Wouldn’t it be great if we were excited to go to work every day, knowing it was a place that empowered us to do our very best work? A positive workplace that ensures everyone’s wellbeing is the best breeding ground for productivity. When your work environment fosters commitment for each team member’s welfare, mental and physical, it allows employees and employers to reach their goals more sustainably. Let’s take a look at the state of mental health at work and the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of a truly healthy workplace.
A Mentally Healthy Workplace Benefits Everybody
When we are in the right place mentally, we become flexible in how we deal with pressures. We work productively, realising our potential for contributing to our family, our workplace and our community.
The case for good mental health at work cannot be overstated. Mental health is supported by good nutrition and exercise, along with supplementary holistic activities that boost resilience.
More than ever, workers are susceptible to stress, anxiety and depression, as revealed in Australia’s Biggest Mental Health Check-In1 in April this year. A decade ago, one in five Australians2 experienced mental health issues. Now it is one in three, with depression the most prevalent.3 Increased pressures at home and work-related stress are driving the numbers up. As an employee, good mental health is a must in today’s fast-paced working world.
Good mental health is no longer an issue that only needs to be resolved on a personal level, it’s also an issue for business, as it impacts on the way people live and work.
Savvy employers recognise the growing need to maintain healthy workplaces as part of sound business practice. When companies prioritise the wellbeing of their most important asset – their employees – not only do they they stand to gain more productive hours, they also boost morale. A positive workplace makes for better management, lower costs and a stronger brand that can increase a company’s bottom line. It pays to invest in mental health.
- workers thrive
- better productivity
- less absenteeism
- fewer compensation claims
- more job satisfaction and better engagement
- improved turnover rates and hiring costs
- better leverage for hiring good talent
- ROI that’s more than double every dollar spent on promoting mental health
- fulfils a legal requirement for businesses under Federal Work and Safety laws5
5 Ways to Ensure a Healthy Workplace
- Model work-life balance
Encourage work habits that promote wellbeing among managers and staff. Encourage people to eat lunch on time with ample breaks during the day to re-energise.
- Educate managers and staff about topics related to managing stress and maintaining good mental health
Offer reading resources, training and workshops on how to be healthy in body, mind and spirit. Be open to discussions about mental health.
- Be proactive in recognising signs of distress and do informal early intervention.
While professional help is always the best choice, being aware of changes in people’s performance or behaviour is an excellent first step to offering help.
- Offer support to anyone in need
A caring work environment makes it easier for individuals who may be struggling to get back on their feet.
- Check in with anyone taking time off work due to health reasons
Make them feel like they still belong to the organisation without judgement or stigma.
3 Steps to Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace
Workplaces that promote good mental health all have one thing in common: they follow the 3 step framework as mandated by Federal Work and Safety guidelines.4
Management is committed to addressing mental health at work and shows leadership in creating a caring workplace culture that values acceptance and fairness.
Employers make sure that workloads, relationships and the physical work environment foster goodwill for all. Appropriate adjustments are made when an employee’s performance falters. They use a strengths-based approach for assigning tasks until the employee feels confident to get back on track.
Most importantly, mentally healthy workplaces support employees as they return to work following recovery from illness, mental or otherwise. They provide a safe place for people to resume their lives with dignity and compassion.
Mentally healthy workplaces need commitment from individuals, organisations and the community. At HSG, we champion these efforts. Our workplace wellness services include workshops and training in:
– Work/life balance
– Stress management
– Women’s and Men’s health
– Ergonomic Assessments/Training
… and many more!
Take advantage of our mental health workshops and see what a difference it can make in your organisation today.