Keen to get it right?
Recent political and social events have certainly applied the blow torch to the issue of mental health in Australian workplaces. If you’re a HR professional or business leader, this has no doubt created many challenges and complexities within your day-to-day operations.
The question is…how do you best navigate this space to protect the wellbeing & productivity of your employees while ensuring you maintain control over business profitability & growth? Before we explore an answer, congratulations on exploring a workplace wellbeing solution for your organisation.
Now, take a deep breath and realise that creating a mentally healthy workplace takes time because there’s a lot of moving parts. Keep in mind that your workplace is unique and you have the great privilege to design and execute the best outcome for your whole organisation. This should be a really positive, highly rewarding, experience that ensures greater work-life satisfaction levels for your entire workforce.
What do you do first?
If you’re ready to move on, then let’s look at customising a framework for your workplace. This needs to suit your organisation and be a working model that informs all mental wellbeing activities in your organisation. This will ensure clarity and accountability for everyone.
Here’s a great framework
We recommend that all employers, regardless of workplace type, industry, or size adopt a set of mental health core standards. For example, you could wisely and effectively use the 6 standards recommended by Mental Health at Work UK: Alternatively, you could also tailor these to suit your organisation.
- Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activities (eg: internal/external support services; training & workshops; routine well-checks/surveys; etc)
- Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes (eg: conducting a psychosocial risk assessment; policies around hybrid work arrangements; etc)
- Promote an open culture around mental health (eg: awareness to reduce stigma; etc)
- Increase organisational confidence and capability (eg: use a framework for mental health literacy; training for managers; etc)
- Provide mental health tools and support (in house support; expert external support; etc)
- Increase transparency & accountability through internal/external reporting (use a reliable metric to report on employee wellbeing)
Some essential resources
Worksafe Queensland – information and tools to help you manage risks, protect health, safety and wellbeing and understand incidents and notifications.
Mental Health at Work (NSW) – practical actions you can take to be a productive, safe workplace.
Mental Health at Work (UK) – plenty of tools, resources, and stories, Mental Health at Work makes navigating the workplace mental health landscape easy.
We hope you found this article helpful. Stay tuned for a future series of articles that will elaborate on how to design the scaffold around the 6 standards. These articles will contain practical advise aimed at ensuring a smooth transition to a mentally healthier workplace.
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