Creating a positive workplace culture

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Health Assured team

24 January 2020

1 in 6 people experience mental health problems in the workplace, according to a survey commissioned by the Health Work and Wellbeing Programme.

 

Despite the significant progress made in modern society, the long-standing stigma that was once attached to mental health conditions still plays a role in preventing many employees from coming forward to their employers regarding their mental health.

 

In fact, research from mental health charity Time to Change has found that just 13% of employees would be comfortable talking about mental illness at work.

 

Whether the stigma exists in your workplace or not, if there is a perceived level of stigma attached to mental and emotional health in your organisation, then this can be just as detrimental on the wellbeing of your employees.

 

With the clear links between employees’ wellbeing and their level of performance and morale at work, taking note and modifying the way you address mental health at work should be of the up-most importance. Here, we have listed six tips on how to create a more positive and open working environment for your employees...

 

1. Acknowledge great work

This seems simple, but by recognising great work sincerely and often, you will do wonders to the morale of your team. Make it a core ingredient of your wellbeing strategy, for example, by introducing employee of the month or regular mentions during weekly team meetings.

2. Set your goals

Consider what achievements you want to reach with your organisation and communicate them with your team. This will help your employees cultivate a sense of professional purpose and make them feel more valued in their role.

3. Encourage work-life balance

Employees who overwork themselves by regularly working during their spare time not only negatively affect the productivity and efficiency of your organisation, but they cause real harm to their wellbeing as well. By promoting healthy work-life balance to your employees, you’ll be spreading the message that you prioritise their wellbeing, above anything else.

4. Improve communication

Make regular, informal one-on-one’s and ‘check-ins’ a key component of your wellbeing strategy. This will give your team members the opportunity to present any wellbeing issue they might be experiencing, and allow you time to intervene and introduce any reasonable adjustments, if necessary.

5. Promote (and celebrate) inclusivity

Make sure that you welcome individuals from all backgrounds regardless of their gender, age, race or sexual orientation to help you cultivate a positive, diverse and inclusive workplace. Another positive step would be encouraging your employees to share their preferred pronouns (he/she/they) with the rest of your team to promote inclusive language.

6. Welcome feedback

Circulate questionnaires to your team and update the topics on a regular basis. Focus the questions around the culture of your workplace and use the answers as an opportunity to improve your working environment.

 

Mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety are some of the biggest causes of workplace absenteeism. Therefore, creating an open culture that highlights the importance of mental health and supports employees who are experiencing wellbeing issues is imperative, not only for the individual, but for the workplace as a whole.

 

 

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