Organisations that promote good mental health attract and retain better people, provide excellent customer service, and are more profitable.
Recruitment and on-boarding
Your company’s values should drive everything you do, and it is important to recruit people for attitude and shared values. If the people you recruit have a basic aptitude and an appetite for learning, they can be trained in the skills you need.
When an employee joins the company, make sure you have a robust on-boarding process so the employee understands the organisation’s culture, values, strategies, and goals. They need to know how they fit into the organisation to make them feel part of the team.
It is essential to lead by example. Encourage your team to adopt healthier working habits by working sensible hours, taking a proper lunch break, taking annual leave, and resting after busy periods.
Promote positive work relationships. Support a culture of teamwork, collaboration and information-sharing, both within the team and across the organisation, and model these positive behaviours to staff.
Embed employee engagement. Promote a culture of open dialogue, and involve employees in decisions about how the team is run and how they do their job.
Understand your employees’ preferred behavioural and communication styles. Some of us love the buzz of being in an open plan office, or background music to help you through the day, and others need peace and tranquillity to be able to concentrate and perform at their best.
Give people clear, unambiguous objectives. Agree deadlines that you both agree are achievable, and ask what support they need to achieve them. Give people control over how and when they do the work, and respond quickly to requests for help.
Treat people as individuals. Treat employees with respect, praise good work, offer support if there are skills gaps, and try to use a coaching style of management. Ask for feedback about the support you provide and what support they need to help them achieve their goals.
Be available for your staff. Regular one-to-ones and catch-ups to check how they are getting on can help to maintain good working relationships. These conversations build mutual trust, and make it easier to deal with conflict or performance management issues when they arise. Create space for them to ask questions and raise issues, and give them permission to talk about home as well as work issues if they wish.
Provide opportunities for ongoing learning and development throughout your employees’ time with your company. Provide continual, honest, and open feedback on how they are doing. Build their confidence by developing and rewarding their capabilities.
Deal with problems or conflict quickly – as soon as they arise.
Change, whether inside or outside of work, can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health well-being. It is essential to engage fully with the team when going through organisational change.
Provide employees with timely information so that they can understand the reasons for the change, the proposed timescales, and the impact on their jobs.
Ensure they have the opportunity to influence the proposals, and to express their concerns. Use empathy and active listening to ensure they know that their concerns have been heard and understood.
Provide training and mentoring to support people that are affected by the change.
Actively seek and respond to feedback from the team on the impact the change is having, and whether it is working.
Normalise discussions about mental health
Build your own confidence on mental health. Familiarise yourself with your organisation’s mental health policies and practices and how staff can seek confidential advice and support.
Make sure you have someone in your team trained in mental health first aid. Learn how you can help someone who is experience mental health issues.
Raise awareness of mental health issues. Challenge stigma and prejudice throughout the organisation and to get mental health on the agenda with senior leaders.
Include an agenda item at team meetings to discuss everyone’s well-being together, and what factors are affecting this. If the organisation runs a staff survey, this could form the basis of the discussion.
There are further resources on our website to help with mental health risk assessments.
If you look after your employees, they will be proud to work for you, and give great customer service. Happy employees lead to happy customers, and happy customers lead to increase profits and happy business owners.