Tomorrow, 2nd February 2023, is Time to Talk Day. Life is busy, and whilst the majority of the people find time for a quick chat and catch up, finding the right time to talk about mental health can be tricky.
What is Time to Talk Day
According to the official homepage “Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. Happening every year, it’s a day for friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and change lives” https://timetotalkday.co.uk/
The topic of mental health is gradually becoming less of a taboo and more open. Its increasingly seen as a topic to be addressed rather than swept under the carpet and ignored in the hope those woes may disappear.
Why should this matter to employers?
Mental health is often viewed as a “personal” problem however the implications to businesses is clear. According to https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/mental-health-statistics/mental-health-work-statistics
- 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%).
- Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%).
- Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
Evidently the knock-on affect to businesses is substantial in terms of productivity and absenteeism. However, its also important for businesses to view employee wellbeing from a longer-term perspective in relation to staff retention and attraction. Employees who are looked after and engaged in a company’s culture, are likely to feel more supported, have less absenteeism, be more productive and successful.
What can employers do?
Many businesses are becoming more mental health aware with concepts such as a “mental health first aider” and “wellbeing program” becoming an expected set up within the workplace.
Whilst having these functions and speaking about mental health is a great first step, its important to ensure that the momentum is continued with the management of mental health and wellbeing in the work place.
From our experience a key way to ensure this, is to implement an achievable plan. “Achievable” will look different for every business dependent on budget, time capacity, existing resources and many other factors. There are however some common guidelines that all business can use to ensure they maintain a focus on mental health and employee wellbeing. We have outlined the top 4.
Don’t over promise – it’s an old age concept however one which is still very relevant. Over promising leads to under delivery which leads to disappointment. This also doesn’t reflect great on you as a business. Whilst grand plans and ideas are great on paper, its best to always think through about your capacity to actually deliver them.
Don’t assume – Its important to not assume what’s good for your mental health is good for others. When implementing wellbeing incentives take time to consider peoples differences and to plan a program that is inclusive. Things to consider when striving for an inclusive wellbeing plan include; individual budget, physical abilities, personal time constraints etc.
What existing resources do you have – the first question to ask when looking to implement a wellbeing program is how much is this going to cost? A good and cost-free place to start is looking at what you have in place already and if that includes any wellbeing assistance. For instance, the company may have a death in service scheme or Employee Assistance Program. Due to their low cost these benefits are quite often overlooked as resources to assist with general wellbeing however they often include a range of resources.
Get people involved – whilst too much involvement can often complicate at the planning stage, once you have you have your plan in place, it’s a good idea to involve people who may want to help. This is both beneficial for them to feel involved and valued and good for you in terms of having help.
There is of course no one fits all solution or “right” way, however having these guidelines in mind will help give structure and focus. We hope you and your business find Time to Talk. For more information on how advo can help implement and manage a successful well being and mental health plan speak to us today on 01622 210 769 or email email@example.com.