A recent survey has shown that over half of employees have encountered workplace bullying, this is quite an alarming statistic and raises a question for every organisation .. Are you doing enough to promote wellbeing at work? It has been well proven that a happy workforce will perform better so there are clear ethical and business reasons for getting this right.
In the same survey, conducted by City and Guilds Group it was discovered that only one in ten companies proactively take steps to support mental health. Mental health is much like physical health, we all have it. There will be times when we have illnesses but even when we are not ill, we have good days and bad days. The stigma of talking about mental health is lifting leading to more open discussions and more focus being placed on how this is supported in the workplace. There is a discomfort about talking about mental health and often this is underpinned with a fear of getting it wrong and making things worse. In 2019 we will be focusing on Mental Health in some of our blogs so you can expect to see more about this however here are our top 5 things you can do to focus on mental health in your business:
- Ensure managers are trained and comfortable talking about mental health.
- Insist that regular 121 conversations are conducted with every employee and that there is the time in these conversations to discuss how the employee is feeling.
- Think about working practices, do you have a culture of working late? Do you expect employees to be responding to work emails on their phones out of hours? This ‘always on’ approach can have a detrimental impact on mental wellbeing.
- Be a role model, avoid sending emails out of hours, insist that your teams take breaks and on the whole finish work on time.
- Focus on building the team, build trust and open dialogue in the workplace so that problems (such as bullying) are prevented or become apparent and can be tackled.
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The study also found that social media and other digital channels have created even greater challenges for businesses. Although seen as valuable to connecting and collaborating with colleagues, these mediums have opened up more avenues for workers to feel anxious or stressed in the workplace and are almost impossible to monitor, leading to 63 percent of business leaders saying it’s more difficult to manage the psychological safety of employees due to social media.
On the impact of social media and non-business channels on the management of mental safety, Yates added,
While it may seem that social media hovers like a dark cloud in the workplace, advancements in technology are only going to evolve and avoiding issues like these will no doubt create problems further down the line. It’s a good opportunity for firms to revamp their policies, and for leaders to develop tactics for managing the welfare of employees in a way that is fit for the future.