Statistics released by Towergate Health and Protection in October 2021, show that women are more likely to suffer from a mental health condition, but that men are half as likely to seek support at work.
By reviewing who was making use of their employer’s Employee Assistance Programme, they uncovered that, men are half as likely to reach out for emotional support and three times more likely to take their own life in comparison to women.
These are troubling statistics and highlights the need for a proactive approach to employee wellbeing and the need to work holistically with wellness factors, instead of measuring the negative consequences of ill health.
Healthy Place to Work’s own research has identified a direct correlation between employees’ mental health and organisational performance. In short, good mental health is not only good for people, but also for business.
However, before you choose to make mental health a priority for your organisations, you should measure what you intend to manage.
1. Understand mental health
‘Mental health’ is often misunderstood and interpreted as referring to “mental ill-health”. However, mental health is a quality to be desired in its own right and should be more than the absence of illness. Whilst influenced by each other, they are not opposite end of a spectrum. The absence of mental health doesn’t automatically mean the presence of mental illness, and having a mental illness of some form, doesn’t mean that there is a complete absence of mental health. All people in an organisation can benefit from the work that you do to prevent mental ill health, or nurture good mental health.
2. Carry out a policy review
Your organisation’s readiness to create a healthy workplace can be your starting point. Review what policies and practices you already have in place that have a direct impact on mental health, such as Covid-19 Pandemic, Flexible Working, Work life Balance and Menopause to mention a couple. Also ensure that mental health is acknowledged by your current policies such as performance management, health & safety, working hours, sickness absence, and return to work.
3. Collect employee feedback
Collect feedback from you employees on a regular basis, using a survey tool that is designed to explore the underlying stressors impacting on employee mental health. You should be able to understand what presenting issues exist within your organisation, so that you can start acting om what matters.
4. Use other HR key indicators
It’s unfortunately highly unlikely that your employees will let you know that they are suffering from stress or mental illness and that it is affecting their work. But there may be other key indicators that will help you understand how your organisation performs, such as staff turnover and absence. Also consider using information you have unearthed in exit interviews and performance management reviews with your workforce.
5. Develop a Healthy Workplace Plan
Use the data you have collected to provide a foundation for your plan. Work with senior management to get buy-in and involve staff representatives to develop actions or initiatives that address 3-4 key areas in any year.
6. Follow up regularly
You can follow up on your organisation in different ways. If you have launched an initiative, it’s worthwhile spending some time collecting feedback, through a temp survey or conversations within the organisation. Ensure that all regular 1:1 meeting, or appraisals include some form of assessment or informal discussion relating to mental wellbeing.
Do you need assistance?
We can help you assess the mental resilience of your people through our Mental Health Indicator. To speak with someone at our advisory team, leave your details here and we will get in touch.