Mental Health can affect as many as one in four people at a certain point in their lives, and this can be very problematic in the workplace. Many workers suffering from mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or stress can stop people from performing at their best. Organisations thrive when their team are healthy, motivated and focused. It is important as a Manager to support your staff appropriately through this difficult time. The support received is key in determining how well and how quickly your staff are able to get back to peak performance.
Support Your Staff
Applying a supportive approach when your staff are experiencing a mental health problem is not only about keeping hold of a valued member of the team, it also sends a message about your organisation’s values. Trust and integrity are two key points of engagement. Organisations that support their staff will see benefits in terms of loyalty and commitment from all employees.
We all have mental health, it can be very unpredictable and moves up and down a spectrum from good to poor. It can be affected by many different factors both inside and outside of work. Adopting an understanding approach can make your staff feel comfortable to approach you and discuss problems they may be facing due to work. Starting a conversation about it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Putting Support in Place
There are many options you can consider to effectively support your staff and increase employee engagement, motivation and productivity.
You can introduce flexible working hours for a period of time to make your staff feel less confined, and encourages them to continue their work on terms they feel comfortable in.
It is important that you have return to work policies to ensure you are prepared when facing difficult situations like this. A popular method used in many different organisations is bringing your staff back on a phased return to work. This is when staff are gradually re-introduced back in to work on a gradual basis. This reduces the possibility of your employee feeling overwhelmed and taking ten steps back.
Here we have provided an extended list of tips that you can consider when faced with a mental health problem in the workplace:
- Flexible working hours
- Working from home
- Return to work policies – phased return to work
- Agreement to give an employee leave at short notice and time off to attend appointments related to their mental health
- Extra training, coaching or mentoring
- Extra help with managing and negotiating workload
- Encourage people to be more aware of their mental state and reflect on what factors affect it in the workplace.
- Raising awareness and creating an open culture to discuss mental health.
If you require support in regards to mental health in your organisation, or would like more information on these points, contact us.