As Covid-19 continues to affect the way we move forwards in our lives, it’s now more important than ever for employers to place a focus on the mental well-being of their team.

According to The CIPD ‘UK Working Lives’ survey, one in four workers feel their job negatively affects their mental health, whilst 55% also said that they feel under excessive pressure, exhausted or regularly miserable at work.

And it’s stats like these that should make it clear to employers that if they want their team to be able to give their best and excel in their roles, that addressing their mental health is just as important as improving their physical health.

As an employer, it’s important to implement systems to combat work-related causes and create an open, supportive culture to encourage your team to speak up and seek help if they begin experiencing any symptoms that are affecting their daily life. 

By reducing stress or anxiety at work, not only will you have the mental well-being of your team at the forefront, but it will, in turn, benefit your company with:

  • Happy, healthy employees
  • Improved performance and productivity
  • Lower absence percentages
  • Reduced disputes
  • The ability to attract and retain new talent

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy or obvious to notice that someone is suffering from a high level of stress. In fact, it’s common for most people to try and cover up their true feelings at work. But there are a few early warning signs you can pick up on and start making improvements on such as:

  • An increase in absences or turning up to work late
  • Appearing tired, anxious or withdrawn and reduced interest in tasks they previously enjoyed
  • Changes in the standard or their work, a lack of attention or a sudden drop in KPIs
  • Changes in the person’s usual behaviour and how they interact with the people around them

So what can you do to ensure the safe mental well-being of your team?

Promote Good Mental Health Within The Organisation

Start the conversation… We all have mental health, so why don’t people speak out about it more?  If your team know that mental health is a topic that is openly talked about, there’s immediately going to be less stigma around it. Show them that your door is always open to discuss issues and that support is always available, no matter how big or small it may seem to them. 

Get The Whole Team Involved

Especially as your company grows, it can become harder to notice those little signs from everyone in the team. So get others involved, train them to spot problems and know how to lead the conversation to help other team members open up. In some cases, a person may find it easier talking to another team member or line manager.

Monitor Workloads

Ensure your employees aren’t struggling under the sheer volume of work, unrealistic or tight deadlines. These can contribute to employees feeling an enormous amount of pressure, which is usually when symptoms of stress can arise. 

Encourage Consistent Communication Between Team Members

Especially with the current climate, where many people have been forced to work from home, people are often left feeling isolated and alone. By encouraging team members to jump on virtual meetings like Zoom whether 1:1 or as a team, it helps to bring back the community aspect you typically see in the office. 

Dig A Bit Deeper

Sometimes it can be life outside of work that’s causing the stress and making your employee unable to cope with their normal working day. It’s important to help them identify this and do what you can in the workplace to help them through.

While World Mental Health Day is over for another year, mental issues and the stigma surrounding them continues. So let’s keep the conversation going and give your employees mental health the awareness it deserves.