Mental health in your workforce needs to be at the top of your agenda. Find out why:

Recent news has highlighted the issue of mental health in the workplace, and the need for employers to ensure that such matters are right at the top of their agenda.

If one thing is for certain in light of tragic circumstances that are highlighted in the news, it’s that we can no longer view mental health problems as a taboo subject that can be pushed to one side. Owners and managers in businesses of all sizes need to ensure that they fully understand the impact that illnesses like depression can have on their workforce, and take a proactive approach to fulfilling their responsibilities.

Mental health problems cost employers a huge amount of cash every year. Promoting good mental health can have a multitude of benefits. So isn’t it time that you started giving it the careful thought that it deserves? Let’s take a look at some key areas where you can start making improvements and fulfilling your obligations.

Create policies and processes that are supportive, not restrictive

There are always going to be events that take place in an employee’s private life that a business has no control over. From relationship breakdowns to financial worries, there’s a broad spectrum of issues that can impact a person’s mental health and cause them difficulties.

Just because it’s not related to work though, doesn’t mean that managers can’t play a positive role in ensuring that individuals are suitably supported. Think about responsibly managing workloads, creating a positive working environment, and facilitating happy workplace relationships. The benefits of this can be far-reaching, and include increased productivity and morale, boosted staff engagement, and higher staff retention.

Handle personal data sensitively

There may be times when you gather information from your employees about any mental health issues that they may be facing. It may come to light in the recruitment process, for example, if they require any reasonable adjustments to be made so they can attend interviews, or further down the line if the employee needs to take time off work due to their illness.

It’s really important here that you handle the date sensitively, keep it confidential, and inform the individual how the information will be used. Never assume that you have their consent to discuss their problems with third parties, and keep them involved at every stage of the process. This is not only a right of your employee, but a legal obligation that you need to adhere to.

Encourage communication

It’s important to promote awareness of mental health problems at work, and of course, communication is essential here. Be prepared to talk about the big issues, and encourage employees to sit down and talk with their managers if they feel like they’re struggling. This is sometimes easier said than done, and can involve a culture shift, but ultimately will help you to reap the best rewards.

Be sure that your line managers have the skills to handle these conversations. It’s likely that they may need some extra training, and regular refresher sessions are a wise choice when you’re dealing with such a sensitive subject.

Of course, it isn’t possible to discuss all the complexities of mental health in the workplace in just one post. A cookie-cutter approach isn’t necessarily going to give you the results that you need, especially if there are problems already deeply engrained in your business’s culture.

Want to speak with a professional about how you can make real progress in terms of promoting employee well-being and effectively handling mental health problems? We’d be happy to discuss strategies with you, and the practicalities of implementing them.

Give us a call today!

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31% of employees think their boss should help them to lose weight. Do you agree?

According to recent research, almost one third (31%) of employees believe that their employer should help them to lose weight.

As more and more of us spend a huge chunk of time in the office, it’s not surprising that workers are starting to think that businesses should take more responsibility for the health of their workforce. Obesity is an issue that’s continuing to have an impact on our society as a whole, and the consequences can be extremely serious.

The study involved 582 adults in full-time or part-time employment in the United Kingdom (UK). 34% said that they felt their bosses had a moral obligation to help them to lead a healthier lifestyle, and 35% believed that incentivised weight loss programs could be a way forward. Interestingly, men were slightly more interested in weight loss schemes being offered by their employers than women.

A big question here is whether or not this is really a ‘work’ problem. A little further digging though demonstrates that the two are actually very closely linked. By giving employees the tools they need to get in shape, you could be minimizing absence due to sickness and also creating a workforce that’s productive, engaged, and motivated.

It could be the case that this survey highlights an increasingly popular school of thought. A ruling from the European Court of Justice stated that severe obesity should be classed as a disability. As well, back in October 2014, the chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, issued a report suggesting that employees in England could be awarded with cash or shopping vouchers for losing weight as part of a plan to tackle the obesity crisis.

Regardless of whether or not you think that you should play a part in keeping your employers trim, the key takeaway here is this: They’re starting to expect more from you than ever before when it comes to health and wellbeing, and if you want to keep your business profitable and productive, you can’t afford to ignore this. We can help!

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Want to help your staff get in shape, while boosting productivity at the same time? You probably haven’t considered this solution!

It’s that time of year again.

And it’s pretty likely that health kicks and lifestyle overhauls have been the subject of many discussions in your workplace.

Fad diets and beach bodies aside though, when’s the last time that you took a moment to consider how you’re promoting health and well-being to your employees?

It’s something that can have huge benefits for your business (from reduced staff absence to boosted morale and productivity), but it can also seem a bit wishy-washy on the surface. Of course you want to do all you can to make sure your staff are happy and well, but what practical steps can you actually take to facilitate this?

One option is to partner with local businesses to bring an exciting agenda of positive health and fitness messages, education, and initiatives into your workplace.

How this works is pretty simple on the surface. You pinpoint companies operating in your local area, and get in touch to invite them to share taster sessions with your members of staff, for mutual benefit. They get to increase the awareness of their services and build connections with those who are interested in what they have to offer, and you get the opportunity to create an exciting programme of events.

Of course though, you need to get some strong foundations in place if you want to make sure that it’s a success. Here, we’ll talk you through a few key things to consider.

Do your due diligence when it comes to choosing who to work with

You want experts who know their stuff sharing their advice with your employees. It’s really important therefore that you choose only businesses with sensible philosophies. Messages around moderation, eating real, whole foods, moving more, and making sustainable long-term lifestyle changes are the ones that you should gravitate towards.

Businesses that promote crash diets or living on packaged shakes should be avoided.

Make it clear that ‘hard sell’ isn’t appropriate

Your employees won’t appreciate it if you arrange for them to be stuck in a room for an hour with someone who’s going to try to force them into spending a fortune to take part in their latest programme. Avoid this by having a frank conversation from the beginning with the businesses you’re working with. Whilst it’s fine for them to mention that they have certain solutions available, your staff shouldn’t feel like they’re sitting through a sales pitch. The focus should be on providing useful information. Savvy business owners will know that this can organically lead to potentially lucrative relationships, but they won’t have to force it.

Keep your eye on the bigger picture

Running this type of initiative can be a great kick-start if you’re looking to put health and well-being on the agenda. Remember though that it isn’t a solution in its own right, and it isn’t a band-aid. For the best results, think about your wider policies and procedures, and the overall workplace culture. It might be the case that there are big issues at play that you need to tackle, such as a trend amongst your managers for requiring staff to work long shifts without a break away from their desks. You can’t fix everything at once, but you do need to take a holistic approach.

Partnering with local businesses can be a win-win solution when it comes to promoting well-being, and as you can see, it’s something that’s manageable for organisations of any size.

Is this something that you’re interested to pursue? And when will you be taking action?

Give us a call today!

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