Our response is to tell them that the chances are they are already engaging in a wide range of actions to promote workplace mental health and gathering a list of these can be a great starting point!
Some of these things will be obvious, like providing a staff room that also helps your employees connect in an informal, positive way over lunch or coffee. These casual chats can often lead to more open, honest discussions when people are struggling with an issue, including their mental health.
Other actions include things like:
- Flexible work arrangements, such as allowing employees to leave early to pick up children from school or work from home if a family member is sick
- Sending flowers to staff when they are ill or have experienced grief or loss
- Conducting regular check-in meetings with all staff members, even if it’s a lunchtime chat combining a catch-up with exercise
- Providing staff with learning opportunities, such as workshops, seminars or further training, and enabling them to share their knowledge with one another
- Celebrating an employee’s success via a newsletter, email or even a pat on the back at an all-staff morning tea
Next – why not ask staff how they think the organisation’s wellbeing is tracking and what they would like to see done?
If they are initially a bit stumped, give them a few ideas to start them off. Would they like you to provide some quiet areas for when they need to get out of the workplace hustle and bustle? Would they benefit from workplace massages? Would they like access to an Employee Assistance Program?
You can also lead by example and let them know you really want to create an atmosphere where all employees feel valued, and that it’s a safe place to talk about their mental health.
You can start doing this by sharing SuperFriend’s Peer Support Booklet with staff, which provides practical ways to help colleagues who may be experiencing mental health challenges.
Finally, look at your current workplace policies through the eyes of your employees and their wellbeing. Are they person-centric? Do they suit the best interests of your individual employees? Do they put wellbeing first?
So, are you ready to get the wellbeing ball rolling?