Supporting employees to bring out their best
Shaping the future of learning
We spend more time at work than we do out of it and so it is hardly surprising that our workplace has an impact on each of us and our well-being, whether positive or negative.
It is a fact that one in four of us will suffer from mental health problems in our lifetime. Whilst workplace experiences are not the sole cause of this, they can be a factor and as such, employers have a responsibility to make sure that they are minimising the risk of causing problems. They also need to play a role in supporting employees who are suffering from mental health issues.
We have come a long way with regards to understanding about mental health and people are generally a lot more aware of mental illness and the support available. However, the impact of stress and negative working conditions on the well-being of employees can sometimes be overlooked.
Fortunately, there are many steps that organisations and, in particular, learning and development professionals can pro-actively take to educate and protect their workforce – after all, prevention is always a far better approach to take than cure.
Firstly, you need to create a positive working environment and minimise negative behaviours. Eliminating workplace bullying is an obvious place to start but actively improving the way that your staff interact with each and work together will also reap dividends – consider looking at aspects like relationship building, how people communicate when under pressure as well as giving and receiving feedback.
Secondly, you can help each individual to take responsibility for their own well-being and give them the tools to support them in this. This could range from educating them about life balance to helping them to handle themselves in situations they find challenging. For example, not being listened to can undermine your emotional well-being – offering training on how to be assertive and building confidence helps to overcome that.
Unfortunately there is only so much that you can do to prevent problems from happening but that doesn’t mean your support should stop there. Providing employees with strategies to deal with stress, manage emotions or encourage positive thinking will really help them to deal with tough times and come out the other side a stronger person.
Finally, promoting inclusion by raising awareness and, therefore, empathy and understanding for employees who could experience discrimination will help to alleviate the stress and distress they might otherwise feel. This can be achieved by talking about equality and diversity, targeting both employees and managers separately, with further focus on eliminating unconscious bias. However, you could also offer training that covers specific topics such as race, gender reassignment or disability if necessary.
Ultimately, good mental health in the workplace is down to making sure that your organisation is a warm, inclusive and welcoming environment for all so that your employees feel comfortable being themselves and bring their best to work.
We have highlighted just a handful of courses that support the mental health of your employees – visit kineocourses.co.uk for details about these courses and many more that will help you improve the lives of others.