There can be a big human cost of poor health at work, and this can cause a large financial cost to companies. Studies have shown that investing in employee wellbeing and corporate wellness programmes can deliver bottom-line returns. When companies approach wellbeing as a core business strategy it can lead to measurable return on investment, through improved company culture, higher engagement, lower turnover, and improved productivity.
According to a new report from the CIPD – more than three-quarters (76%) of organisations have had staff absent because of stress in the past year, indicating UK workplaces still have lots of room for improvement when it comes to the mental wellbeing of their employees.
Communication is the first step to solving many problems and this is especially true when it comes to creating an open dialogue about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. All good employers know that it is important to create an environment that is open and inclusive and where mental health and wellbeing are openly discussed and prioritised.
Empathetic Management Culture
The first step towards promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is gaining buy-in from leadership. When top management demonstrates a commitment to these issues, it sends a powerful message to the entire organisation.
When it comes to ‘management style’, employers should ensure line managers are supported and trained to be effective people managers and to look after health and wellbeing in their teams. Managers should strive to get to know all members of their team and understand their individual needs. They should be encouraged to conduct regular check-ins with their team members to gauge their mental and emotional well-being.
Training and Education
Some workplaces will have mental health first aiders on their team. These are trained volunteers who can be invaluable in giving employees a first point of contact, allowing them to share problems with a colleague rather than management. Mental health training for employees empowers individuals with the knowledge and skills to nurture their wellbeing, enhance resilience, and cultivate healthier relationships, leading to a happier team.
Support a work/life balance
Encourage your employees to speak openly about their feelings, stressors, and concerns. Employees need to know that their managers will support them with their wellbeing – but they also need to be encouraged to take their own wellbeing seriously, and to speak up if they are unhappy in order to improve their circumstances.
Promoting work-life balance is a key component of overall wellbeing. A healthy work-life balance involves individuals consciously managing their time and energy to meet both professional and personal commitments while prioritising self-care and wellbeing. A good work-life balance is proven to reduce workplace pressure and boost mental and physical wellbeing.
Organisations that take a proactive approach will reap the rewards of a workforce whose health and wellbeing is known to be a priority. Embedding these values into your HR strategy, can transform your culture into one of support and empathy.
If you would like advice on employee relations or supporting the wellbeing of your workforce, please contact hr inspire’s expert HR team – a leading HR consultancy that brings your business the benefits, protection and experience of an entire HR department.