Employment Solicitor James Conley shares his top tips for businesses which look at encouraging a better working environment and improved mental health policies at work.
- Have a policy which covers the ways in which you can assist staff with their mental health. This may be by investing in a ‘mental health helpline’ which staff can access for free, or by offering to cover the cost of a mental health consultation where an employee and employer feels it would be beneficial.
- Ensure that management are aware of the signs that someone may be suffering from poor mental health and know how to assist. This could be achieved through training and having a comprehensive mental health policy.
- Make sure staff are supportive of one another. Encourage open dialogue about how people feel about their work loads and whether they have anything which is preventing them from reaching their potential.
- Try and share something with your staff which encourages dialogue and stimulates thought. This can be as simple as a new ‘Word of the Day’ or as complex as a daily crossword but anything which is educational or engaging can help break up the monotony of everyday working life and get people talking helps boost mental health in the office.
- If there are common periods when staff will be particularly pressured due to high work loads, make sure you check in with them and assess how they are coping. This can help prevent staff suffering unnecessarily.
- Ensure that your staff take time off away from work properly and unwind. Studies have shown that people who consistently work through their annual leave suffer with poor mental health later on.
- Research has shown that a lack of exercise and a poor diet are often a significant contributor to the deterioration of mental health. So encourage staff to take part in exercise and to eat well. By promoting to employee’s the benefits of a healthy lifestyle you can improve their mental wellbeing.
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For further advice on practical tips or on the law surrounding discrimination, or if you would like to discuss updates, advice and best practice for Mental Health in the workplace please contact our employment team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01603 598000.
*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.