There are many ways to shape a workplace mental health programme. In some situations, it can be a simple box-ticking exercise on a CSR to-do list. A more serious and considered approach looks to mitigate the potential negative impacts that the workplace can have on mental health, including mental illness and stress.
These latter points are essential and should be part of any workplace mental health initiative, including ours at SL Controls – Think Well at SL.
However, we believe it is important to go further. We believe in taking a positive approach to workplace mental health, where wellbeing is actively promoted.
In other words, focusing as much on improving mental wellbeing in the workplace as we do on avoiding the potential negative impacts that work can have on mental health.
Taking this approach has benefits for employees, with improved workplace wellbeing. It also has benefits for the wider company, from HR benefits to improved motivation to enhanced collaboration and innovation.
Overall, a positive approach to workplace mental health makes us a better company for everyone.
The Practicalities of a Positive Approach to Workplace Mental Health
So, what does this proactive approach to workplace mental health look like? It includes the regular features of company wellbeing programmes, such as encouraging open dialogue and eliminating the stigma that too often surrounds mental health. However, there are other elements that may not have the same direct and obvious impact, but that are still crucially important.
This includes helping employees achieve their career goals by encouraging, promoting, and facilitating professional development. This can be through new opportunities with different projects and teams, training opportunities, and routes for career advancement. By doing this, we want to ensure our team has the skills and experience required to deliver for our clients. However, it also ensures our employees feel valued and that their contribution matters, in addition to being satisfied with how their career is progressing.
We also work to build relationships and connections within teams and business units, as well as in the wider company. While this has been more of a challenge than normal recently with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, we have run several remote staff social events.
This isn’t the only way to build relationships and connections in the workplace, though, as we also have a mentorship programme, resource-sharing initiatives, and regular company communications.
Furthermore, we provide information, tips, and advice to improve workplace wellbeing, and we run events that encourage active participation. A good example is a recent remote cycling challenge that members of the team took part in.
We also recognise at SL Controls that we don’t have all the solutions. We continuously seek to improve all aspects of our business, from the delivery of services to our customers to our approach to workplace wellbeing and mental health. This ambition for continuous improvement benefits everyone on our team.