Keeping your employees connected isn't easy, especially if they're working from home. Read 5 effective ways to engage and connect with your remote employees in our latest guest blog.
How to Promote Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace
If you didn’t already know, the month of September marks Suicide Prevention Month. The event is designed to share resources and stories to give an insight into a highly taboo topic and something not many people feel comfortable discussing.
It’s no secret that mental health issues can affect anyone regardless of your physical health and wellbeing. However, mental health is a topic that is often disregarded and classed as a ‘taboo’, especially in the workplace. It sounds cliché but a lot of people have the mindset that because we can’t usually see the symptoms of poor mental health it’s not as important as our physical wellbeing. Here at Oak, we value the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace. Promoting a healthy work environment is the key to having happy employees. You may have read through our previous blog: The Stigma of Mental Health in the Workplace, in which we discuss how 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace. A number that is far too high.
Unsurprisingly, 2020 has impacted people’s mental health in some way or another. From financial struggles, worrying about the pandemic and isolation; there are several factors that could have contributed to poor mental health during the course of the year so far. Taking care of your mental health has never been more important.
Whether you’re back to work or you’re still working remotely, it’s critical to try and make September all about the promotion of mental health and employee well-being in the workplace. So, we’re going to give you a few ways to approach this subject with your team and how to banish the taboo surrounding mental health.
Obviously, the best way to approach the subject regarding mental health and suicide awareness is to talk about it. As we’ve said before, this is a topic people usually try to shy away from, however, encouraging conversations between your team is a great way to normalise the subject.
One way to do this would be to organise a wellbeing morning/afternoon within your team. This will encourage interaction with others and can be a chance for members of your team to open-up or mention anything they may be struggling with. Try and distance wellbeing sessions as far away from work as possible. It will give your team a break away from the working day and a chance to relax with co-workers. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved.
Recognise Your Employees
Although there are many factors outside of the workplace that can attribute to poor mental health, problems in the workplace are very common.
Heavy workload, bad management and poor work/life balance are just a small number of problems that can have a negative impact on mental health. A study conducted by Capterra found that more than half of respondents (56%) felt undervalued and that their efforts weren’t recognised. It’s not hard to work out that if your employees are feeling undervalued, they’re probably not having the most enjoyable time at work.
It’s essential to always recognise your employees for their hard work and efforts. Not doing so could result in you losing a valuable member of the team or prove a detriment to their mental health. Not only is employee recognition good for mental health, but it’s also reassuring for them to know that their work is valued by others. And when they feel valued, productivity levels rise, and they’re motivated to do well in their job.
You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to make your employees feel recognised and valued. In fact, it’s probably simpler to do than you think. Your employees don’t want to be showered with gifts, a simple thank you or a well done can go a long way.
To start with the easiest one, give shout outs when you think an employee has done well in their role. Having your boss acknowledge hard work is one thing but acknowledging it publicly and letting others in the company know about an employee’s success is a great morale boost. And remember, a shout out costs nothing!
Promote a Healthy Work/Life Balance
A health work/life balance means a healthy working environment. Fact.
According to Forbes, maintaining a healthy work/life balance helps reduce stress and prevents burnout in the workplace. Although we spend a lot of our time working, it’s essential to have plenty of time away from your place of work to recharge.
We’ve all been in a position where we work overtime to complete an important task or check our emails on a day off. And this is totally normal, but if it starts to become a regular thing, an employee burnout could be on the horizon.
Encourage a healthy work/life balance to your team by offering flexible working hours. A recent survey found that 81% of employees placed importance and value on flexible working. Offering flexible working will allow your employees to manage their time based on their needs and it also shows a great sense of trust between management and employees.
Make sure you always encourage your employees to use their holiday allowance. Unfortunately for some, requesting time off can be stressful due to feeling like they’re letting their team down or being worried about being refused from their manager. Talk about holiday entitlement openly with your team to make it a subject that they’re not scared to bring up. We all need time away from work to switch off and focus on our own needs.
There’s no denying that mental health is a problem in the workplace. Currently, evidence suggests that 12.7% of sick days in the UK can be related to mental health conditions. Although we should be prioritising mental health all year round in the workplace, these are just some suggestions on how to create a healthy working environment and how to make work a place of positivity for your workforce.