As a business owner, you have a duty of care to support your employee’s overall health and wellbeing. Once upon a time, this was most predominantly applied to only physical health, but the rise in mental health issues has made this just as – if not more – important than the likes of flu and migraines.
A staggering 792 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide, making this a very real pandemic that demands time, care and attention. As a business owner, here are 5 ways that you can support your employee’s mental health…
Recognise the signs
Before you can offer support where the mental health of your staff is concerned, first you must be able to see the signs and recognise when the help is needed. Uncharacteristic and erratic behaviour, poor productivity, low engagement and high absentees are all very valid signs that one or more members of your workforce is dealing with mental health issues.
There are a multitude of online workshops and seminars that have been designed to help business owners understand any potential red flags.
Normalise mental health challenges
It’s quite shocking that, despite the continuously-increasing statistics, mental health is still such a taboo subject. How will people ever feel comfortable stepping forward and asking for help, when the matter is still wrapped up as ‘shameful’?
As an employer, make an effort to normalise mental health challenges. If someone suffers from an upset stomach, or a broken wrist, the appropriate help is already in place. Why should it be any different for mental health? Keep the conversation going, and let your employees know you have resources in place should they feel the need to take advantage.
Utilise any available technology
In the 21st century, there’s a technological solution for almost anything! LifeWorks, for example, has been carefully designed to offer modern employee assistance, wellness, recognition and incentive programmes in a total well-being solution that helps all of your staff.
As an employer, it’s important to remember that you’re not completely and one hundred percent reliable for protecting the mental health of your employees. If you can support the concept using technology, that’s still great.
Work to (truly!) understand your employees
Your staff are fundamental to your business, and to the growth and success that you want it to see. This cannot happen swiftly and effectively if you don’t truly understand your employees, and the challenges they may face both inside and outside of work.
As a result, you should make it a priority to get to know your staff on a level deeper than just their job role and how they can help your business. By doing so, you’ll make your employees feel truly valued and understood, and, should they feel it necessary, they’ll feel more comfortable about approaching you regarding mental health matters.
Establish effective and powerful resources
To support the mental health of your employees, you should have the right tools and resources in place. Sure, talking about it is great, but what happens when your staff need more than that? With the figure of people suffering from mental health issues only increasing, it could happen sooner than you think…
Designing anonymous employee surveys, creating a physical ‘headspace’ room and offering an available counselling service are all adequate ways you can show your staff that you truly care.