We have noted that among the challenges in managing mental health in the workplace is a place where a well-run workplace wellness program can help: Awareness among managers.
Workplace Insights reports “one in three line managers admit they would struggle to detect mental health issues.”
The issue is key, Workplace Insight states, as “recognition of the role employer support plays in helping colleagues with mental health conditions is clear as two in five (41 percent) line managers have already received related training from their employer. And conversations around mental health at work are being reframed as more than a third (35 percent) of employees feel more comfortable talking to their manager about their mental health than before.”
Indeed, as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development states: “Line managers are central to the successful implementation of a well-being strategy. They also have a crucial part to play in creating the culture necessary to support a healthy organisation.”
The post notes that “Recent research for the DWP1 concludes that small changes in the workplace, particularly on the part of line managers and supervisors, can make a big difference to the well-being of staff.”
Further: “Positive people management can also help rehabilitate people back from sick leave more swiftly; the same research suggests that employees who feel supported by their managers, perhaps including regular but sensitive contact during periods of sickness absence, are more likely to return to work.”
Manager engagement is also central to helping address mental health in the workplace. A separate Workplace Insight piece quoted Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind: “In the last few years, we’ve seen employers come on leaps and bounds when it comes to tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff, including those with a diagnosed mental health problem. However, there is more to do and employers do need to recognise the different approaches they may need to adopt in how they address mental health in the workplace.”
So what does that mean directly in terms of manager behaviors and actions? Tomorrow we dive deeper.