workplace wellness

Can We Talk? Open Conversation Central to Well-Run Workplace Wellness

Yesterday we reported how well-run workplace wellness programs can help midsize and small businesses.

The post was based on a new guide from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which focuses on the wellbeing of small business owners and employees in the UK. As the FSB states: “Wellbeing at work can support increase productivity, improve staff performance and reduce absenteeism. This does create a business case, however, the benefits are felt at least as much by the wider economy, government and society as a whole.”

We listed simple tips for midsize and small businesses to focus on physical well-being. But according to FSB, there’s more that these businesses — and managers — can do: Talk.

Talking about these issues in the workplace can really improve performance and productivity, and even though it costs time, it should help you in the long-run.”

“Opening up and talking can be really beneficial for you and your employees. Try to speak about what you are all doing at work and what pressures you are both under. It’s important for people to feel comfortable discussing their mental health, and that everyone in your organisation feels able to talk about stress that they experience, or problems that they feel are affecting them day-to-day.”

Specific tips include:

Try and open up: Speaking to someone about worries and concerns can really help protect our mental health and wellbeing. Try to open up about how you’re feeling with others at home, in work or with friends. One thing you might consider is to nd a mentor who you can talk to about problems in your business

Talk about mental health: Stigma around mental health remains a big issue – we need to work together to tackle it. Take a lead in your business and talk about it with your staff. Raising awareness and promoting open conversations about mental health can increase staff engagement and help breakdown prejudice. This can help staff feel more comfortable speaking about issues affecting them sooner.”

Talk about work: As a business owner, it’s important to talk to your employees about their work and what you can do to make it more manageable. This can provide opportunities for professional development, learning or mentoring, while also giving employees a chance to raise issues regularly.”

Keep on top of pressure: It is really important to keep in touch with your employees and to make sure work can be planned effectively. Poorly managing your work, or the work of your employees, can lead to organisational or work related stress. Stress is the second biggest cause of conflict at work, which can be both costly and time consuming.”

Encourage your staff to get more involved in community life: Small businesses play a vital role in all of our local communities – providing jobs, opportunities and contributing to their local areas. Volunteering can help boost quality of life and wellbeing, it can also help develop key skills critical for leadership and management roles, such as coaching, mentoring, communication, creativity, team building and time management.”