You have a lot of responsibilities as an entrepreneur. You may get preoccupied with your obligations to your financial bottom line. However, you can’t overlook the importance of doing right by your employees.
One factor that you should think about is your duty to your employees’ mental wellbeing. This has significant implications for your employees, as well as employee retention, the long-term productivity and success of your business.
Savvy Entrepreneurs Prioritize Employee Mental Health
Mental health is being increasingly recognized as a critical issue in today’s society, and one that has been brought even more sharply into focus throughout 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The general fear and anxiety surrounding the virus, combined with extended periods of isolation and limited social interaction, has affected the mental health of millions around the world.
As a business owner, you need to understand its significance. How does it affect your employees and your company?
Given that the average person spends half of their daily waking hours at work, it is an issue that is bound to affect businesses across all sectors. It is believed that dealing with mental health costs the UK economy somewhere between £74 and £99 billion every year – figures that show just how important it is that we recognise the problem and take steps to improve it.
One example of such measures being implemented is RSM International’s Mental Health Champions Programme, designed to raise awareness and put in place support systems for those who need help. Within the workplace, there can be a misconception that attending to the mental health of employees is the remit of the human resources (HR) team. But the truth is that people across all levels of an organisation need to take responsibility:
There’s a widely held societal view that now is the time to tackle mental illness and those at board level need to be a major driving force. They can do this by setting an example of a healthy work-life balance, understanding the causes of stresses and anxieties and providing adequate support to the health and safety/HR professionals within the company.
Health and safety/HR professionals
The individuals in these roles need to undertake risk assessments to help them identify the factors that can contribute to poor mental health and subsequently reduce the likelihood of those circumstances arising. They also need to communicate with staff at all levels as well as trade unions (where applicable) to raise awareness and deal with any problems.
As the first point of contact for the majority of employees in an organisation, line managers need to be able to connect with their colleagues on a human level. They need to understand each individual’s personal circumstances and how those could affect their mental wellbeing. Should any issues arise, it is the responsibility of the line managers to report those higher up the chain.
As for the employees themselves, first and foremost they have a responsibility to look after their own mental health. That could be via something as simple as regular breaks through the day or scheduling leave to avoid burnout. And, as winter approaches and wellbeing providers warn of another decline in mental health, it’s absolutely vital that staff take the time to check on their colleagues. Employees should look to help others as much as they can, report any problems to their line manager and engage with HR and health and safety about measures that could be introduced to alleviate such a critical issue.
Make Employee Mental Health Your Priority
Mental health is a growing concern for many communities around the world. As a business owner, you need to understand its relevance to your business. You need to make sure that employee mental health is a priority, so you can boost productivity, reduce turnover and get the most out of your resources.
Tagline: Employee mental health must be a top priority for every entrepreneur trying to boost productivity and minimize turnover.