Why is it so important to establish a culture of positive mental health?

Mental health concerns have been around for a long time, pre-pandemic the Mental Health Foundation reported that one in every 6 adults has or has had a common mental disorder. They also suggest that mixed anxiety and depression is the cause of one-fifth of workdays lost in Britain. Certainly, mental health challenges are something that affects many, if not all of us at some point in our lives and burnout seems to be emerging as an increasing challenge within many businesses.

The Mental Health Foundation found that 38% of those interviewed believed revealing a mental health problem at work would harm their career.

So, how can we create a culture of positive mental health? How do we reduce the risk of burnout and support our employees better?

Prevention is better than cure

Too many people are working under sustained pressure and ignoring the potential consequences. Line managers need to actively encourage, even insist that people recharge, take breaks and keep an eye out for subtle changes in behaviour – indications that stretch is turning into strain and risking burnout.

Stakeholder buy-in is key

Positive Mental Health Culture

Buy-in from key stakeholders or key influencers such as the CEO will undoubtedly help. Ask them to take part in promoting wellbeing by being open about their own mental health and what they do to relieve stress. You can extend this to other leaders in the organisation, such as team leaders or departmental managers. Certainly, the more people who model good behaviours, the better.

Create a supportive environment for open dialogue

We recommend having rolling agenda items about how people are feeling. By being open and actively encouraging conversations around mental health, you can start to break the stigma some people have. Outside of this, it would be good to set up a safe escalation route outside of the line manager. Perhaps by setting up dedicated Mental Health First Aiders, trained individuals who can identify, understand and help common mental health issues. Thereby, providing opportunities for employees to safely discuss their wellbeing.

For more ideas on how you can help encourage wellbeing as a manager, why not download our infographic: 10 Tips for Managers to Encourage Wellbeing.

Identify those at risk of burnout

Whilst creating a positive culture is important, it’s even more important to have proactive plans in place to identify and support those suffering from poor mental health. In our previous blog, the Employee Energy Drain, we discuss how to identify warning signs as any deviation from your employee’s norm. These warning signs can range from lack of or over-enthusiasm to working long or unusual hours. Perhaps even complaints about experiencing migraines, truthfully these signs display differently depending on the person. Above all, the key here is to know your people. Some listening mechanisms can help with this via pulse surveys, but predominately, talking to your employees is crucial.

Help where you can, empathise where you can’t

You can recommend good behaviours and coping mechanisms, perhaps by using our 11 tips to enhance your wellbeing, but sometimes the most important thing you can do is to have empathy. It’s unrealistic to believe you can solve all your employee’s problems, even if you wanted to. For example, if your employee is experiencing stress due to concern over a family member’s health, there is nothing you can do to help besides listen. Whilst this may not seem like much, listening and empathising can be as much of a lifesaver as anything else. Therefore, our rule of thumb is to help where you can, empathise where you can’t.

E-Learning to support with wellbeing and resilience

As many of us will be returning to work or some hybrid work set-up over the coming months, it is going to be vital for us all to focus on our own resilience as well as the wellbeing of our team. That is why we have just launched a new e-learning module to support Managers with their teams to deal with these challenges. For more information, click on the banner below.

Quick 1 minute summary of Actus Software

    Not quite ready for a Demo?

    Please complete the details to receive a 3 minute system tour direct to your inbox!

      Request a quote today

      If you are looking for performance management software for 1000+ employees get in touch for a quote today.

        The 360 Tool for Independent Consultants

        Talk to one of our partnership specialists today.

          Not quite ready for a demo?

          Fill in your details below and then please check your email for a link to the 3 minute overview of Actus Software

            Get in touch with us today!

            If you have any questions, enquiries or just want to say how much you like us (or what we can do better), please drop us a line.