Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015), employers are well aware that they are required to take all practicable steps to prevent harm occurring to employees. The Act requires employers to adopt a systematic approach to identifying, assessing and controlling hazards at work. Since impairment can arise from stress and fatigue, employers must identify these as risks, and determine when they are present and threatening workplace health and safety. A tricky area under the Act is identifying when stress or fatigue become more serious problems, tipping into mental ill-health.
We have been involved with a number of cases recently where people leaders/managers missed clear signs of deteriorating mental health. This resulted in serious consequences for both the employee and the organisation.
In our experience, improving mental health in the workplace needs a multi-pronged approach:
- Enhancing the awareness of mental health, mental illness and workplace wellbeing for all individuals in an organisation. This includes how to spot signs of concern in your colleagues, and increasing people’s confidence in initiating the crucial “Are you OK?” conversation.
- Increasing people leaders’ confidence and competence in identifying and managing stress and mental health in their people.
- Providing people leaders with an opportunity to review employee wellbeing, and to regularly seek guidance on their observations and decision-making, is one of the mechanisms that organisations can put in place to protect against this happening.
We provide regular “Mental Health Awareness” and “Mental Health Management” training workshops; and consultation clinics for a number of our clients that act as a highly effective check and balance for people leaders.
Please contact Jacqui to find out more: