It’s no secret that if your staff are struggling with their mental health - your business is suffering from a productivity problem.
Study after study shows that poor mental health outcomes directly impact efficiency, staff morale and profit.
It goes to reason then - that creating a safe and healthy workplace makes good business sense.
It’s a win-win for everyone - employer and employee.
And it’s why one of our key priorities here at REDI.E is to support employers to build positive mental health practices in the workplace.
Benefits of developing mental health strategies for the workplace
Employers can see huge benefits if they take the time to encourage and promote positive attitudes towards mental health in the workplace:
- reduce costs associated with worker absence
- reduce worker turnover and achieve greater staff loyalty - this then leads to a higher return on training investment
- minimise stress levels and improve morale - which leads to better productivity
These are just the day to day benefits. Let’s not forget about the need to avoid litigation and fines for breaches of health and safety laws.
What does a mentally healthy workplace look like?
A workplace that is full of happy people is obviously the first sign - and when this is the case, it is palpable - and can be felt by anyone who enters the office (including potential clients!)
This like good mornings, how are you going and the general reception when you walk in all go a long way towards building a positive atmosphere.
But the key sign of a mentally healthy workplace is the fact that ‘mental health’ is spoken about.
It needs to be acknowledged, it needs to be addressed - and this all needs to be normalised.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to encourage staff that it’s a safe environment to discuss any concerns.
You can do this by holding webinars and informative sessions on mental health to open up communications.
You need to drive home the message about what your company can do to support workers and their families.
Open discussions, increasing awareness
First and foremost, the management staff need to ensure they have an understanding of what mental health is about.
And if you are the CEO - it’s even more important. The more informed you are, the better you can work with your directors and managers to develop plans and create a safe environment.
Some of the things you can discuss in staff meetings are:
- the signs to look out for, when people might be struggling
- how to approach discussions with individuals
- formal protocols for reporting any issues
You also need to ensure you develop partnerships with health providers, so professionals can come in and talk about the issues and - and what you as a workplace need to be focusing on.
Alongside all this - if you are promoting your workplace as a healthy happy place to work - you will attract workers who want to be part of that.
And that is where recruitment comes in.
Part of your recruitment process
Ensuring positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace starts in the recruitment phase.
If you set a framework around expectations on the role they are taking on, especially around mental health, you can ensure new recruits are a good fit.
Ask questions like - are you willing to undergo training? Are you willing to provide it?
Cultural considerations are an important part of hiring. Does the candidate share the company's values? Will they work towards the same goals?
If you can hire people who are the right fit from the beginning, this will foster more positivity in the workplace.
More than just words - set the example
As with most workplace issues, leadership at the top of the chain is crucial.
If you are in senior management - it is on you to communicate constantly with your directors and their teams about how people are going.
Maintain positivity by scheduling more morning teas, lunches together, team building exercises and staff conferencing.
And most importantly, ensure you practice what you preach. Follow through with actions and be a leader when it comes to sharing your thoughts.
This will build trust with your employees and encourage them to come to you, before an issue escalates.
How REDI.E can help
Every program delivered by REDI.E includes important preparation and processes for mental health and wellbeing.
We ensure team meetings are regularly held, with a checklist for mental health. It outlines important questions to ask participants - and things to be looking out for in some of our most vulnerable clients.
We recruit based on the skill to connect with people. Our teams are armed with the knowledge to understand how to work with people who might be struggling. They are well trained to pick out instances where things might not be right.
This means REDI.E acts as another form of support for employers - with relationships with other services providers in the community.
So when our teams are conducting their activities and case work, they are trained to pick up on warning signs - and they have protocol for referrals.
Get in touch if you’d to learn more about working with REDI.E - and how we can help you on this journey.
This initiative is funded/supported by the Australian Government.