26/10/2020

The stress-free steps to opening up a dialogue about mental health

mental health

The mental health of employees has become a growing concern amongst businesses across all sectors. Finding new ways to talk about this subject requires imagination and empathy, as well as a keen understanding of the role great mental health plays in fuelling healthier, more productive companies.

Tailor to your workplace

Not every workplace is starting from the same foundation, when it comes to the demands of mental health at work. Some offices are naturally more stressful than others, so think about this at the outset. If the work which is carried out is particularly ‘high stakes’ then it is likely that a large number of employees may be feeling the strain, but likewise a less high pressure job does not necessarily translate to positive mental health. Think carefully about where you begin.

Check-in with staff

Regular meetings and check-ins with your staff will help them voice any concerns they have and also gives them the space to be honest about their experiences at work. These meetings should always be as relaxed as possible and take place in a private space so that staff do not feel constrained by the presence of others.

If these meetings cannot be conducted by the boss of the business, then ensure that they are carried out by a staff member who has appropriate seniority whilst also being separate from the main core of the business. Again, stress the confidentiality of this space.

Organise activities to boost wellbeing

There are lots of different activities and events which can help to build stronger teams, all whilst also having a positive impact upon the wellbeing of your team. Team-building exercises could take place either within the workplace itself or outside of working hours and will provide a touchstone and something to look forward to.

We particularly recommend incorporating wellbeing activities into the working day, such as encouraging employees to get some fresh air rather than staying indoors all day.

Encourage openness

A culture which values the wellbeing of its staff will always encourage greater loyalty and attract the best talent. In today’s competitive working world, this requires businesses to be more open with their employees, but also to encourage them to do the same. It is important to establish not only practical steps which will prompt staff to talk about their concerns and their feelings, but also to weave this ethos into company messaging. Be sure to make it known the culture of the business is changing through appropriate signage and / or staff meetings to discuss this shift.

Offer practical resources

Focusing on mental health should be about much more than just team building and check-ups. Ensure that anyone who is struggling is given the resources they need to help them, even if this means referring to an outside source.

Whilst many issues can be helped at work, some cannot and may require additional help. Simply making sure staff know they won’t be judged if they require this further assistance is a major step towards building a positive and supportive workplace.


Also published on Medium.

Written by
Scott Dylan
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Scott Dylan

I’m Scott Dylan, Fresh Thinking Group Founder and Partner. I oversee the strategic direction of the company, which I created to help, acquire and invest in both distressed and viable companies together with helping businesses improve their business processes and setting strategic directions.