job.
Creating a mentally healthy workplace and a comfortable environment for people to thrive in requires fairness, civility, and respect. Treat your people equally well regardless of their duties or position. And remember to support and promote mental health as part of your daily routine.
Some people choose to disclose their mental health issues. Others choose not to. Talking about mental health problems can be difficult. Therefore, it’s completely up to the person whether they wish to talk about it or not. Mental health issues are confidential like all medical issues. Consequently, if a worker confides in you, respect their confidentiality and any wishes for privacy.
If a worker comes to you for help, ensure them that they have your support. Listen, but avoid making judgements, conclusions, or giving advice, as you may unintentionally provide the wrong advice. Offer the help that you can. Suggest services that may be helpful, like speaking to health care professionals. Encourage them to take proactive steps towards their recovery when they are ready for change. And above all, help them focus on solutions rather than problems.
Creating a mentally healthy workplace is always on your agenda as a manager. Look after your workers and support your people to the best of your ability. And certainly don’t forget to look after yourself and protect your own mental well-being at the same time.
Our wide range of management eLearning courses includes Workplace Mental Health for Managers to help managers handle workers around mental health issues, and many more titles, to help you stay ahead of the curve on a variety of issues that managers face on a daily basis in the workplace.
There is also a Workplace Mental Health for Employees course to help employees avoid workplace mental health issues.
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This content was created by Vocam and is intended to be used only as a guide and should not be relied on as formal training or legal advice.
As standards and regulations frequently change, all information should be considered by relevant local experts and authorities.