Looking after your employees mental wellbeing adds real value

Frequently clients feel undervalued or unappreciated by their employer. It’s a worrying trend and one that has become worse during the current economic climate. It feels like we’re all trying to do more, with less staff and no pay rise in sight. This means that come Friday, the workforce is exhausted, frustrated and resentful.

Financial remuneration continues to be a prime motivator for workers but given the widely reported pay freezes, redundancies and lack of growth, this is not a realistic solution. In reality, we are living in a time of financial austerity, cost-cutting and budget-freezing.

People are worried about losing their jobs, so they come into work in an ‘underperforming’ state, i.e. suffering stress, anxiety, dealing with a physical injury, coping with personal problems or going through a life crisis issue such as loss or bereavement.

This is a worrying trend given that employees should be viewed and treated as an organisation’s greatest asset. They should be supported and encouraged to enable them to flourish and be at their most productive. This is not only best for them but also best for a company’s bottom line. So where are employers going wrong and how can we change this?

There is a potential solution and a low-cost, low-risk one at that. It centres on looking after the mental wellbeing of employees and putting supportive processes in place for those who need them. Looking after your staff in this way will enable them to engage more at work, take less time off and perform better.

A commitment to wellbeing needs to be established, demonstrated and championed at the top of the organisation. It can be delivered through three broad strands:

Policy: Policies need to demonstrate a ‘duty of care’ to all staff, to embrace opportunities within employment legislation to offer leverage for staff, to provide, where reasonable, flexible and adaptable working conditions;

 

As human beings, we grow and develop, learning from life experiences along the way, some positive, some less so. But, on top of the current economic struggle, we’re all going to face certain difficult life issues now and again. With one in four people likely to experience a mental health issue in their lives, there needs to be support and understanding for those of us who will. The GP is responsible for our primary care but organisations have a duty of care to employees too. At any given time, there will be employees trying to cope with bereavement, or family issues, stress, depression and anxiety, relationship problems and a host of life issues that can affect anyone.

Without adequate support, these people (you and me) might find themselves distracted at work, more irritable, unable to concentrate as they normally would and thereby edging closer to the unproductive presenteeism precipice.

Creating a cohesive wellbeing strategy allows organisations to put in place a series of early interventions that aim to resolve issues before they become problems.  Whatever option is offered to staff, you’ll find this not only provides a release-valve for employees but the positive wellbeing message the initiative communicates will help make all employees feel valued and appreciated.

Working with an effective counselling professional to put in place a counselling support strategy can reduce stress at work and help provide a stronger working environment. If you would like to book an appointment, please email me at: davidlloydlcs@gmail.com to arrange a confidential chat.

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