Workplace mental well-being is gaining momentum. But clearly more work needs to be done to break down stigma and provide an open and supportive culture where staff can be honest with managers about their mental health. This is particularly pertinent in the sectors, which are known for its high levels of stress and high-performance culture. Investing in employee well-being can lead to increased resilience, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity.
A focused approach to well-being can nurture highest level of commitment from employees and foster the workforce to work towards organisation goals.
Why does mental health at workplace needs focus?
Managing and supporting employees mental health at work is a critical and growing challenge for employers. Most people will be affected in some way by poor mental health, either personally or through family and friends, so mental health is an issue for every organisation.
Equally important are the positive business reasons for supporting staff mental health. The world of work is changing, with employee engagement, flexible working, resilience and talent management now common currency. Positively managing mental health approaches can reap rewards in terms of staff morale, productivity and loyalty.
The future of Human resources function will need to focus on employee health and well-being as a core element of any HR strategy, and central to the way an organisation operates and fulfils its mission. It should not simply consist of one-off initiatives as when there are demands or situations.
HR needs to develop a strategy along with management, create environment where employees are encouraged to talk about mental health, have planned sessions and workshop to induce positivity and learned optimism. However, the line manager is the first point of contact for any employee, if he/she is not well equipped and sensitive all of this can go in vain. Hence the strategy needs to be developed not just across levels but along with organisational goals.
Let us see the aspects on the distinct responsibilities and strategy the people’s function needs to adopt:
Not just empathy but compassion:
We need to move from being empathetic listeners to compassionate doers. Listening to your employees may be just enough, we need to act upon with tailor made solutions along with organisational goals.
Art of sharing and receiving feedbacks:
Yes, we all know we need to share positive feedback first but yet the human nature is as such that we get more affected by the negative feedback shared. Even though it might just a one among the 10 positive feedbacks. The art of feedback sharing is mandate for organisation who wants to focus on well-being.
Leaders with learned optimism
Practicing the thinking skills of learned optimism can give the energy to succeeding at goals and challenges. One can learn to be more productive and less depressed, more hopeful and less discouraged, to achieve more successes than failures. Such leaders in organisation can be an inspiration and can become a reason for employees to look up and stay for a longer period.
Strength based manpower planning:
Identifying personality character strengths and planning your project manpower accordingly can have more creative & effective results. Needless to mentions about the process has to start identifying required character strengths and emotions for a project.
Business HR to well-being HR
Every goal of an organization requires some amount of emotional and psychological characters of an employee to work further. Not just identifying, planning and training but also developing a contagious culture can be long lasting.
The new normal for Human resources needs lot on introspection, learning, unlearning and challenging the status quo. The most challenging aspect will be taking in a buy in from business by showing the impact of well-being at work and its results. This will not only take time but also lot of trial and error within an organisation.
Let us start with the conversation to begin with. Do share your thoughts and comments.