Today’s business requires an engaged, resilient and innovative workforce and this includes a progressive approach to mental health in the workplace. Investing time and resources into mental health as a key element of your employees’ well-being provides invaluable advantages, such as improving employee retention and job satisfaction, increasing productivity and improved customer service and reducing employee-related risks and potential liabilities.
Other benefits include lowering absenteeism and presenteeism (coming to work but unable to be fully productive) and enhancing the company’s reputation (being an attractive place to work at).
Workplaces that successfully support workplace mental health (according to their employees) often demonstrate the following approaches, creating a culture of care where employees can ask for allowances without any stigma attached. Fostering an open dialogue on the issue by showcasing role models, encouraging personal storytelling and providing examples of success such as the RUOK Ambassador program. Focusing on leadership training and giving managers the skills to have conversations about mental health and mental health challenges.
To ensure long-term results, employer strategies to improve mental health requires commitment from all departments and every level of management. For example, essential elements can include shifting office culture, providing education and training around mental health, opening up a dialogue with executive leadership, and evaluating and promoting employee benefits.
Poor mental health is a society-wide issue, and a widespread employer response is critical for improvement. Recovery could stall if an individual is struggling with a mental health challenge or condition, perhaps even receiving treatment, but spends nearly a third of their time working at an organization with a culture of silence and stigma around mental health. At the same time, workplaces have a responsibility to care for the overall health and happiness of their human resources.
When employees can find the support or services they need then everyone, including the employer, gains an advantage.
Are you an RUOK Workplace Champion? You can sign up here.
Mental health support for yourself or a loved one can be found by calling
Lifeline on 13 11 14,
Mensline on 1300 789 978,
or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.
Online support is available via Beyond Blue.
Want help with engaging and connecting with your team? Try our 30-day trial!