Supporting employees to bring out their best
Shaping the future of learning
A larger portion of our time is spent inside work that outside of work and so it is hardly surprising that our workplace has an impact on us and our well-being.
Money101 in their article ‘Why it’s time for CEOs to act on mental health’ Helen Steel, CEO, Shared Value Project recently reported, “Addressing mental ill-health can increase employee efficiency and attendance, improve customer engagement and financial stability, and create more thriving communities to do business with. Ultimately, healthier stakeholders equate to a healthier bottom line.” Investing in improving mental wellbeing in the workplace can generate positive returns to business, through both reduced costs and increased profitability. Undoubtedly, it would assist in cementing employees and customers’ trust too.
Whilst workplace experiences are rarely the sole cause, they are a contributory factor. Employers have a responsibility to make sure they are minimising negative influences that can lead to problems. They also play a role in supporting employees that are suffering from mental health issues.
We have come a long way in understanding mental health and people are generally more aware of mental illness and the support available. However, the impact of stress and negative working conditions on the well-being of employees can sometimes be overlooked.
Fortunately, there are many steps that organisations can proactively take to educate and protect their workforce – after all, prevention (is better than cure).
Firstly, you need to create a positive working environment and minimise negative behaviours. Eliminating workplace bullying is an obvious place to start. Actively improving the way your staff interact and work together will also be beneficial to the culture of the organisation. Consider looking at relationship building, how people communicate when under pressure as well as giving and receiving feedback.
Secondly, you can help individuals take responsibility for their own well-being and give them the tools to support them as they develop their mental health. The learning journey could range from educating about life balance through to empowering them about managing themselves in situations they find daunting. For example, not being listened to can undermine your emotional well-being so making training available on how to be assertive and building confidence will help to overcome that.
Unfortunately there is only so much that you can do to prevent problems from happening yet your support and training resources will go a long way to bridging gaps. Providing employees with strategies to deal with stress, manage emotions or encourage positive thinking will really help them to deal with difficult situations and tough times in their lives, enabling them to come out of the other side much stronger and more resilient
Finally, promoting inclusion through raising awareness and portraying empathy and understanding to those exposed to discrimination will help to alleviate the anxiety and distress they might otherwise feel. This can be achieved by talking about equality and diversity, targeting both employees and leaders separately, with further focus on eliminating unconscious bias. However, you could also offer training that covers specific topics such as race, gender reassignment or disability if better suited to the individual.
Ultimately, good mental health in the workplace is down to making sure that your organisation is an inclusive and welcoming environment. Your employees should feel comfortable being themselves so that they can contribute to the best of their ability and feel they are accomplishing
We have highlighted a handful of courses that support the positive mental health of your employees from Kineo’s extensive library. Visit kineocourses.com for details about these and other course modules to help you improve the lives of others and support a positive workplace culture.