Regardless of the industry you’re working in, mental health is an important issue for workplaces. Unfortunately, when employees suffer, it can be detrimental to their productivity and have a major impact on the amount of work that your business is able to complete.
Mental health can be a delicate subject to approach. Although an increasing number of people are more open to the idea of discussing the issues they’re facing, your staff may be experiencing a problem that they don’t know how to bring up.
In this guide, we’ve shared how you, their employer, can support an employee with mental health issues to maintain their wellbeing at work:
1. Observe any changes in staff
Before you approach any member of staff to discuss their mental health, it’s important to be aware of any changes in their behaviour. This is to ensure that you have a basic understanding of how the issue is impacting them and their workload.
Changes in their stress levels, behaviour or more absences than usual can suggest that an employee may be suffering mental health problems. So, if you notice a change in their behaviour or attitude, discuss this openly with your employee and remind them that you can support them.
2. Understand mental health problems
Health and wellbeing in the workplace is extremely importantand it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of it, so that you and your employee’s can spot the signs – and notice when help may be needed.
You can’t be open with your employees if you don’t understand what’s going on, or how it’s impacting their life. For that reason, spend some time reading up on how issues in the workplace can be detrimental on somebody’s mental health. Workplace bullying and stress are just two examples that you may want to consider.
3. Encourage staff to discuss their issues
Once you’ve shown that you understand mental health issues, encourage those who may be suffering to speak with you. Remind them that you’re there to offer support and once you’ve got a basic understanding of the most common issues, they may be more inclined to come to you for help.
Offer full discretion and explain that your business canseek professional help for them if they’re struggling to cope. You can enlist the help of companies such as Health Assured, who can help support businesses with employee wellbeing.
4. Be flexible with employees
Regardless of how important your member of staff is to the business, be aware that their mental health comes first. Employees will be even more valuable to your company when they aren’t suffering with health issues at work.In order to make sure that staff are happy and healthy,try to be flexible with their schedules. Employees suffering with a mental health condition may require specific workspace requirements or a change of working hours.
5. Consider reassigning job roles
Unfortunately, some job roles require a high attention to detail and a lot of stress. This can affect a person’s stress levels and possibly enforce a mental health problem, re-evaluating their workload and assigning specific tasks to other members of the team could ease the pressure on your employee. In fact, as an employer, you should be doing more to reduce workplace stress as it also affects productivity.
Offering a phased return to work or flexible working can make all the difference to the employee when they are due to return to work after a period of absence, and have a positive impact on stress levels.
By reading this guide, you should understand the importance of employee wellbeing. Not only will it make your workplace a happier place to be, but research has shown that employees are more productive and better engaged when the employer has a focus of the wellbeing of their employees.