5 things EMPLOYERS can do to reduce stress and improve the wellbeing and mental health of their people

Reducing stress and improving wellbeing and mental health:

Part 2: 5 things EMPLOYERS can do to reduce stress and improve the wellbeing and mental health of their people


In Part 1, we discussed 5 things that we as individuals can do to reduce stress and improve our wellbeing and mental health. (Part 1)


Part 2 is about what employers can – and should – be doing to support their employees.


As an employer, what can you do to support your people?


1. Promote Wellbeing and Mental Health

  • Educate your people so they are aware of the issues that might have an impact on their wellbeing e.g. nutrition, hydration, exercise
  • Run internal Wellbeing Campaignsget people talking about it: intranet, noticeboards, internal communications. Good campaigns include stress management, smoking cessation, exercise programs, etc
  • Provide education on Stress Management and Building Resilience


2. Have an effective Employee Assistance Program

  • If you have one, do people know about it?
  • If you don’t have one, why not consider getting one? They are inexpensive per head, and it has become standard for organisations to provide external support to their people in this way
  • Many of our clients happily report that they have an EAP, but when I meet their people when I’m training them on stress and building resilience, when I ask for a show of hands as to who knows about the EAP, we regularly see only about 10% of hands go up
  • There’s not point having an EAP if your people don’t know it’s there
  • ACTION: Promote your EAP now. Use your internal comms team, if you have one, or send out an email with the link to the EAP page on your intranet


3. Provide Line Management Stress and Mental Health Awareness Training

  • Provide training on how to have a conversation with someone about their mental health. Too often employees are scared to tell their manager about a mental health problem and so problems can spiral. If managers have training in this area, it creates a culture that supports staff to be open about their mental health
  • Ensuring that you have managers and leaders who are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress in themselves and others is essential. They are the first line of defence – they can talk with the person concerned, recommend what support is available (EAP, HR, doctor etc), know what intervention systems are in place and exactly what to do if they see someone in their team suffering
  • Being able to spot the early warning signs when someone is suffering from stress can prevent it going on to become a more serious mental health issue


4. Ensure everyone knows where to go for help

  • Use the intranet, noticeboards etc
  • Employees: who can I speak to? Detail the options – EAP, HR, Occupational Health, internal counsellors, your GP
  • Managers: how do I best support this person? Ensure your managers know where to direct the person if they can’t provide support themselves
  • Introduce Wellbeing Intervention Systems and make sure that managers know what they should be doing and when


5. Introduce a meaningful, supportive Wellbeing Policy

  • This policy will cover everything regarding how as an organisation you’ll manage physical wellbeing and emotional wellbeing (mental health)
  • It will acknowledge the fact that you have a responsibility to your people, which you take seriously
  • The policy will detail what steps you will take to address workplace wellbeing and to proactively protect your people
  • It should contain reference to your Wellbeing Strategy (yes, you should have one)
  • It should advise people where to look for information on workplace wellbeing
  • It must state what support resources you have e.g. Wellbeing, Health and Safety Manager, Occupational Health, Wellbeing Champions etc


SAWT PRO TIP: Utilise these fantastic free resources!
We would love to help you write a Wellbeing Policy and Strategy, advise on the effectiveness of your EAP, or to provide whatever training you need. Click here to see what courses we offer.
If you need advice, email us at sarah@safeandwelltogether.com or give Sarah a call on +44 7791 97 82 44.

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