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Posted by Maddie Brindley-Slater on 8 June 2022

The Importance Of Mental Health In The Workplace

The importance of mental health in the workplace 2

A lot has undoubtedly changed in the world of work over the last few years, thanks to the impact of the Coronavirus. If there is perhaps one positive aftereffect, it has been the increased emphasis on employee mental health in the workplace.

2020 brought global lockdowns, forcing a large percentage of office staff to work remotely. With the shift in work from the office to home, the emphasis on mental health at work became even more important. If companies wanted to maintain business output and keep their staff happy, they had to work even harder to look after employees whilst based at home.

Thanks to the above changes, staff mental health has become a priority for lots of companies; it is no longer just an additional thought for business owners.

With such a vast number of businesses now focusing on employee mental health and reaping huge rewards, if your company has reverted back to pre-pandemic ways, you could get left behind.

There is a whole host of benefits to maintaining positive mental health in the workplace; we’ve highlighted the top 3 reasons why you shouldn’t let mental health take a back seat.

3 reasons you should prioritise workplace mental health…


Positive wellbeing improves staff productivity

It goes without saying that teams who feel supported and positive in their job are a lot more productive than those who feel that they’re just another cog in the machine. Employees who feel their managers genuinely care about their mental wellbeing report enjoying work more and having an increased output as a result.

This all comes down to the boost a mental health focused culture creates. Workers who are given development opportunities and feel supported naturally feel more motivated and on track.

Additionally, a communal sense of openness can help to encourage colleagues to support one another during difficult times, which can play a big role towards alleviating stress.

Ultimately, creating an open environment where employees feel they can speak to their senior’s and colleagues about their mental health uplifts productivity.


Mental health schemes help to create a stronger culture

A strong culture us all about a company having a shared set of positive and uplifting values. In order to create a strong culture your teams need to operate in harmony and respect. Creating an environment in support of mental health is one way to go about this.

As a result of creating a strong company culture that prioritises positive mental health, your teams feel more valued, unified and willing to go the extra mile.

Having a mentally healthy workplace helps to bring teams together and makes staff feel supported and at ease in their roles. Support for mental wellbeing can be argued as one of the most crucial elements of a strong company culture and there is good reason to focus on this area.

A study by Columbia University found that companies with a strong culture saw under 14% staff turnover, versus nearly 50% for companies with a weak culture. There is a wealth of evidence to show how much of an impact culture can have on retention rates, with individuals who feel uplifted within their company being much more likely to stay on.

You’ll experience fewer absences

The UK’s mental health related absences take up 12.7% of all sickness days, in addition to this figure, the annual cost of mental health related issues in the UK costs a staggering £117.9 billion, showing the scale of the overall problem.

Often cited as a hidden illness due to the lack of apparent symptoms from the outside, mental health can be discrete and less overt compared to a physical health issue. Because of this, it can be hard to spot when an employee is suffering from poor mental health.

To add salt to the wound, untreated mental health issues can lead to a whole host of physical health problems as well; individuals suffering with stress, anxiety or depression are much more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease, which can lead to worse overall health and further sick days.

Offering an open door policy and having systems in place so support those who may not obviously be suffering from mental health can go a long way to managing employee health and absences.

It also helps to create an open culture within the workplace, so that teams look out for one another; a designated mental health first aider and lots of literature on the subject can come of assistance.

The importance of mental health in the workplace 3

How to support your team’s mental health

  • Give your employees plenty of development opportunities: they’ll grow in confidence and will feel more motivated, which can help cultivate a positive mindset
  • Set up an open-door policy: transparent communication between all levels of the business helps your teams feel supported and able to talk with team members
  • Offer mental health first aid training: have staff members trained and ready to spot and deal with instances when they arrive
  • Work with a business coach or mentor: coaching and mentoring programmes give all levels of the business opportunity to develop; feedback from an expert can help alleviate stress
  • Offer flexible working: giving staff a sense of autonomy helps to garner feelings of trust, aids work/life balance and can improve output
  • Check in regularly with your staff: this gives your teams the opportunity to receive feedback and report on their mental wellbeing

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