Mental Health Awareness week is fast approaching and will run from the 14th to the 20th of May 2018. This years focus is on Stress and considering that health and well being at work is one of the most important HR issues of our time, what better opportunity to kick start your own well-being at work initiatives. According to the CIPD Health and well-being agenda report (2016):
The UK Government’s Foresight report on mental capital and well-being highlighted the costs of over £100 billion for mental ill-health in the UK, and £27 billion to UK plc in terms of sickness absence, presenteeism and regrettable labour turnover.
In addition, nearly 40% of all incapacity benefit at work is due to the common mental disorders of depression,
anxiety and stress, now the leading causes of sickness absence and driver of presenteeism.
You might want to consider those figures before concluding that there is no time for taking part in this years Mental Health Awareness week. You may also want to consider that the latest CIPD and Simply Health, ‘Health and well-being at work’ survey which reports that presenteeism has reached a record high in the UK.
Good leaders know full well that for efficiency, customer satisfaction and cost effectiveness, it takes much more than having staff who simply turn up. It takes staff who are engaged, motivated, supported and ‘well’ to really grow a business. It is not just concern for business growth, however, that should drive you towards creating a ‘well’ workplace, the law also places a responsibility on employers to reduce and where possible prevent work related stress impacting on the health of their employees.
So if you are reading this and do not want to miss an opportunity to make a start supporting mental health at work then fear not as I have complied some super time and/or cost efficient ideas for you to implement during Mental Health Awareness week that will hopefully kick start your journey to creating a better and more efficient workplace.
- Display posters around the workplace to raise awareness and create discussion. You can download your posters here.
- Book your staff on a training course or get the training to come to you. Mind offer a range of related training courses here.
- Prepare and give employees gift bags containing a stress ball and some relevant flyers for organisations which support mental health and related issues.
- Sign up to and/or raise awareness of an employee assistance programme.
- Arrange an external speaker with a relevant background such as psychotherapy to give well-being and self-care at work talks to teams. If you allow them to advertise their services the short notice may not be an issue.
- Get cupcakes made and delivered for your employees with a relevant decoration or message on to encourage discussion.
- Send out an email everyday of the week with information related to stress and tips for managing stress at work or inspirational quotes.
- Set up a ‘well-being’ wall by leaving post it notes and encouraging your team to make a ‘well-being’ pledge for doing their bit to support health and well-being in the work place.
- Do a fundraiser in support of a mental health charity. It could be as simple as a dress down day or as novel as time and resources allow you to make it. Here’s a few ideas for you.
- Carry out a survey or questionnaire to assess the levels of engagement and well-being in your workplace. Encourage candid responses and stress the value of the feedback and how it will form the basis for workplace improvements. What a good starting point to making long term changes which could really impact your employees and your business.
If you would like further guidance on supporting mental health in the workplace then please get in touch!