In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week in this email we are taking inspiration from our Managing director Karen Archer who sat on a panel at the Hospitality Action Breakfast Mental Health seminar last week. A well attended event with helpful insights into the work being done in the hospitality sector to help combat stress.
At the end of a week when mental health (or mind health as it has been referred to), and stress in particular, has been much in the news we are looking at how good mind health benefits both employers and employees. Generally when employees feel good towards work they are more productive. From experience, providing advice to employers and employees alike, the subject is more acknowledged in the workplace than ever before.
When discussing mental wellbeing the main issues generally relate to either stress anxiety or depression. Many of the calls we receive regarding employee sickness can relate to one of those conditions, sometimes resulting in long periods of absence.
A recent (2016) CIPD study highlighted the impact that mental ill health can have on organisations.
The study found that:
- 48% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks
- 85% find it difficult to concentrate
- 64% take longer to do tasks
- 48% are potentially less patient with customers/clients.
The study also found that, for the majority of employees a combination or work related and personal issues were the cause of their poor mental wellbeing. Significantly the number of employees citing work only related problems as the cause of their health issues was significantly low, under 10%.
Balancing demands of the workplace with family responsibilities can have a significant effect on the ability to work to full effect. Stress plays a major role a sense of mental wellbeing and can impact, on an employees ability to perform well in the workplace as the CIPD findings demonstrate.
Good mental wellbeing is the responsibility of all, employers and individuals, and the earlier these things are acknowledged the earlier any assistance or intervention can be made available. Generally individual stress levels continue to increase, and the Hospitality Action survey showing an increase of over 79% in the last three years, a issue that perhaps needs to be addressed.
So what can an employer do to support employees and to maintain a productive workforce? Our suggestions in these circumstances include:
- Watch out for signs such as confused thinking and not being ‘quite themselves’.
- Identify poor working processes
- Balance workloads
- Encourage conversations and social support
- Clear roles and expectations
- Improving communication and feedback
- Inspire with benefits and rewards
- Help workers identify mental health risks
- Assist employees in understanding Mental Health Issues
- Provide easy ways to ask for help
Find out your mental health score here https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/good-mental-health-survey
With more discussion than ever around issues of mental health the opportunity to improve outcomes in the workplace is increasing. With the general emphasis, outside of work, on openness and dialogue with some high profile personalities sharing their own experiences, perhaps now is the time when mind health is coming of age.