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About Me

While writing features, I am constantly studying Workplace Mental Health Programs Mediations and themes relevant to this.

When workers feel trusted to handle their own responsibilities, it makes them feel empowered, safe, appreciated, and ultimately helps to create a positive culture of autonomy and confidence in the workplace. But fostering a sense of autonomy among a team first starts with good leadership. There has been a lot written about how to tackle mental ill health and promote wellbeing in the workplace. A safe and inclusive workplace is key when an employee returns to work after a mental health-related absence. It’s important for employees and managers to recognize that they need to treat and manage employees with mental health conditions like any other health condition. Support and understanding are critical for ensuring a successful return to work for these employees. As an employer, you have a duty of care to look after your people's mental health. This means you must do all you reasonably can to support health, safety and wellbeing - and this includes stress levels. Across all businesses, there are still few managers, directors and senior officials declaring a long term mental health condition. Employees tend to perceive that having a mental health condition could hamper their progression: 35% of people think they would be less likely to get promoted if they had depression, resulting in a loss of diversity and skills throughout organisations. The average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working. Poor employee mental health can be due to factors internal or external to the workplace and, without effective management, can seriously impact employees’ productivity, career prospects and wider health.

Workplace Mental Health Programs Mediations

There is a large annual cost to employers from mental ill health of between £33 billion and £42 billion3 (with over half of the cost coming from presenteeism – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work) with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover. By focussing on how to build resilience at work at the individual level, you’re also creating a resilient organisation. Happy employees are engaged, motivated, and productive, able to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances and take the company with them. Management actions can help to create workplaces that are good for mental health and wellbeing and prevent harm to mental health caused by job-related stress, poor work design and management practices. Workplace conditions, which include good quality jobs, are strongly related to engagement and emotional health and wellbeing, and reduce the negative consequences of disengagement, ill health and sickness absence. Studies show that behaviors of leaders and supervisors influence the actions and job performance of employees and that unsupportive managers are associated with poorer employee health and higher turnover. More recent evidence builds on previous studies to show that having an unsupportive supervisor is also associated with poor mental health. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, workplace wellbeing ideas can be a difficult notion to comprehend.

Emotional Issues

Good mental health enables people to realize their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their communities. Employment advisers can work alongside therapists, providing information, advice, and guidance to help people suffering from mild to moderate depression and anxiety to remain at or return to work, or gain new work. Recently though, evidence suggests that mental health organisations are putting in concerted efforts to change this opinion. ACAS is a valuable HR source and the organisation teamed up with the NHS Mindful Employer Initiative to develop a training package and advisory booklet that promotes positive mental health at work. Wellbeing sessions will be a welcome additional to many employees’ lives and ultimately should be part of a healthy work culture. But the shortcoming uncovered here that while they might help some individuals with short-term office-born issues such as a stress, deeper-rooted problems will need further work. Mental health charity Mind regularly surveys staff across a range of employers for its annual Workplace Wellbeing Index. Its most recent survey found that of over 40,000 staff working across 114 organisations, 41% said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic, with fears about job security, redundancy, and the challenges of remote working all having an impact. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing how to manage an employee with anxiety it is of utmost importance in this day and age.

As the workplace and the workforce changes, so there is the need to do analysis to keep abreast of the implications of those changes, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises, the self-employed and those working in the gig economy. Employers should prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity. There’s no question that presenteeism is difficult to define and even more difficult to tackle. What we’re talking about here is not the kind of presenteeism that means people are staying at their desks longer than necessary in an effort to show how hard they are working - although that’s not great either. While companies taking employees’ mental health issues seriously is crucial, it’s not enough to simply release a mental health inclusion statement or mandate. There are real effective measures companies can put into place that show a more consistent and meaningful commitment. Studies show that organisations with higher levels of employee engagement benefit from better productivity, profitability and stronger staff commitment. In the public sector, this brings better outcomes and better quality customer service. An opinion on workplace wellbeing support is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.

Every Company Has A Culture

All employers can and should routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors. Some of the costs associated with poor mental health at work occur because undetected problems are left unchecked and spiral into a crisis. Good communication and people management skills go a long way to preventing stress and poor mental health among employees – often it’s about a common-sense approach. “Employee happiness,” “employee engagement,” and “employee wellbeing” are terms that often thrown around interchangeably. While they’re all related, they mean different things and imply different strategies. Everyone’s experience of poor mental health is different – so two people with a diagnosis of depression may have very different symptoms and need different adjustments. This may seem complex, but often the person will be the expert on their condition and know their own support needs. In essence this means managing the person as an individual, in the same way that you flex your general management style. Mental health is something that we all have and something that we need to work at. It enables us to participate fully in life and get the most out of what we do. We all encounter situations and scenarios that can cause us stress. Knowing how to deal with these and actively managing them can help to minimise the impact they have on us and on our life. Discussing ideas such as employers duty of care mental health is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

By tackling the issue of mental health in the workplace from the starting point of promoting wellbeing you may find that in itself begins to address some of the stigma and stereotypes associated with mental ill health, and achieve early buy-in from staff. If employees are more aware of what 'wellbeing' is, what the benefits are, and how they can achieve it, they will be better equipped to look after themselves and be more sensitive to the needs of others. Once you’ve identified the main stressors in the workplace, make it a priority to address employee mental health in the workplace. If flexible hours or telecommuting will help people juggle work and life, get on it. If resources are an issue, staff up, contract out, add budget or shift gears to put some projects on hold. Organisations should value mental health and wellbeing as core business assets and support the development of compassionate and effective line management relationships. Just two years ago, an article in the Guardian reported a Friends of Life survey that said 40% of people from a variety of industries had mental health problems but kept them hidden from employers - half of the respondents thought disclosure would damage their career. Time to Change meanwhile, say 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination. Burn out is a big issue for the public/third sectors, a remarkable similarity between passion driven jobs (including startups, nursing/carers, and teachers) and hitting walls. Especially, the care sector where the turnover is huge because of the overbearing stress. Subjects such as managing employees with mental health issues can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Offering A Tailored Approach

It’s important for team members to feel empowered to instigate ideas and suggest mental health initiatives in their workplace — either way, one voice can make a difference. So, whatever your role or level of seniority, remember that each person in a company makes a difference and that you can be that voice to create a meaningful change in your company’s culture. Many factors can affect mental health at work. Stress is an important way in which work affects mental health. Depression and anxiety are common and may be related to work (as well as to other factors such as difficult life events, for example bereavement or relationship breakdown). Many companies use an employee assistance program (EAP) to support workplace mental health. Some employees may be reluctant to use this resource due to fear of stigma, shame, and lack of understanding about how these confidential programs work. Find more insights about Workplace Mental Health Programs Mediations at this Health and Safety Executive link.

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