The Department of Health reports that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives. The CIPD report stress as one of the most common causes of both long and short term absence from work. On World Mental Health Day 2019 we review the key issues surrounding workplace stress and mental health awareness, and provide practical guidance for employers.
Mental Health Awareness
Mental health impacts our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, it impacts how we think, feel and act. Our mental health will affect how we handle stress, relate to others and make decisions. Speak to one of of our Consultants here at Wirehouse for help managing staff with mental health issues.
Mental health concerns vary including being a bit down, diagnosed conditions such as depression and anxiety through to rarer conditions such as bipolar or schizophrenia. According to the CIPD:
- Employees suffering from mental ill health are 37% more likely to get into conflict with colleagues.
- 80% of sufferers have difficulty concentrating.
- 62% of sufferers take longer to do tasks.
What can Employers do?
- Promote good mental health alongside promoting good physical health.
- Stress in personal lives will at times impact work, flexible working, supporting a healthy work-life balance and Employee Assistance Programs are all useful tools for reducing the impact of mental ill health at work and reducing absence.
- Stress levels can be reduced for your team by having clear business goals and ensuring the teams priorities are focused on these. This will in turn help manage workloads, ensuring key pieces of work are scheduled – never expect a project that is essential to the business goals to be carried out in spare time.
- During times of change, effective communication can significantly reduce the stress.
- Training for line Managers both directly in identifying and reducing their own and their teams stress but also in effective management, a skilled line manager will be able to reduce stress levels in their team.
- Managing absence effectively, return to work interviews are a useful tool in picking up issues early.
CIPD research has also found that proactive support of health and wellbeing is more effective in reducing sickness absence than monitoring – we recommend both together with a business focus on proactive support, using monitoring to ensure your proactive measures are effective in reducing stress and absence.
Does your business need support with workplace mental health issues, or other HR issues including absence at work and grievances? Speak to one of our legally trained Consultants today.