In order to break the stigma around poor mental health and encourage great conversations about wellbeing in the workplace there is lots that responsible employers can do to support employees at work – after all, the average person spends 47% of their waking hours at work!
A big part of this could be ensuring good quality, respectful relationships whilst at work including open and trusting conversation about mental health with someone who is trained to listen. Whether between peers, or colleagues and their managers; good quality connections at work are only enhanced by great supportive managers who encourage communication and collaboration. When it comes to mental health, speaking openly with a manager or HR team really can make all the difference in someone’s performance especially if the conversation results in purposeful reasonable adjustments that enable someone to thrive at work.
Where employers or managers work in this way to create psychological safety in teams’ individuals are encouraged to speak up and reach out when they need support. Psychological safety exists when people feel comfortable and supported to be open and honest without fear or risk of humiliation or punishment. Creating a psychologically safe place in the workplace can often start with building a supportive culture of continuous development and managers who are well trained in having great people conversations.
Here are some ideas that you may want to facilitate as a manager or employer:
- Arrange to train some of your people in Mental Health First Aid, or a workshop or webinar on Mental Health Awareness. There are many online providers or Stratton HR can facilitate.
- Ensure your managers are well versed on what opportunities for support they can call on for themselves or anyone in their teams that may need it.
- Organise a ‘Tea and Talk’ session, virtually or in person. (Including a useful list of conversation starters).