One in four people can suffer from a mental health illness during their lifetime and poor mental health among employees costs UK employers £42bn – £45bn each year which is a cost of up to £1,717 per employee according to a recent study by Deloitte.
These scary statistics are reasons why promoting and supporting employee well-being in the workplace is so important. Building a workplace focused on well-being for all staff builds a more effective workplace that delivers mutual benefit to employees, organisations, communities, and the economy overall.
In one of our recent blog posts Promoting Wellbeing in the Workplace we discussed the high costs of stress and mental illness to employees, employers, and businesses in general so here are some of our suggestions as to how businesses can promote well-being in the workplace.
Promoting Good Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace
To succeed at really embedding good health practice into businesses it is important to concentrate on three key areas:
These start with the availability of good health plans and insurance, health checks, providing easy access to health and fitness including the provision of sports and changing facilities, access to high-quality occupational health support, managing disability, and promoting good health practice overall.
Health and Safety at Work
Embedding good practices toward employees’ health and safety is a good sign of how important businesses and organisations consider the health and wellbeing of their employees. The workplace should be embedding health and safety during induction and check regularly to ensure that everyone at all levels follows good practices. Employees should have access to information about the safe use of equipment in the workplace along with training and regular opportunities to access risks around their working activities.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Embedding good practice toward the management and support of employees is another sign of a good employer who understands the importance of embedding wellbeing in the workplace.
Access to support such as training on stress and mental health awareness management, and an understanding of how conflicts can be resolved and how difficult conversations can be managed should be widely available. Companies should also be openly promoting access to managing mental health support through occupational health and providing an employee assistance programme.
In a busy recruitment market employees will increasingly look for the right kind of support from their employers within the workplace. Promoting a positive approach towards the health and well-being of all employees is a vital step towards creating successful businesses and organisations that can attract the right sort of talent.
A recent report from the CIPD Health and wellbeing at work survey report shows that organisations’ well-being activity is increasingly focused on mental health with most organisations taking steps to support mental health and address workplace stress. They have also found that organisations have a comprehensive approach toward well-being during the different life stages of an employee including such areas as pregnancy loss, understanding the impact of menopause, and chronic health conditions.
Providing a Great Working Environment
Increasingly good employers are realising that to attract and retain the right employees they need to concentrate on providing well-designed and supportive working environments.
Great working environments are not just about the physical environment however, especially in these days of increasingly hybrid working it is important to embed good working environments and support into home working situations as well. Ensuring this is about understanding how important management can be in terms of setting out a culture that embeds good values and care for all employees.
This means that in practice first-line managers are best able to support and motivate employees to help them to achieve peak efficiency and performance. It is important to appreciate that this is not just about rewards and recognition but also about praising excellence and showing that employees are valued and appreciated for the work they do. It’s also about creating a culture that prioritises work-life balance for everyone and understanding and acknowledging the signs of stress. Managers can do this through clear communication and by understanding work demands through the development of initiative-taking approaches towards managing workload, using effective people management strategies, and ensuring that employees care challenged and gain real development and job satisfaction.
Creating a Strong Community at Work
Building a strong and supportive community at work promotes a shared work culture and provides a sound foundation for well-being at work.
Management can do an enormous amount to support the development of positive relationships within the workplace and promote teamwork. Ensuring that there are consistent channels for communication such as team meetings and one-to-ones is key to building healthy relationships with colleagues and encouraging mutual respect and trust. This approach can lead to establishing healthier forums for consultations where team members can participate in genuine dialogues and be involved in decision-making.
Personal Growth and Development
Any business that emphasises personal growth and development is something that demonstrates how it values its people.
Supporting personal growth can come in so many different forms within the workplace but best good practice starts with having clear job descriptions, setting clear and achievable performance goals, and ensuring there are regular appraisal sessions between managers and employees.
Embedding lifelong learning into the workplace culture ensures that there are routes for professional development and career progression. By instigating mentoring and coaching programmes in the workplace employees can channel excellent support and start to create challenges for themselves within the workplace.
At Aim Higher Training personal and professional development is a subject close to our hearts and we provide advice and guidance on how businesses can develop a culture that focuses on wellbeing in the workplace and employee personal growth. Find out more about the training and qualification courses we provide as well as career and personal development coaching along with advice and guidance for any organisations that wish to prioritise learning, development, and well-being in the workplace.
Please contact us to discuss how you can start to build a working culture that puts well-being at its heart.