- Talk openly about mental well-being as the more managers and leaders talk openly, the more employees will feel comfortable talking about it too!
- Try to encourage people at work to be sociable and where possible draw in your remote workers. Isolation has been proven to have serious negative effects on mental health.
- Encourage your employees to get professional help and to know that that is as routine and straight forward as seeking support with physical issues. The more you can normalise mental health the more everyone will benefit.
- Encourage your employees to stay active as this benefits mental health as much as physical health. Physical activity increases dopamine levels which in turn increases positive feelings thereby reducing anxiety and day to day depression.
- Step in to help employees manage their time and energy efficiently. Helping disorganised or overloaded employees to manage time effectively can be enormously helpful
- Ever be tempted to disregard an employee’s mental health issue, assuming the condition will just get better on its own. Be as supportive as if they had a physical ill health issue.
- Hesitate to ask about any mental health related treatment plans. If you are aware of an employee’s treatment plan then it is far easier to understand how to support or determine any sensible work or workload changes.
- Pressurise staff. If someone says they are ill or suffering in some way then don’t trivialise it or try to talk them out of it just because there are work pressures. Be considerate and don’t judge.
- Hesitate to pick up on colleagues or employees using less than positive language about mental health issues – you need to step up and manage this situation if it arises otherwise one or two people will undo all your hard work to support those experiencing poor mental health.
- Run and hide! The more you can make yourself available to your employees, the more you will be able to support them.
10.5 Whilst it is very common for employees to go off sick claiming stress, low mood, anxiety or depression the minute you invite them to a disciplinary investigation or meeting, tread very carefully. It is our experience that being invited to such a meeting does make people anxious and stressed therefore you shouldn’t suggest they are making it up. However, postponing indefinitely is unlikely to be in the employee’s best interests as you just prolong the stress. To understand how you can move things forward whilst they are still off sick, call us at Jaluch for advice about this issue.