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Almost half of all UK employees are suffering from workplace-related stress or ‘burnout’, and mental health has fast become the primary contributor to absenteeism and presenteeism.
According to Calm Business - the enterprise arm of Calm, the leading mental wellness brand - mental health challenges are the number one reason people quit their jobs over the last two years, with 8 in 10 employees unable to ask for help due to feelings of shame or stigma.
Tips on being a mindful manager to cultivate strong workplace culture with mental health at the center, from Calm’s Chief People Officer, Scott Domann:
Set regular check-ins and ask employees how they are really doing
With 8 out of 10 employees saying shame and stigma keep them from getting the mental health care they need, it’s important to proactively create space and openness for what your employees want to tell you. Set regular 1:1 time with your managees — either weekly, biweekly, monthly — to not only discuss work, but offer a regular space for open conversations to ask how they are doing.
Be an example
Storytelling is a powerful tool. Even more powerful when, as a leader, you open up and talk about how you care for your own mental health and manage stress, anxiety and burnout. Set an example through your actions — be transparent when you’re taking time off or mental health days and how you practice work life balance, setting a positive precedent amongst your teams.
Educate on resources and tools
Openly discuss the resources and benefits, like Calm Business, that your company provides and connect your employees with the HR/People/Talent teams so they have a person to reach out to - before they need it. By providing the right resources proactively, employees can actively manage their stress, anxiety and burnout and have the tools to identify potential issues before they become a significant concern.
Stay consistent and evolve
One conversation won’t actively address employee mental health and wellness. For mental health to be ingrained in your company culture, managers should be consistent with these practices and adjust as needed over time to meet the needs of different employees and workplace environments.
Practice gratitude in your words and actions. And be sure to encourage the habit throughout your team and the wider organisation. You want to build a supportive culture where people openly celebrate each other’s wins and support each other, and give grace through hard times.
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