In 2017/18, there were 15.4 million working days lost due to cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety; this equates to an average of 25.8 days per case. During the same year, stress, depression and anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases.  The human and organisational cost of not addressing these issues is extremely high.
What are the 5 Ways to improve mental health in your organisation?
Involve people in decision making
Allowing people to make decisions in their workplace has a high impact on well-being from the social interaction as well as the possibilities it creates. This Blog from Mental health America talks about how collaborative decision making can make all the difference to mental health in corporations.
Have people working on improvement projects not just their day job
Only 35% of employees are highly engaged in their jobs.  Boredom and meaningless work cause anxiety and depression as much as highly stressed work. Active engagement in improvement projects can make a huge difference to mental health. This excellent blog from the Post-Lean Institute shows the correlation between involvement and improvement, employee engagement and lean.
Allow creativity in the organisation
Studies have shown that creating a collaborative space free of judgment or failure can make an ideal environment for people to improve self-esteem, confidence, and creativity. A tool such as Improv can help your organisation:
- Boost well-being, resulting in reduced absences and conflict
- Increase the ability for teams to self-manage issues and opportunities
- Enhance the ability to generate innovative ideas around your own service or the process, leading to better customer experience and/or reduced costs
Encourage people to talk about mental health
With the right support, employees who struggle with their mental health can excel in their work. In fact, many people who suffer from chronic anxiety or depression are excellent at faking wellness. i.e. still get their work done, without short term effects.
This great article in the HBR talks about why mental health is a challenge but not a weakness.
Create structures in an organisation that support people with mental health
Having the right resources in the organisation for support on the ground and creating positive environments can have a very positive effect on mental health. For example, did you know that having many plants in an office improve mental health?
Three great articles on this from:
Awareness of mental health and its impact have increased considerably in recent years. The good news is that they are many tried and tested ways to deliver benefits to individuals and organisations.
By Ketan Varia. With editorial support from Chloe Haimes and Burcu Atay.
- HSE. (2018). Work related stress depression or anxiety statistics in Great Britain, 2018. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf
- Willis Towers Watson. (2012). 2012 Global Workforce Study. Available at: https://www.towerswatson.com/Insights/IC-Types/Survey-Research-Results/2012/07/2012-Towers-Watson-Global-Workforce-Study