As we mark World Mental Health Day this week it’s important to remember that looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It’s also timely to look out for those in the workplace too. We spend many hours of the day in the office, at the factory or working from home, so it’s key for employers and colleagues to look out for one another.
It’s not always easy to spot the signs that someone is going through a tough time. There may be indicators such as behaviour which is unlike their usual characteristics, pulling back from social situations, or becoming more with-drawn in general. Sometimes just saying a simple ‘are you okay?’ could be the avenue they need to discuss how they are really feeling and perhaps refer them to a specialist. For companies that are looking to internally improve the wellbeing of their staff, here are a number of methods to try out and introduce.
1. Create An Employee Wellbeing Survey
Every company is different, and each company has their own unique characteristics and cultures. But getting to grips with the overall mood of your team from the start of your path to improving wellbeing is by sending out a survey to get their honest opinion of what change and support they would like to see. Not only does this give employees a voice, it also saves you time and money in the long run because you’re gaining a clear picture of what the team wants from the start.
2. Mental Health First Aiders
It’s becoming more and more common for workplaces to have designated mental health first aiders. Just as you have traditional first aiders who can help when you’ve hurt yourself in the office, mental health first aiders take on this role in a mindful way. There are a number of courses and training establishments that provide professional qualifications, including St John Ambulance. By completing the course, these first aiders will be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental illness, be able to provide support, and will be equipped with the skills to introduce a positive mental health culture in the workplace.
3. Wellbeing Walks
How many times have you sat at your desk without having a proper lunch break? It’s time to break the habit of eating in front of your screen and em-brace the great outdoors. Even if you’ve got a busy schedule, just taking some time out for a walk can work wonders. Not only can it reduce stress by releasing endorphins, it can also help put the brain into a meditative state, as well as boost energy and reduce fatigue. Plus walking with friends or col-leagues has even more advantages as it builds social bonds. Perhaps put up a poster encouraging staff to have regular group walks throughout the week.
4. Provide an Employee Assistance Programme
If an employee is going through a particularly challenging time, they may not feel comfortable talking it through with their colleagues or managers and need further guidance. This is where Employee Assistance Programmes come into place. They are an independent source of support that provide confidential conversations with individuals and offer help to improve their wellbeing. Whether that’s relationship issues, drug and alcohol use, or signs of depression, they provide quality and qualified outsider assistance.
5. Don’t Forget About Flexible Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us how we can adapt the workplace for a digital environment. Now that many of us have returned to the office, we can’t forget about those who are still working from home or remotely with little communication and comradeship that you would normally experience in the bustling workplace. Bring in virtual and physical get togethers, organise quizzes and provide incentives for staff to have a good work/life balance with gym memberships. It’s also important for managers to check in with those working from home to keep up to date on a personal and professional level.
According to the mental health charity Mind: “60% of employees say they’d feel more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental wellbeing.” It’s more vital than ever that employees assess how they are taking care of the wellbeing of their staff to improve staff retention and to show that employees are being valued.
At Omega we work with a wide number of clients who have a great reputation for providing quality wellbeing programmes in the workplace. We offer a range of temporary, contract and permanent opportunities, in partnership with leading employers in the Engineering, Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, Defence, Scientific, Oil & Gas, Logistics and Manufacturing sectors. Speak to our team on 01453 827333 to see how we can help you or visit our website to view our latest opportunities
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