According to Australian based research, our chase for productivity improvements is leading to very unhealthy workplaces – especially when it comes to mental health. Astoundingly, almost half of Australian workers surveyed described their workplace as mentally unhealthy.
For small – medium-sized businesses, the challenge becomes resourcing programs to support the mental health of their teams.
Here are 3 simple, cost-effective ways you can improve the mental health of your staff without harming your bottom line.
- Implement Holiday Leave
It’s challenging to keep a business operating efficiently when key people are on leave. Of course, the smaller the team, the more valuable each person is. However, if staff aren’t encouraged to take regular holidays, burn-out, stress and illness will follow. It’s only a matter of time.
So monitor all holiday leave and ensure every staff member uses their holiday entitlements. While it may be difficult to manage without a particular staff member, their absence could provide other team members with an opportunity to widen their skills. Over time, multi-skilling staff will give you a more robust and efficient business. That means you are helping your business as well as giving all staff a chance to recharge their batteries.
- Implement A Wellness Program
Mental health is affected by physical health so introducing a wellness program will provide dual benefits, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. “Lunch and Learn” sessions can be a cost-effective way to introduce you and your team to better health behaviours. Check your local health professionals (e.g. physios, chiropractors, dietitians etc.) to see if they are interested in talking to your team.
Other options include:
- Organising before or after work walking, jogging or sports groups where the power of the group helps to keep people engaged. These activities also help with team building.
- Encourage staff to monitor the steps they take each day and offer a small prize for the most steps taken in a month.
- Consider providing fruit as well as tea and coffee to actively encourage better food choices for both you and your staff.
- Recognise And De-Stigmatise Mental Health Issues
Staff who feel appreciated, valued and accepted are loyal, engaged and productive. When it comes to conversations around mental health, simply being open about your feelings of stress and anxiety at work, can encourage open conversations for everyone. As a business owner or manager, these conversations also provide you with an insight into the feelings of your team so you can take actions to prevent more serious mental health issues.
Importantly, when a staff member shares information on how they’re feeling, you need to be clear they have nothing to feel ashamed of.
Tricky conversations a speciality
As a business owner, you’re very good at what you do. That’s how you achieved business success. But when it comes to some staff conversations, it can be difficult to know what to do or what to say. That’s where the End2End team can help. We’re experts in handling tricky conversations and we’re only a phone call or email away.
For more information on how we may be able to help your business, call us on (02) 8977 4002.