Does your organisation put employee wellbeing at the forefront? People struggling with their mental health are one of the main reasons why they need to take long-term absences. Research shows that 17 million working days were lost due to work-related stress in 2021/22.

Developing a mental health-aware organisation helps to create a positive work culture. Studies suggest that showing genuine concern for employees is the single most important thing a manager can do, with a huge impact on employee wellbeing, job satisfaction & both individual & organisational performance.

Having an empathetic culture is also a key factor. Compassionate leadership involves a focus on relationships through careful listening to, understanding, empathising with and supporting other people, enabling those we lead to feeling valued, respected and cared for – so they can reach their potential.

We take a look at 6 ways you can invest in your team’s wellbeing.

Encourage personal growth

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Offer growth opportunities for your employees. Have a conversation with them individually to ask what skills they would like to develop both personally and professionally. Then, offer your support to help your team members reach them.

“When people feel their circumstances align with their values (such as growth), they are happier and more engaged because they feel valued and inspired by a sense of meaning. Tom Path, author of “Are You Fully Charged” says “the odds of being completely engaged in your job increases by 250% if you work on meaningful projects each day.”

Provide an online database that employees can go to full of development resources that are constantly updated — this may include videos, articles, podcasts and more. The more resources available, the more likely your team members will find something that resonates. Allow flex time so that people can set time aside within work hours to keep learning.

When employees know you care about their development, they respond. It builds trust, commitment, and many other benefits.

Organise regular social connections

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Work relationships are super important for employee wellbeing. It’s more than just “getting along” with a co-worker. As humans, we crave contact and connection with other people. Happiness expert Annie McKee, author of How To Be Happy At Work, says, “one of the ways we can make ourselves happy and feel more fulfilled in our workplaces is to build friendships with the people that work with us, work for us and even with our boss.”

Employers can actively encourage employees to have time away from their desks or work areas through organised activities and interaction in the workplace. When implemented properly, effective team building activities are excellent for employee welbeing. Team building exercises can help colleagues unwind, have some fun and build connections. Some ideas include days out, book clubs, sports teams, or a weekly team breakfast.

Find different reasons to celebrate achievements too. Hold annual ceremonies to recognise employees for their hard work, host employee appreciation days once a month or take your team out for a nice lunch after achieving a company goal.

Provide wellbeing resources for employees

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Ask your team what they would find useful. Gym memberships may seem like a good idea but they may actually prefer something else, such as a weekly yoga class onsite. A younger workforce might be more likely to value app-based wellbeing programmes and wearable tech. Whereas older employees might prefer a free health check or nutrition advice.

Share your resources through internal marketing channels to promote awareness. This could be mental health awareness training, self-help tools and signposting to additional support such as employee counselling services.

Offer training to managers so they can support employee wellbeing

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Perhaps now more than ever, managers are aware of both their own and their team’s mental health. The skills, knowledge and most importantly confidence helps them to support their team and approach situations sensitively with employees who may be struggling.

Support can go a long way to helping someone cope during difficult times. If you have noticed a change in a person’s behaviour or if there is something that is causing concern, then training can help you recognise if staff are feeling burnout and reach out, and talk to employees about mental health.

Create an open culture for employee wellbeing

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A workplace that supports mental health allows employees to feel able and comfortable seeking support. It starts from the top down, with directors and management ensuring there is a positive culture where mental health is discussed openly.

Regular communication about mental health can also encourage staff to discuss any difficulties. Even just asking colleagues if they’re OK can be a huge support.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to mental health – but small steps will help to address the specific challenges facing your workforce and help you improve the wellbeing of your team.

Develop a data-led approach

Use data to develop an evidence-based strategy to support workplace wellbeing. This gives a real insight into the wants and needs of employees, highlights areas for improvement, and helps HR understand the impact of different working practices on mental health.

Interested in counselling or training around mental health for your organisation?

We are here to support your team’s wellbeing. Our large team of professional counsellors, psychologists, supervisors and trainers can help your organisation to support employee wellbeing. To find out more just get in touch and one of the team will be happy to help.