With Mental Health Awareness week taking place in the UK between 14th-20th May 2018, focusing on the theme of stress this year, it serves as an important reminder to consider the impact of stress at work and how mental health issues can affect our workforce.
Stress is a common risk factor at work and evidence suggests that a significant amount of people in the UK experience some form of mental health problem, including but not limited to, depression and anxiety. Considering the turbulence of today’s society and increasing pressures, it is not surprising that people with mental health issues may find it harder to cope. As employees spend a lot of time at work, their workplace environment and culture can have a significant impact on how they feel. Mental health is still a sensitive topic for many, and some employees may choose not to share their problems with their employer for fear that they will be discriminated against.
Breaking the stigma and providing a supportive environment where employees can discuss their concerns is an essential duty for an employer. Human capital is the most valuable asset a company can have, providing a unique mix of talents which contribute to the uniqueness and competitiveness of the company. We know that providing a healthy workplace improves communication, productivity and morale. Supporting your employees through their mental health problems helps you to retain their skills, reducing absenteeism and loss of productivity in addition to reducing talent lost if your employees seek new employment elsewhere. Supporting the employees within your care shows you value them and demonstrates your commitment to corporate social responsibility and the community.
It can be difficult to broach such a sensitive topic, especially if your current organisational culture is not known for openness and sharing personal issues. Providing an anonymous and regular feedback survey is an effective way of collecting feedback from employees as they do not fear being identified or discriminated against, and as the survey is anonymous they are more likely to provide honest and insightful answers. Webropol can provide a HR Compass solution to gather this feedback, which consists of a bank of questions designed to examine workplace environment and culture that have been widely researched and are rooted in well-known motivation theories. HR Compass is powered by our survey and reporting software, making it simple for users to schedule and send regular feedback surveys and conduct analysis on reports.
Once the results are in, it is important to share your findings with the team, demonstrating areas of success and improvement. Action plans to address areas for improvement should be created, with actionable targets and outcomes that can be implemented to monitor progress. Showing your employees that you will act upon their feedback and work toward providing a more supportive work environment suited to their needs shows you value your employees. Remember to avoid complacency by gathering feedback on a regular basis, and avoid assuming you know what your employees need – ask them. Actions such as these and regular communication can also help to break the stigma attached to mental health issues in the workplace, providing a more inclusive environment for all of your employees.
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For more information about Webropol’s HR Compass and the services we offer such as project management and research consultancy, please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0) 1788 833881
For more information about Mental Health Awareness week, please click here .