Tackling mental health in the workplace
As a society we have finally been giving the issue of mental health the attention it deserves. It is thought that 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in their life. Whilst also having an obvious moral obligation to care about the well-being employees, it is in the interest of employers to help tackle these issues in order to improve productivity and performance within the business.
Here are some tips to help improve mental health in the workplace:
Ensure you understand mental health
An employer that understands its staff is better able to support and encourage staff to be open about mental health. Employers should be trained to identify the causes of mental health, understand what mental health means and be able to recognise and try to erase the stigma associated with it.
Make a commitment to improve mental health
Acas recommends that employers should create a mental health policy that sets out its values regarding mental illness and gives practical guidance to managers and employees. Senior management should champion awareness of mental health and set a strong example to the employees at the organisation that will help get rid of any stigma attached to the illness.
Identify ways to improve the workplace
Employers can create a more harmonious working environment. Assessing work/life balance, tackling the work-related causes of mental health and providing appropriate additional resources when required is key. Trade unions and other employee bodies can also play a role in helping staff who feel uncomfortable in the workplace.
Educate the workforce about mental health
Mental health should not be a taboo subject. Staff should be encouraged to talk about mental health and managers should be trained to deal with mental health in order to have effective and productive conversations with staff. Education for staff can be through team meetings, one-on-one meetings, awareness days or informal chats in the office. Newsletters and notices can also be on display to inform employees about mental health and what they can do if they feel anxious or under stress in the workplace.
For more information on this issue please visit http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1900
5 Ways to Boost Employee Productivity
Reduce wasted time.
This doesn't mean eliminating coffee breaks and water cooler chitchat. One simple way is to stop CC-ing everyone on emails that aren't relevant to them. Not only is the time they spend reading those missives wasted, the "you've got mail" sound interrupts concentration and distracts employees from the work they were trying to do.
Keep the noise down.
Cubicle farms may be unavoidable these days, but the lack of privacy and lack of quiet make it hard to think. Encourage your team to find places where they can concentrate free of distraction, in order to solve the tough problems. If company policy allows BYOD or work-from-home, untether your staff from their cubicles.
Eliminate procedural overhead.
Filling out forms in triplicate and collecting multiple managerial signatures may be great for documentation and compliance purposes, but admin procedures often get in the way of getting work done. You may need other departments’ to buy-in to making changes in processes, but eliminating unnecessary steps can free up significant time your team could spend doing something other than paperwork.
Assign work to the right people.
Work gets done much more quickly when the person doing the task is both qualified and motivated to get it done. Nobody is going to like every assignment they have to do, but if you can give work to people who like that kind of work, and have the skills and connections to get it done, you'll find it gets done faster.
Take advantage of technology.
Save time spent travelling to off-site meetings by using videoconferencing and collaboration software to eliminate the travel time. Take advantage of other software, too; there are plenty of free, open-source products that can let your team automate many routine software development tasks. Spending a little time building scripts and scheduling jobs can free up a lot of time for other important tasks.