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Preparing for a new era in mental well-being

Explore valuable insights for creating and executing a robust mental well-being strategy for your organization.

The reduced productivity and absenteeism associated with the toll of unresolved psychological strain are not good for employers or for employees.

Placing a higher priority on mental health and workplace well-being is one strategy that forward-looking organizations can adopt to retain talented and qualified staff.

Xavier Alcaraz, BSI’s National Practice Director of Safety, says executives are looking for urgent solutions to retain their workforce and remain sustainable and resilient by adapting their business models to establish a long-term culture of care.

In this article, discover helpful guidance for developing and implementing a solid mental well-being strategy for your organization.

Define your mental health and well-being strategy

First, define your objectives by asking your employees what they want. Without input from your people, you run the risk of implementing initiatives that do not tackle the problem and may even exacerbate the situations they are meant to address.

Delivering such initiatives consistently across your organization, particularly in workplaces with a diverse workforce, can deliver the greatest benefits.

Take practical steps to enhance work-life balance

Adopting methods that promote a more balanced personal and work life is a powerful way of showing people how much they are valued.

This can include flexible working patterns, such as:

• Allowing remote working
• Letting employees adjust their start and finish times
• Turning a full-time role into a part-time role
• Offering flexible or compressed hours
• Making it easier for staff to balance the responsibilities of their work and personal life

Encourage communication and engagement

Everyone faces different challenges and has different ways of tackling them, so it is important to recognize the diverse needs and requirements of your people.

Most workforces use a mix of communication channels, from video calls to face-to-face meetings.

Encourage managers in your organization to regularly check in on employees and set up employee resource groups and other support systems so people can find and share experiences with those in similar situations.

Consider allowing remote working but be mindful of the risks

The pandemic-driven shift to flexible working can have significant mental health benefits, but it can also bring risks.

Some people may work longer hours from home, causing the lines between work and home life to blur. Clear divisions between personal time and professional responsibilities can help here.

There are also occupational health considerations. Employers have much less direct control over people’s working environment when the workforce is home-based.

Give managers the tools they need to support workplace well-being

Open dialogues about mental well-being are healthy and essential.

Equipping managers with the tools to effectively guide and engage in such conversations, tailored to various communication styles and abilities, is a vital piece of the puzzle.

By investing in development, your organization can create a supportive environment where your employees' mental well-being is a top priority.

This not only fosters a healthier workplace but also enhances overall productivity and morale.

Measure the effectiveness of your initiatives

Measuring the impact of mental health and well-being programmes remains a challenge, but framing mental health assistance in the right way can help to foster trust and encourage participation in feedback.

The introduction of employee assistance programs (EAPs) will only be valuable if employees make use of them.

That’s why actively promoting of the benefits of an EAP is critical and quantifying its use by employees is an important metric, be it the number of enquiries, referrals, or registrations for webinars.

Collaborating with others responsible for managing your organization’s mental health, engagement and well-being is a good way to gain reassurance that your entire workforce is moving from ambition to action.