Supporting mental health and resilience in the workplace.
The health and wellbeing of employees is an important business issue, contributing towards a positive workplace culture and bringing benefits such as improved employee engagement, absence rates and productivity.
For many organisations, workplace wellbeing strategies have traditionally focused on physical health and initiatives to support employees with the stresses of work and life. However, forward thinking businesses are now giving further attention to mental health and in particular how to create a psychologically safe and resilient working environment.
Why? Because research and statistics are making an ever stronger case that to perform, businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors need to understand and build a work culture where people can thrive.
- More than 50% of all work absence is psychological in its cause (Dame Carol Black, Review of Sickness Absence 2011).
- Psychological distress related absences from work in the UK accounted for 15 million days in 2013 (National Office of Statistics).
- Issues around mental health are thought to cost the UK economy around £70bn a year (OECD).
- One in three of the working population will suffer at some point from a Mental Illness (Mental Illness & Employment Task and Finish Group 2016)
What is Psychological Safety?
Psychological Safety is the mental health equivalent of physical safety. It is achieved by developing an environment where your employees are able to think, feel and behave in a way that supports their effectiveness.
In a psychologically safe organisation, managers actively look to prevent harm or danger to mental health. As an important driver of workplace health and wellbeing strategy, this approach not only supports improved engagement and attendance, but also helps employees to be more confident in taking interpersonal risks.
- Employees feel able to constructively challenge ways of working without fear of retribution.
- They know any challenges to working practices are valued.
- Colleagues will ask for help or guidance knowing it will be met with a positive response.
- Team members know being different is respected and not undermined or ridiculed.
- Your people feel that they are recognised for their contribution.
Introducing Wellbeing Insights (Wbi)
The first step in creating a psychologically safe workplace is to understand how ‘safe’ your employees currently are.
By considering the impact of personal resilience, the environment employees work in and how they are led, managed and supported, you can start to build a picture of psychological safety within your organisation.
Designed to support this activity, Wellbeing Insights (Wbi) is a predictive, online workplace wellbeing tool that analyses and identifies wellbeing issues. Based on clinical research, it correlates mental resilience, the working environment and management approaches to understand absence and presenteeism issues and where they could potentially develop.
By gaining an insight into whether employees are ‘thriving’, ‘hiving’ or simply ‘surviving’, you can influence your strategies so support and resources are directed to where the most impact can be made.
- A short online survey with immediate and confidential report
- Feedback and insight to support self-care
- Signposting to further support
- Aggregated organisational level report based on survey responses
- Predict future absence levels and causes including potential cost of absence
- Predict future levels of presenteeism and its cause
- Identify causes of impaired wellbeing
- Identify factors driving or impairing the levels of discretionary effort
- Identify levels of resilience and factors that drive or impair resilience
- Identify areas of reduced discretionary effort and its cause
- Wbi report with practical advice and recommendations for taking survey insight forward
- Additional support also available based on results, such as leadership development, management training, strategy development and transformational change programme design covering behavioural change within teams.
They say that prevention is better than cure, so if you are interested in developing workplace wellbeing and taking a proactive and preventative approach to mental health and resilience, please get in touch.
Wellbeing Insights can be used as a standalone activity or as part of a wider workplace wellbeing or people development consulting project.