Mental Health is the Biggest HR Challenge Faced by UK Employers.

This month is Stress Awareness Month.  While over half of UK Businesses are now taking steps to address work-related stress by offering flexible working, home working, and social events being the most favoured, many businesses have still to implement any sort of support.

Almost half of UK workers say that their place of work does not have anything in place to help reduce employees’ stress levels and improve their mental wellbeing.  Very few have regular one-to-ones with their managers or complete any type of employee survey. (Source: Management Today)

These businesses are missing an opportunity to address many issues around job performance – and this is a very costly mistake to make in terms of productivity, staff retention and in turn, profitability and stability.

How can you help as a Manager?

  1. Get to know your employees better – Carry out Employee Engagement Surveys or Pulse Surveys, which are confidential, analysed and the results fed back to the employees, along with the opportunity for staff to provide feedback on their managers performance. Any actions needed must be taken and employees kept informed.
  2. Implement regular one-to-ones for your employees with their managers. On-line Appraisals, 360 appraisals, which ensure you and your staff understand their strengths and areas for development.  Staff with a development plan perform better.
  3. Long working hours are the most common cause of stress. Can you introduce flexible working to support your employees to have a better work/life balance?
  4. Saying “Thank you” goes a long way – it’s amazing the effect that phrase can have on your organisation or culture.
  5. Rewards – give your employees access to freebies such as fresh fruit. Child care vouchers and subsidised gym memberships are also a popular choice – improving health and relieving financial strain – it’s one to think about.
  6. Engage all levels of staff in working groups to contribute to business performance and reward those who come up with good ideas.
  7. Training all levels of staff in Communication skills, Leadership skills, Active Listening and the power of language. If we all took the trouble to communicate better, it would solve many stress issues at work.
  8. Put in place an anonymous reporting dialogue system to enable staff to speak up securely on issues which are sensitive, and they may not otherwise feel confident about opening up about face to face. Your staff can then easily and anonymously discuss concerns, problems or ideas.
  9. Take seriously the physical and psychological stresses of work, especially shift work, long hours and night work. These working patterns are proven to have long term serious effects on mental and physical health.
  10. Listening – In all of this, we would always advise that the best way of knowing if you are getting it right is to listen to your staff. They can tell you if you are or not!

If you are feeling challenged on any of these areas – particularly on listening to staff – we can offer some ways to help. Get in touch and we can chat through some ideas together.