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Mental Health Awareness Week- Kindness. What can you do?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for 2020 is kindness. It is important more than ever to show kindness to one another and help those around us who may be feeling lonely, isolated and anxious. Here are a few areas in which you can support someone’s mental health in the workplace.

  1. Embed a wellness culture.
    Employee health and wellbeing should be high on the agenda. There should be no shame in talking about mental health. Think about health and wellbeing programmes where employees can voice their ideas and are listened to. Employees should not be discriminated against should they have a mental illness.
  2. Training
    Management training as well as Company-wide training would further show the company’s commitment to tackling health and wellbeing. Training on stress management and resilience techniques will encourage employees to recognise their own stress levels and support in managing it themselves. We would advise businesses to train managers in spotting signs including increase in absence, poor performance or moody behaviour and monitoring these behaviours. Have you noticed any differences in behaviour when on a team video chat?
  3. Influence from Managers
    Managers have a great influence on the wellbeing of employees, factors could include; workload, work variety, work relationships, involvement, communication, spot signs of bullying, sense of purpose and stress. Businesses should support Managers in managing in times of change and challenge to reduce the negative effect that it may have. Managing this effectively can increase employee engagement.
  4. Initiatives
    There are plenty of initiatives that businesses can adopt to support employees’ wellbeing such as;

    • Recognition schemes and encouraging employees to praise each other for good work,
    • Promoting healthy eating,
    • Encouraging employees to take their entitled breaks- it can be too easy to work through lunch,
    • Promote exercise- walking around at lunch time, cycle to work schemes,
    • Employee assistance programmes can provide counselling and advice,
    • Promoting work/life balance and acknowledging those who are still working in the workplace, working from home, in addition to supporting those who may be furloughed and keeping in contact with them.
  5. Communication
    Communication is paramount. However, do not push an employee to talk about something that they are clearly uncomfortable with. Offer them options and be available when they are ready.
    When businesses are going through change, communication can take a back seat leaving employees wondering and worrying about what is happening, is their job ok? Always communicate even if there is nothing to communicate, it is important to instil trust and respect from the employees. There are numerous ways to keep in contact and choose methods that suit your organisation and culture.
    Encourage your employees to communicate to each other especially during these times, such as calling each other to ask how they are or have a virtual lunch break with each other.

Would you like support in promoting a wellness culture in your business? We can also carry out an audit to see where certain HR processes can affect an employee’s wellbeing. Contact one of our HR Consultants via hello@peachlaw.co.uk or call 0161 478 3800 to discuss the HR services we provide!

Mental Health Awareness Week- Kindness. What can you do?

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