SUMMARY: How Business Leaders Should Approach Mental Health in the Workplace

60 second summary of original article by Tom Wadlow found here.

 

Statistics (from mental health charity Mind):

  • one in six adults experience a serious mental health difficulty each week

  • 42% have considered resigning due to workplace stress, and 14% have resigned in the past.

  • Estimated loss of £15.1bn in businesses across UK due to reduced productivity in employees, with staff turnover costing £2.4bn.

  • Stress and other mental health issues are responsible for 70 million days of employee absence.

 

Problem: a weak sense of mental health awareness in companies - 30% of employees feel uncomfortable divulging information regarding their mental state to their line manager whereas 56% employers don’t know how to improve staff wellbeing.

 

Solution:

  • Cultivation of an open environment wherein employees are comfortable talking about their mental health, headed by employers and managers.

  • Managers should take initiatives to frequently check up on the mental health condition of their staff, based from shifts in their daily interactions as well as performance.

  • Acknowledgement of achievements.

  • Encouraging a healthy work-life balance through alternatives such as working remotely or flexible work times and allowing for a smoother operational flow

  • Encouraging employee upskilling through actions such as improving organization, offering training and defining responsibilities and reasonable targets.

 

Tips: to make a conversation about mental health easier:

  1. Find somewhere discreet to speak privately, whilst ensuring to assure them about the confidentiality of the discussion.

  2. Enquire them about their current mental and emotional state with empathy as opposed to hostility, aggression or indifference.

  3. Whilst they speak about their issues, listen carefully to what they say whilst keeping an open mind.

  4. Develop a solutions-based approach in regard to the problems the employees have shared.

  5. If they still feel uncomfortable discussing their mental health, communicate your concerns and willingness to support them.