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Build a mental health strategy in 5 easy steps

Build A Mental Health Strategy In 5 Easy Steps

One in six UK workers are affected by mental health problems like anxiety, stress, and depression. Although many organisations are recognising the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace, putting together an effective strategy is often out of reach.

So, how do you do it?

We’ve detailed five key elements to consider when developing your mental health strategy.

Looking for employee benefits to help support the health and mental wellbeing of your staff? Our friendly team at Hooray Health & Protection can help. Email [email protected] or give us a call on 01273 222805.

#1 Listen to your staff

Mental health challenges vary from person to person. To ensure your strategy works, it needs to consider the needs of every team member.

Before creating a strategy, you need to find out what your staff think. Here are a few key questions to ask:

  • What is your biggest stressor at work?
  • What’s your biggest mental health challenge?
  • What benefits would best support your mental health in the workplace? (provide a list of options to choose from)
  • What more can we do to help?

It’s usually best to ask these questions via an anonymous survey but other options include:

  • Regular one-to-ones
  • Group meetings
  • Email/team messaging
  • Surveys
  • Employee focus groups

Keep in mind, this is not a one and done job. Surveys should updated at least once a year to see how things are progressing.

Other signals to look out for include:

  • Absenteeism rates
  • Bullying claims
  • Peer support programmes
  • Employee performance reviews
  • Staff surveys
  • Turnover rates

#2 Appoint mental health leaders

A key part of any workplace mental health strategy, is choosing the right people to lead on it. It’s useful to have managers and team leaders who are trained to pick up on warning signs and have conversations on mental health.

When senior team members are talking openly about not only mental health as a topic, but their own mental wellbeing too, it’s only going to encourage the wider workforce to do the same. Consider running training courses, such as the Mental Health First Aid course.

However, there also needs to be support in place for those managers too. Keep an eye out they don’t take on too much – after all, yes they are there to help and lead, but they’re not trained therapists!

#3 Choose the right employee Benefits  

Choosing the right employee benefits is a key part of any mental health strategy.

Hooray’s employee survey ‘What Workers Want 2021’ outlined exactly what support staff want for mental wellbeing:

  • 57% said access to mental health services
  • 49% said flexible working options
  • 38% said extra holiday
  • 30% said good pension scheme
  • 20% said free/discounted gym membership

This begs the questions, how do you offer mental health support? You can consider investing in:

  • Employee benefits platforms: A wide range of tools can be accessed in an employee benefits platform, including those offering mental health support. Find out how benefits platforms work.
  • Employee Assistance Programmes: EAPs provide a wide range of emotional wellbeing services, including one-to-one counselling support, debt management guidance, mental health tools and much more. They are usually housed on a digital platform, like the one above. Read more about EAPs here.
  • Group Health Cash Plans: An alternative to health insurance, cash plans are designed to support everyday health needs. Services include counselling sessions, alongside physiotherapy, counselling, dental care and acupuncture. Learn more about Group Health Cash Plans.
  • Financial services/pension planning: This kind of support can help remove money-related stress.
  • Standalone counselling services: Businesses can individually employ third-party counsellors and psychotherapists for their employees, rather than have it packaged within an EAP or Cash Plan.
  • Employee discounts/vouchers/gym membership: These kinds of perks can also assist the mental wellbeing of employees.

#4 Promote mental wellbeing support

It’s important to create a working environment that fosters a culture of open discussion on issues around mental health. But one problem we often find with businesses is a failure to promote the help they’re offering. Too often, businesses provide a brief introduction to the benefits they have access to and then leave it at that. But actually, it’s important to remind staff about the services they have available and how to access them.

Where’s the good in providing an employee benefit if nobody benefits!?

#5 Encourage a supportive workspace

It’s important to remember the little things that a company can do to create a supportive workplace environment:

  • Make sure staff are working sensible hours and not taking the fast track to burnout!
  • Ensure staff are taking their full breaks (preferably, away from the desk!)
  • Encourage employees to take their full annual leave entitlement
  • Arrange regular out-of-work socials

And don’t forget to celebrate wins!:

  • Share success stories from across the business
  • Provide incentives for meeting targets
  • Put in place anonymous peer performance reviews to celebrate the best performers
  • Consider introducing rewards for ‘good team members’ i.e. those who have gone out of their way to be supportive to others, organise team events or anything else which helps build a sense of togetherness.

 

Looking to invest in the wellbeing of your staff?

Putting together a mental health strategy can really benefit a business and its employees. And staff benefits have a key role to play in this strategy.

This is where the team at Hooray can help!

Our friendly award-winning brokers provide FREE quotes and one-to-one advice to ensure you receive the employee benefits which are the perfect fit for your business. We take the time to get to know you and your company and work with you to provide the right benefits at the right price.

Contact Hooray Health & Protection on 01273 222805 or email us at [email protected] for the best deals and FREE one-to-one advice and support.

 

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