Stress at work, clocking up long hours in the office, and meeting tight deadlines can all have an effect on the wellbeing of staff.
Recent findings from the NHS has shown that approximately 50% of all long-term absences from work are as a result of mental health issues, proving that caring for employees should be a top priority for bosses.
The CIPD conducted research with mental health charity, MIND, and found that one in four people have experienced mental ill health, with the latest statistics showing that two fifths of employers have seen an increase in mental healthproblems being reported, outlining that this is an area of concern to employers.
To coincide with World Mental Health Day, which takes place on Friday 10 October, leading HR and employment law company, Empire, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, said it is important to deal with the issue of mental health awareness in the office to avoid long-term damage.
Donna Gibb, Operations Director of Empire said: “Mental ill health can be caused by a combination of factors, whether these are primarily from within the work place or from home, as an employer it is imperative to look out for employees andensure their well being is of significant importance. It is important to keep staff educated about this sensitive topic and ensure proper training is in place for managers for them to be able to utilise this into their day-to-day practices.”
Here, Empire offers some advice on how to be proactive in caring for employees well-being:
Regular one to one meetings with staff members will allow them to voice if they arefeeling under pressure and stressed at work. Employees can be under excessive stress not just in the work place but also at home as well and it is important for employers to take this into account. Employers need to ensure their employees feel like they can trust them to be comfortable with them to raise any issues with them. Developing a positive relationship through one to one meetings will help this trust process.
Employers can provide counselling services to their employees, be this from an internal or external division. Allowing flexible working opportunities will permit employees the opportunity to arrange counselling sessions with a professional ensuring they get the support they may need.
Offering employees an assistance programme should encourage them to come forward about the pressures and stresses they may be faced at work or at home, and will reassure employees that they have the support of their employer.
Managers are in place to ensure the smooth running of day-to-day work. Employers have placed these specific individuals in these positions to oversee the team, but to also keep an eye out for early warning signs of possible problems. These individuals need to be trained to have good conversations with other employees and be proactive with staff to ensure they feel like they can trust and depend on their managers.
By assessing the demands staff are under, managers can address any possible issues and report back to their employers if they feel action is necessary.
It is important for employers to take into account external stresses outside of the office. By ensuring that managers are trained to deal with employees in the correct manner, this will allow staff to voice any issues they may have in a confidential, trusting environment.
Mental Health First Aiders
The role of a mental health first aider is intended to be a first point of contact to help individuals experiencing mental health problems or distress at work. Skills training may be given to manager or employees as part of a generic wellness programme. Empire supports organisations by providing them with Mental Health First Aid training.