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Mental Health Training In The Workplace: Why It’s Important

There has been an enormous shift in workplace culture over the last few years, much of which has been accelerated by the pandemic. As part of this culture shift, more and more workplaces are beginning to recognise the importance of mental health in the workplace. While this is long overdue, the newfound recognition of the importance of mental health training and awareness in the workplace is certainly a good thing!

Since the world began working from home (and in many cases, before then), companies have been introducing mental health policies, initiatives and procedures designed to support the mental wellbeing of their employees. Whether that be in the form of free counselling sessions, virtual office meetings for remote workers, or mental health days off work, it’s great to see so many businesses stepping up do their bit.

That being said, many business owners, through no fault of their own, do not have a full understanding of the effects an employees’ mental health can have on their business as a whole. Did you know that poor mental health in the workplace can cost UK workplaces up to 45billion a year

That figure might be extreme, but when you consider the fact that staff absenteeism, efficiency, enthusiasm and retention can all be impacted by mental health, it makes a lot of sense. Investing in the mental health of your staff is essential for any business that wishes to thrive and grow. 

What can impact an employee’s mental health at work?

Getting to the root cause of an employees mental health issues are not always simple, and it is not necessarily the responsibility of an employer to get to the bottom of them. After all, an employee’s personal life will have an impact on their mental health, amongst other things. 

However, that does not mean workplace environments can not contribute to a person’s mental health, both for better and worse. Aspects of the workplace that can have a significant on the employee’s mental health at work include:

  • Working hoursemployees tend to be happier when they have more flexible working hours. It makes sense – people who have more choice about when they work will undoubtedly have more freedom over their lives, leading to a greater sense of wellbeing over all.
  • Support network – most employees will feel happier if they have colleagues around them to support them. If an employee is struggling with something at work and has nobody to go to it can lead to unhappiness and resentment. 
  • Management – good relationships between employees and managers is essential to a healthy workplace culture. Nobody likes somebody breathing down their neck, being rude, or making unreasonable requests.
  • Unavailable / unclear paths to progression – any career minded individual wants to be continuously progressing. If an employee feels as though they are able to progress, diversify their skills, and offer a greater use to a business, they are more likely to be happier at work.
  • Inability to make decisions – if an employee has no power within your organisation, they may feel unhappy or resentful. Although most employees won’t be making executive decisions, it’s still important that they are heard and feedback is taken on board.

The above, of course, only scratches the surface of what can affect your employee’s mental health at work. Deadlines, workloads, and social dynamics in the workplace should also have a close eye kept on them.

How Can Supporting Mental Health at Work Help Your Business?

It’s understandable that some business owners are in two minds about offering mental health support at work. Mental health is far less understood than physical health, and implementing mental health support at work will undoubtedly come at a cost. However, it’s important to know that, on average, businesses that spend £1 on mental health support could see a return of up to £5 due to reduced time off, increased employee retention, and improved employee engagement and morale.

Flagship Partners

We work with businesses across the UK to improve their mental health at work awareness and procedures. If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business foster happier, more efficient employees, then we have a team on hand to get the ball rolling. You can enquire through our online contact form, or give us a call on 03300 553643.