The importance of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace – here’s what you can do!
You’re suddenly bombarded with three urgent deadlines due by EOD, combined with meetings on meetings; and if you throw in family and personal commitments – it’s the ultimate recipe for disaster. We’ve all been there – the immense burnout, feelings of hopelessness and stress overload isn’t a pleasant feeling. If you’re experiencing this, the sad reality is that your employees are too.
1 in 5 Australian employees have taken time off from work in the last 12 months because they were feeling mentally unwell and 45% of employees will have experienced some type of mental health condition in their lifetime according to ABS .
With an increased prevalence of individuals experiencing mental strain, particularly during extended lockdowns, it’s critical to identify the signs and unveil ways to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace. As we approach mental health awareness month in Australia we thought it was befitting to unpack the topic, the impacting factors, and ways you can support!
Factors impacting employee mental wellbeing and the consequences
There are a plethora of factors that affect mental wellbeing in the workplace but common variables are high or low job demand; lack of support in the workplace; poor working relationships and environment; organisational change; traumatic events; and the one on the rise, remote working .
So what’s impacting your employee’s mental health at work and what are you currently doing about it?
When you don’t adequately support mental health, it trickles down to the wider organisation, we’re talking poor productivity, working relationships, employee engagement and retention and there’s more to add to that list. The ramifications of simply sweeping mental health issues under the rug is $10.9 billion – that’s how much it costs Australian organisations per year. That’s $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $6.1 billion in presenteeism, and $146 million in compensation claims !
Ways you could help promote mental health and wellness in the workplace
There are many ways you can support your employees and there’s no one size fits all but here are some tips that work for us!
- Start the conversation!
Check-in with your staff, normalise chatting about mental health and continue building awareness. Cultivating a healthy workplace culture will allow your employees to be more open to having these difficult conversations with you – not everything has to be about work so make the effort to get to know your staff members.
- Listen to your employees!
Many organisations conduct employee surveys, questionnaires, or face-to-face interviews to gain insight into how their employees feel at work. This data can be incredibly useful in identifying the causes of mental fatigue, understand what matters most to your employees and can help shape future initiatives.
- Understand the importance of work-life balance!
Work pressure is the number mechanism causing work-related stress! Huge tip: don’t overwork your employees. Great workplaces prioritise work-life balance and delegate manageable workloads to reduce burnout. You really can’t have a productive, efficient and profitable workforce unless you take care of your employees first and foremost.
- Don’t forget to fuel social interaction and stay connected as we shift towards remote working!
It’s so easy to feel disconnected and lonely while working from home. Ensure you continue to collaborate and communicate effectively to promote a sense of togetherness. Virtual catch-ups to keep up to date with teammates, team building activities such as fun trivia nights or cheeky virtual drinks can work to maintain a positive work culture and mean a lot to your employees.
At KidsCo, mental wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do and drives our commitment to impact the lives of thousands of carers and children in leading organisations across Australia. As schools close and parents work from home, our mission has been to alleviate the stresses of juggling work and family through our virtual support programs.
To give parents a much-needed break or some time to power through their day, our incredible teachers keep the kids engaged with some interactive virtual entertainment. It’s made lockdown more enjoyable for the little ones who feel the impact of isolation and has been a lifeline for parents balancing both roles at home.
Find out more about how you can support your working carers here.
 State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia, chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2F