More companies are shifting their focus to employee wellbeing. Why?

A staggering 70 million workdays are lost each year because of mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year. So it is hardly surprising that this has remained a hot topic for business for many years.

The added pressure of the pandemic has brought renewed focus on this important topic, prompting many businesses to look again at how they can better support their employees. One way to do this is to help employees build new skills, which will result in greater resilience and help them to feel supported in the workplace.

The winter blues

For most businesses, mental health training is no longer an optional ‘nice to have’. Many see it as a vital training asset. They also recognise that employees benefit from additional support at certain times of the year and it is important to anticipate and prepare for this.

For many, January and February can be the hardest months because of cold weather, grey skies and lack of sunlight. On top of this, many people are experiencing additional challenges this year because of lockdown and the need to manage their home life and work life from the same location.

What you should consider

Small improvements in your workplace processes can help energise your employees and reap huge rewards, both immediately and further down the line.

The best strategies will open up workplace conversations about mental health, giving you the benefit of happier staff, fewer days lost to sickness, more productive work environment, and an easier life for you! So, what can you do?

  • Create a company-wide pledge on mental health. Having a mental health policy and communication programme written down in black and white makes a bold statement about your business. Employees want to be part of a dynamic environment where their needs are met, and they feel supported. A mental health pledge can entice people to join your business and encourage loyalty and staff retention.
  • Balance privacy with openness. It is important to respect confidentiality and make sure that you don’t inadvertently share personal details about a staff member with other colleagues or senior management without permission.
  • Choose an accredited online course. Provide employees with an opportunity to update their knowledge on mental health, and how they can help themselves and others understand and reach out for help. Also consider enhancing your own skills in managing virtual teams to offer the best support, especially while people are working remotely.

Often improving your team’s mental health means taking small actions. Let us help you with training materials to help you find a way forward, get in touch with Me Learning to find out more.

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