In the fast-paced world of modern workplaces, the importance of mental health and well-being is increasingly coming to the forefront of discussions.
In a recent conversation on the Make it Work podcast, we delved into the intricacies of workplace mental health, discussing anxiety, stress, and burnout and strategies to support our teams.
Workplace Mental Health and Burnout
Anxiety, stress, and burnout are prevalent issues in today’s work environments. These concerns aren’t limited to a specific industry or occupation; they affect people across the board. The statistics are sobering, underlining the widespread impact of these challenges. As we look at this issue, it’s essential to reflect on the last few years.
Workplaces around the world were forced to pay more attention to mental health support during the collective global situation of 2020-2021. But as people have slowly returned to their “normal lives,” has this critical support fallen off the radar?
It is important to keep intentional with workplace well-being and create safe spaces where employees feel comfortable discussing their well-being. Open communication is key in addressing mental health issues in the workplace.
Legal Responsibilities and Psychosocial Risks
Workplace mental health isn’t just a matter of ethics; organisations also have a legal responsibility to protect their employees’ mental health and well-being. Recent Codes of Practice in many states in Australia emphasise the need to assess and control psychosocial risks in the workplace. These risks include factors such as underwork, overwork, inadequate support from managers, and a lack of role clarity.
However, it’s worth acknowledging the complexity of this issue, including the emotional toll it takes on managers, who may be unsure about how to support their teams while also managing their own mental health.
Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Strategies
Technology has enabled flexible work arrangements, but it has also posed unique challenges to mental health and there is the need for intentional support from organisations that work remotely. Proactive conversations are vital in setting expectations and creating a supportive work environment that prioritises mental health and well-being.
There are valuable resources available to employees and managers, such as Beyond Blue and if you have an Employee Assistance Provider, they can offer free counselling services to your employees and support to your managers in having tricky conversations.
Addressing workplace mental health and burnout is a multifaceted endeavour. By recognising the prevalence of these issues, fulfilling legal responsibilities, implementing well-being strategies, and promoting proactive conversations, organisations can create a supportive environment where employees can thrive both personally and professionally.