Last week marks the 2018 World Suicide Prevention Day, so it only seems fitting to speak out about mental health. Despite being such a taboo subject, it affects everyone in one way or another, making it even more significant to keep the conversation going.
1 in 4 people is said to suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life. Being able to reach out to as many people as possible will ultimately contribute to this figure drastically declining.
This article will not bog you down with endless amounts of statistics and heart-wrenching stories, but instead will offer a positive and uplifting reflection on making a change within the workplace – no matter how small.
What is mental health?
As much as it’s important to speak out about mental health, it’s just as significant to know exactly what it is.
Put simply, mental health is the way we think and feel. This includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being – from feeling a bit down, to more severe states of mind, like depression and suicidal thoughts.
In the workplace, mental health can be triggered from multiple roots – from stress to a heavy workload, to long and tedious hours. As the majority of people spend their life at work, employers need to put a bigger emphasis on ensuring that all employees are happy in their role.
Whether you’re an employer or employee, the morale of your team is key in driving productivity and performance. Follow these 4 easy steps to make your working environment a safe haven, free of stress.
- Start your day right
Whether you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, feeling slightly hungover or just woken up on the wrong side of the bed, starting with a full stomach will set you up for the rest of the day. A nutritious breakfast will give you plenty of energy and self-esteem, something a greasy fry up or a McDonald’s breakfast definitely can’t do! A diet that’s good for you physically is equally as good for you mentally.
If you’re an employer, why not offer a daily spread of breakfast to ensure all your employees start their day right? Bowls of fruit (unfortunately) will do much better than a Sausage and Egg McMuffin every morning. We recently rolled out a breakfast spread every morning which is going down a treat!
- Does your culture fit?
What dynamic is your working environment? Strict and corporate or open and autonomous? Surrounding yourself in a setting that is right for you with a supportive team is a key ingredient to being happy. As an employer, do you offer this? As an employee, is this what you’re missing from your current job? Read here on whether you’re the right cultural fit for your dream business.
- Unique incentives
From an employer’s perspective, retaining top talent is key. Offering unique benefits may entice talent but ensuring that the talent stays is another matter. Amongst other factors, consistently rewarding top performers with exciting and innovative prizes will boost team morale and productivity. Listen to your team. What motivates them? What would drive their productivity? There are engagement benefits to you tailoring the reward towards your teams’ specific drivers. We recently booked tickets for one of our team to see his idol, George Ezra! Not only is this a benefit for you, but for your employees too. Acknowledging their hard work gives your employees the perfect mix of value, impetus and confidence to want to keep progressing and engaging, creating a positive, mental outlook.
- Keep the conversation going
Support is so important when it comes down to mental health. Feeling depressed or anxious can feel isolating and lonely, so as an employer, having a strong and open support network for employees to fall back on is so important. Even the smallest gestures go a long way. Something as small as ‘how are you?’ opens a dialogue for someone to no longer be suffering alone.
As much as it’s important to get the word out, it’s just as significant to help spread it further. There are some incredible charities who do just that. Here are a few that you could get involved with to do your part in making a difference:
A dark cloud often hovers over the word’s mental health, but it’s not all doom and gloom. When too much negative stigma is connotated, people forget the flip side. Positive mental health gives you the energy and drive to tackle whatever life throws at you with confidence and poise. Let’s work together to drive positive mental health!
Are you an EA, PA, or business support professional looking to take your career to the next level? Executive Partnerships can help. We’re a specialist recruitment agency working with leading companies and organisations to connect them with talented staff. Learn more at www.executivepartnerships.co.uk.