usinesses are only as good as their people. So a large part of achieving a good business is ensuring you have a happy, healthy and productive workforce.
When employees feel motivated and supported in a healthy business environment, they will perform better. This will allow the business to achieve, too.
However, a negative workplace environment can have detrimental business implications, including lost work days, reduced productivity and higher recruitment costs.
Here are six ways to help support your staff and ensure your workplace is a happy, healthy and productive environment.
- Promote Employee Wellbeing
Implementing and supporting flexible working practices, promoting positive working relationships and organising social activities are some important factors that may help to promote employee wellbeing.
Organisations need to send clear messaging to employees that their mental health is valued by the organisation. Effective, open management styles can reduce employee uncertainty and allow staff to know they will be heard and listened to.
- Empower staff
Unmanageable workloads, negative relationships, poor communication, weak managerial support, job insecurity and lone working can all affect employee mental health.
Healthy workplace environments empower employees to feel valued and supported, thus enabling them to do their job to the best of their ability.
Appreciating employees’ efforts and contributions, offering clarity, avoiding unrealistic expectations and deadlines, treating people as individuals and ensuring work is organised effectively can relieve pressure and anxieties on the workforce, and boost people’s wellbeing.
Read our related resource: How to Promote Positive Mental Health in the Workplace here.
- Invest in Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health Awareness training and Mental Health First Aid are vital mental health training courses for employers that provide necessary skills and support for their workforces.
The courses help develop practical skills so that employees can identify triggers and warning signs of mental health issues, as well as provide in-depth understandings of mental health and factors that can affect wellbeing.
They provide employees, colleagues and managers with interpersonal skills which allow for the confidence to approach, support and reassure a peer in distress and the knowledge to aid someone’s health further by guiding them to enhanced support.
By equipping a workforce with this training, colleagues will be more likely to discuss worries without fearing prejudice or judgement, allowing problems to be handled correctly and preventing negative outcomes.
- Be open
Staff who experience mental health issues may fear stigma and prejudice when approaching managers with their conditions.
In a healthy workplace, wellbeing is promoted through creating an open, collaborative environment where staff can feel confident to talk to their manager.
The first step in establishing this environment is to encourage honest and open communication with the employee.
This nurtures trust between employees and managers, and also sends valuable messaging about your businesses values to investors, consumers and other external audiences.
Personal action plans that identify triggers and outline employee needs are also vital pieces of infrastructure that can aim to aid the recovery of anyone suffering with mental ill-health.
- Enhance the natural environment
Workplaces that rely on artificial light and don’t provide adequate access to windows or fresh air can also be detrimental to mental health.
Natural air and light are mood boosters, as are comfortable and spacious work stations. Investing in plants, whether real or artificial, can promote a calm, tranquil environment.
Sunshine boosts our levels of vitamin D, which has been shown to also raise happiness levels, so outside work stations could be beneficial in the summer months if the office has appropriate garden space, or if employees work from home.
In addition, encouraging employees to take walks on their lunch hours or breaks boosts mental health through endorphins released during exercise which increase happiness levels.
Read our thoughts on mental health related sickness at work, here.
- Encourage team unity
Lone working can be detrimental to our mental health if the employees feel they have no viable support network, and are unsure where to turn for advice. Under these conditions, feelings of anxiety can begin to spiral.
Activities that incorporate team building and bonding help to forge relationships, which in turn makes for a more collaborative organisation.
Team building strengthens communication and solidifies bonds between existing team members, as well as providing opportunities for other departments and teams to communicate, providing collaboration across the board.
Healthy relationships at work can be a crucial element to enjoying work. Having friends in the workplace can also enable people to confide in someone if they are struggling.
If you need help cultivating a positive workplace environment, Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help.