How to promote good mental health at work
Mental health and wellbeing are something that we should all take care of at the best of times. I took a proper break over Christmas and it made me realise just how exhausted I was. I’m sure many of you felt the same.
In December, there was a feeling of collective relief that 2020 was over. In January, we all realised the problems had far from gone away. I think it is fair to say everyone is feeling the strain. Now more than ever, we need to take care of our own and our employees’ mental health and wellbeing.
What can you do to help your employees?
Keep communicating: Regular meetings remind them they are part of a team. In fact, some have found that, by making having regular meetings, communication has improved while people have worked from home.
Reach out regularly: Are they finding home schooling tough? Do they live alone? Are they worried about someone close to them? Do they have mental health issues? If so, a friendly chat and a coffee may be just the release they need. It may be good for you too.
Give recognition: Make a habit of recognising team members and calling out their good work. Feeling noticed can turn a bad day around.
Be creative: Make time for team socialising. It is easy to always be working in a virtual World. We all need a bit of downtime too. It could be coffee and cakes or something more creative. Remember, some of your team may not see anyone else outside of work.
Manage expectations: keep your employees informed of what is happening in your business and how it affects them. False rumours fill empty spaces.
Mental Health First Aiders are trained to support people who are showing signs of struggling with their mental health. I personally found it a challenging but enlightening course. St John’s Ambulance continue to run these courses.
Make your employees aware of any employee assistance programmes you have. These are often available through benefits packages (eg Perkbox), private health insurance and health cash plans (eg Healthshield, Westfield Health). If you already have these, publish details to your team. If not, they are reasonably priced and can provide welcome additional benefits.
You may feel it appropriate to support your employees with a course of counselling. If so, always choose a qualified counsellor.
What can you do to help your own mental health?
While you are looking out for everyone else, please don’t forget yourself.
Keeping eating and drinking properly.
Make time and space for you to unwind. I know that’s difficult but you can’t be under incredible pressure indefinitely. Like everyone else, you need a release. Build regular exercise into your day and give yourself time to have fun. My daily walks have become more important than ever.
Stop checking your emails. Have a switch off time when you turn away from work. You will feel much fresher for doing so.
While there is light at the end of the tunnel, we all need to look after our mental health. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further.