Mental wellbeing at work

Do you know, there’s never been a better time
to talk about mental health, royalties talking about it, film stars, sports stars and ordinary
people like you and me are reflecting on our different thoughts and feelings and things
which effect our mental well-being and contributing to a bigger conversation that is going on
in the country. Certainly what i know and have seen over my years of working in Acas
and its quite a long time now, is that people with mental ill health conditions are in the
very best place themselves to work with and identify what needs to be done to make things
better for themselves in the working environment. The research that we’ve done in Acas shows
really clearly the autonomy that one has in the job that they do, the ability to make
small decisions about how they do their work can make a big impact on their mental well-being.
There is certainly growing evidence that having that freedom and autonomy in the workplace
can contribute not only to mental well-being but helps the business too because then people
are more productive, and i think that is obviously a good thing both for the individuals of course
and for the business too, and that’s something that in Acas we’re keen to promote and bring
together the benefits of the individual and the needs of the business, so that individual
well-being is promoted and productivity and performance in the workplace is enhanced and
that ‘s a win win for everybody. And when we look at teams and how they operate, the
head of the team, the line manager, the supervisor, whoever it is, i see them as absolutely key
and time and again I’ve seen that a really fantastic line manager can make all the difference
in supporting someone with a mental ill health difficulty, of course not everybody wants
to disclose their illness to their line manager and nor should everybody have to disclose
their illness to a line manager, but if they’re confident of getting that support, that little
bit of extra guidance, that little bit of a hand up perhaps sometimes a referral to
some specialist help if necessary, well that’s a fantastic thin. We have talked about the
individual and we’ve talked about teams and i think if we lift that up to the even higher
level, the sort of third level if you like, a whole organisation, we do know that a culture
of an organisation can affect the stress that people experience within it. Our research
certainly shows that managing change effectively can be really key to helping people mange
anxiety and symptoms of stress, so that is certainly something that we can look at, and
i’d really recommend people think carefully about how they manage change so that stress
and anxiety is reduced as far as possible in that process. And of course another issue
for people is work intensification, we all seem to be working faster and busier and harder
and again looking at how people are supported can make a difference to how that plays out
culturally across the organisation and how that impacts on stress levels too. So if you’d
like to get an idea of how we can help you manage mental health in your workplace better
then take a look at our case study and get in touch with us and we can have a chat about
it and see what we can do to help.

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