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People have always looked to their managers for support, and that has increased since early 2020; tensions are at an all-time high. A leader’s actions and behaviors can serve as a guide to let team members know it’s OK to speak up and show vulnerabilities. High performance is mental strength in motion. When we don’t feel good, accessing the behavioral skills that foster creativity and resilience is challenging. Without these skills, we don’t have the psychological resources to perform well at our jobs. Mental wellness is worth the investment. For every $1 put into treatment for common mental disorders, there is an ROI of $4 in improved health and productivity (source: WHO). Severe and long-term anxiety is known to trigger our primal fight or flight mentality, leading to rash decisions, poor communication and further heightened stress levels. Instead of focusing on high-priority work, meetings and events, employees who suffer from depression may miss deadlines, mishear briefs and even seem less-dedicated to their job or the company. No matter how easy you try and make it for your employees to open up to you, sometimes they’ll just feel ten-times more comfortable speaking to someone who isn’t their manager. It’s nothing personal. Setting up a mentoring system within your business can be a great way of getting your employees talking to each other about their mental health and providing valuable, one-on-one support. Balancing the pressures of work with the needs of home and personal life can seem like a mammoth struggle if you're working without enough - or the right - support. It's times like these that we could really benefit from an extra pair of caring hands. Counselling is one way to help employees and managers alike learn how to swim above water, even during the storm.
Ways your organization can show care is through offering community service days, family activities, recognizing excellent employer-employee cooperation, and promoting the voices of employees and management in community meetings and activities. The reduction of health risks for physical conditions needs to be complemented with action to prevent and address mental ill health, an often-ignored reality in the workplace. Mental ill health is a condition of the brain that should not be treated differently than other chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. Every Mind Matters can help your employees discover simple steps to achieve good mental health in their work and personal lives. It’s full of expert advice and practical tips. It also has a free NHS-approved online tool which provides users with an action plan to help them deal with stress, boost their mood, improve their sleep and help them feel more in control. Making time for activities in or around work, such as walks, lunches together, or sponsorship for fundraising activities or exercise like gym memberships are things many employers already do and which have an effect on people’s mental health. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, workplace wellbeing ideas can be a difficult notion to comprehend.
Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace include recognizing and rewarding the contribution of employees. The opportunity cost of not promoting good mental health at work, and not supporting people who have mental illness or care for others who do is therefore very, very high. Nonetheless, almost all of us have witnessed people and practices in the workplace that ignore the needs of individuals or sometimes the whole team, and the resulting impacts such as staff turnover, absenteeism, low productivity and poor morale. Not asking for feedback may be because an employee is scared of speaking out. All good employers are concerned to recruit and nurture talent. Nurturing talent means that staff opportunities for career progression should not be undermined by periods of ill health. A substantial component of sickness absence is directly related to mental health problems. This must be addressed as an explicit priority by employers, trade unions and government. Individuals with mental health problems are amongst the most excluded people when it comes to employment - and it is argued that this leads to further social exclusion which precipitates and exacerbates mental ill-health. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as how to manage an employee with anxiety should be welcomed in the working environment.
Normalizing conversations about mental health within the workplace is the best way to reduce the stigma often associated with mental health topics. Companies whose leaders have openly been willing to discuss their own mental health concerns and experiences with their teams have had success in creating work environments where employees feel empowered and safe to share their own experiences. Feeling emotionally drained or stressed at work is directly correlated to distractions in the work environment, lost productivity, and uncertainty about the future. But failing to manage this stress properly can result in total burnout or lead to serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. And that’s only half the equation. These mental health issues can cause physical problems, like high blood pressure and chronic diseases. Given the high levels of stress and poor mental health we are seeing in the workplace, there is a growing demand for innovative and proactive ways of managing our mental health at work. The Wellness Action Plan (WAP) is inspired by Mary Ellen Copeland’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®): an evidence-based system used worldwide by people to manage their mental health. Feelings of stress and anxiety can be common in work places but it is possible to manage them without them having an impact on an employee’s ability to do their job. There are steps your business can take to provide the support that employees need. The ‘always-on’ work culture, which is particularly prevalent in the technology sector, hinges on deprived sleep, high-pressure environments, working across time zones, high attrition related strain, and more. It’s not uncommon for technologists to complain of burnout, work-related anxiety, and depression. To address these issues, ThoughtWorks employs a holistic approach that takes into consideration everything from people policies to learning initiatives to social awareness and sensitization efforts. Subjects such as employers duty of care mental health can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.
Strengths And Limitations
Employees should be involved in relevant decision making processes whether by surveys or in forums and workshops. This is a central prerequisite for maintaining a mentally healthy workforce. Not defending the speed-of-execution standard can be because an employee is scared of speaking out. If you find you are often worrying about work, if you feel nervous a lot of the time and you are restless and on edge, then your feelings of anxiety may be a symptom of a mental health condition such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias or obsessive compulsive disorder. We need to understand and address the causes of mental health problems and ensure that working life both supports good mental health and addresses risk factors. Clinical screenings from mental health professionals that provide feedback and clinical referrals when appropriate. The effort of seeking evaluation and treatment can otherwise be a barrier. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around managing employees with mental health issues need planning and implementing properly.
Such is the extent of mental health problems and struggles among the population that some in government, healthcare, and the media have begun to talk about it in terms of a ‘crisis’. Indeed, there are signs that the government is beginning to look at mental health in the same way as other public health issues; in 2018 the Chancellor’s budget included a £2bn increase in funding for mental health services. Although there has been notable progress in organizations opening up the conversation around mental health and investing in well-being initiatives, the data still show a disparity when it comes to wider mental health support in workplaces. We know that individuals with a mental health condition can find it harder to find employment, but there are 1.5 million individuals in the UK with a diagnosed long-term mental health condition in work and the rate of employment has increased. Everyone has mental health and, like physical health, it fluctuates along a spectrum from good to poor. Work can have a huge impact – it can promote well-being or trigger problems. Consequently, the causes of unmanageable stress and mental health problems are often complex. Employers know that people perform better when they feel able to put everything into their job and when they are confident, motivated and completely focused on doing that. Good mental health underpins this. By positively managing and supporting employees’ mental wellbeing, employers can ensure that staff perform to their potential – and this allows the business to achieve peak performance. Thinking about concepts such as workplace wellbeing support is really helpful in a workplace environment.
Lead From The Top
Once managers feel safe identifying issues and approaching their team members, it may also be necessary to evaluate whether the issue stems from the workplace or the home. A study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that a demanding workload, a feeling of lack of control, and/or an unsupportive environment also contributes to anxiety, stress, and depression at work. There’s a reason employees feel unable to disconnect and recharge, even amidst a rise in mental health days and in-office lounges. It’s time we start addressing the real issue. Creating laid-back, comfortable spaces isn’t inherently problematic, but equating it with proactive mental health reform is. Simply put, hip does not equal healthy. Mental health is critical for an engaged, productive, and effective workplace. As an employer or manager, you can take steps to be more accepting, understanding, and supportive of those who've got mental health issues. You can get more insights appertaining to Employee Mental Health Programs Mediations in this World Health Organisation page.