As a part of Mental Health Month (NSW) and Week (QLD, Vic), let’s take a look at a possible process to utilise when looking to create a mentally healthy workplace. We will take a look at the WorkWell initiative created by WorkSafe Victoria.
It’s easy to put the idea of improving the mental health of your workforce in the ‘too hard basket’, but for every $1 invested in successful mental health initiatives, businesses see an average of $2.30 return on investment (2014 Pwc Report). Therefore, what’s good for people is good for business.
There are many work-related factors that can impact mental health and work-related stress:
- Low job control
- Poor support
- Poor workplace relations
- Low role clarity
- Poor organisational change management
- Low recognition and reward
- Poor organisation justice
- Poor environmental conditions
- Remote and isolated work
- Violent or traumatic events
In regards to addressing the mental health of a workplace, most companies have been attempting to manage a problem once it occurs, being reactive. This could look like utilising only Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or return to work programs for mental ill-health. Some have tried to manage this by giving workers skills to manage their mental health, such as mental health first aid training and resilience training. Having strategies to manage an episode of mental ill-health and to provide skills around self-management are important, but the WorkWell approach, wants you to take it one step further and prevent mental ill-health in the workplace.
WorkWell aims at providing a workplace's leadership team the tools and strategies to design an environment and systems of work to keep people mentally safe. It's a step by step approach, tailored to your workplace needs and also provides a community to share ideas and concerns. Although based in Victoria, the information is free to all and we suggest you take a look - Link
This process is not fast, it's a marathon and will be ongoing. Why? Because having a healthy culture is something that needs to be a fundamental pillar of a workplace and practised by all members of the workplace, especially the leadership team. Employ Health is well positioned to act as a catalyst to move your workplace into a culture where mental and physical health are central.