The past 18 months have been a testing time for everyone and with a significant reduction in social interaction, more employers are recognising their responsibility to protect the mental health of their employees and provide a positive work environment and much of the practical implication lie within our colleague in the health and safety world.
Mental health problems in the UK workforce cost employers almost £35 billion last year, according to research published by the Centre for Mental Health. The heightened stress that the pandemic has created has further emphasised the importance of addressing mental health concerns.
Remote working has also created a unique set of mental and social health challenges related to work-life balance and the loss of workplace belonging and social interaction. As restrictions are lifted and things return to a semblance of normality in the UK, mental health will continue to be a crucial topic for businesses to address.
As well as the impact seen because of COVID, key challenges such as an ageing workforce and technology dependence remain within an organisation, giving even greater importance for companies to develop and implement an effective support plan and wellbeing strategy for its staff.
Mental health has long been a taboo subject, but with an increase in discourse over the course of the pandemic, it needs to become an everyday function of an organisation’s health and safety culture. Here’s some ways to do that:
- Provide mental health training to supervisors and managers
- Provide employee assistance programs, community resources, and online tools – ensuring they are scalable and customisable at an organisation level while still ensuring it can be tailored and personalised to the individual for maximum personal benefit
- Keep leadership and their H&S colleagues informed of mental health concerns that could affect employees
- Ensure workplace harassment policies and programs are in place and share information about policies and programs with employees.
To ensure your health and wellbeing policies are fit for purpose for 2022 take our audit here and for more information about how hero can help and support you with areas of health and wellbeing; both reactive and preventative, on going strategy or training and upskilling workshops, please get in touch and book a meeting.