How 2020 Has Highlighted The Need For a Mental Wellbeing Plan In The Workplace
2020 has been a strange one in the world of work. Since March, as the Covid -19 situation has developed, workplaces have been forced to change and adapt. One thing that is certain is that workplace wellbeing has suffered, from uncertainty about the virus, anxiety about job security to feeling isolated at home. It’s more important than ever that we look after our employee’s wellbeing, especially at this time of year.
HR and Business Leaders must make sure that their employees wellbeing is at the forefront of their minds, and all levels of the business will need support and guidance on not only looking after themselves, but also spotting any potential problems in the workplace – something that can be challenging if your employees are working from home.
Let’s not forget that even before this pandemic, Benenden Health reported that 1 in 4 people were likely to suffer from mental health issues within their lifetime. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that this statistic will have got worse this year. The impact of continued remote working, redundancies, long periods on furlough, alongside additional pressure of a difficult work life balance, isolation and schooling is adding to the worry, anxiety and associated mental health issues that were already contributing to difficulties within workforces.
On the surface, you may not realise it but poor mental health can have a detrimental impact to companies, especially if left or not dealt with. Two examples of this are poor productivity and also the high cost of sickness and absence, but there are many, many more. Focussing on your workforces mental health will only ever be beneficial to a company, with improved morale and retention being just a few of the benefits you can expect.
What Can You Do As a Company To Improve Mental Wellbeing?
Speak To Your Employees and Conduct Regular Surveys – this might sound like a simple suggestion, but it’s one that many companies fail to do. Conversations and surveys allow you to gain helpful feedback and suggestions. This also shows that you are taking their mental wellbeing seriously and you can easily implement solutions that will improve morale and gain savings.
Provide Training and Share Expertise – not everybody can spot the signs of stress and struggle, especially in their colleagues. Some simple training can help everybody within a workplace know what to look for, so that they can act accordingly. Companies I work with, quite often have effective wellbeing plans in place, but have needed additional support in other areas to support work life boundaries, help with managing stress and anxiety and tools to increase resilience.
– Emma Langton, Emma Langton Coaching