Employees feel safe to reach out for help if the workplace culture is open.
- Staff should have confidential access to professional information of organisations people can turn to – this could be a list of phone numbers and websites..
- Colleagues can be encouraged to buddy up and allowed to have a ten-minute meeting each week to speak their mind and form a trusting relationship – often we feel better after talking.
- Getting senior leaders on boardAllowing staff members to have mental health sick dayscould prevent days of unproductivity or instances where people end up signed off for much longer periods.
- Employees could indicate their stress level each day – keeping this activity light-hearted, but also truthful, will help encourage colleagues to support each other, while management can better understand when people are at their most stressed.
- Maintaining amental health forum will allow people to share their experiences and advice with colleagues – this could be online within the company’s ‘intranet’ or a face to face informal lunchtime meeting.
- An anonymous “mood” board, where people can write down issues, can help dissipate negativity whilst sharing positive feelings.
- Unintended divisions between different levels of management or between departments can result in some staff feeling excluded, even if that was never the intention – regular informal drinks/lunch meetings can be used for staff to air gripes or offer ideas.
A healthier body means a healthier mind
- Sports and exercise equipment could be available for people to borrow – a football, hand weights, skipping rope – should hopefully encourage a little lunchtime fun.
- Employees who love dancing, jogging or circuits could be encouraged to form a lunch club where people can exercise together and maybe learn new skills.
- Lunch clubs could also be run by a person that has any passion, such as a craft or a love for cooking – making friends is also good for the mind.
- A staff fruit bowl, filled at the beginning of the week could invite staff to eat more healthily
- Or could you provide healthy drinks and snacks one day a month to promote less sugar and caffeine intake – ask people to monitor how it affects their working mood.
- Teams or departments could organise healthy picnic lunches, where everyone brings a plate to enjoy a shared lunch – this has the added benefit of helping to build relationships.
- Encourage a regular walk to work day or only use the stairs day so employees can give their body a little extra workout.
- Do staff have somewhere they can safely lock up push bikes? If not, you may be holding someone back from getting more exercise.
Small workplace changes making big differences
- A silent area, where people can ensure five minutes of time out, can be very beneficial for those in intense roles.
- Make this area special and show you care for very little cost – encouraging people to listen to music on their headphones, or read, could help people de-stress.
- Where people work can affect productivity and cause stress, and this could be as simple as someone being cold because they sit next to a window. Check that the staff are seated in the best place for them…
- A hot desk area for those who need a change of environment or might need an hour away from a noisier area of the office.
- Standing desks that can be folded against a wall are a great way of giving people another option in a small space – some people may feel more focussed or creative working standing up for a while and it’s good for circulation.
- Yoga balls give your core a great workout and improve posture, and work well in meeting rooms or break-out areas.
Management and training make all the difference
- Managers sometimes need to remind industrious staff members to stop work. Does everyone have a lunch break and eat away from their workspace?
- Managers can also encourage a five-minute break in a morning and afternoon to clear their mind.
- You need to know why people are working long hours – are they overloaded, or not productive? Either way, how can you help before burnout occurs?
- A sandwiching technique can be taught to individuals to help with workload management – alternating between tasks that you do and don’t like can improve self-esteem and reduce stress.
- Simple in-house training to sort daily tasks into ‘required’, ‘important’ and ‘desirable’ categories can stop someone feeling drowned in work as not everyone naturally knows how prioritise a work load.
- – Aa small amount of reorganisation could make a huge difference. Ask for regular feedback on what employees feel are their main strengths.
- A formal mentor scheme can be effective for a mentee’s work development and the mentor’s self-esteem as mentors gain from being valued by the mentee.
Ask the professionals to provide support
- For your next staff away day, do something radically different, like booking a professional to undertake mental and physical health workshops in the morning and a sports coach to teach you the game in the afternoon.
- To determine areas your business can focus on,ivest in mental health risk-assessment questionnaires, undertaken and evaluated by a professional in this field,.
- Ensure desk workers know how to do simple exercises, like rolling their shoulders, and individuals who stand may need to sit and stretch – a yoga consultant can assist here..
- A mindfulness or meditation practitioner could undertake an after-work session to teach techniques that help with stress and poor mental health.