Why a new approach to workplace mental health is needed in 2023

Why a new approach to workplace mental health is needed in 2023

The start of a new year is an ideal time to kickstart change. The goal for many organisations in 2023 should be to improve workplace mental health, taking real, tangible action to create more a supportive working culture.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought workplace wellbeing issues into the spotlight, as employees faced burnout, anxiety, stress and overwork. These aren’t new problems either, as research in 2019 found that 22% of UK workers had to take time off due to stress and 27% didn’t feel comfortable talking to managers about mental health concerns.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also estimated that the pandemic has increased levels of general anxiety and depression by around 25% across the globe.

Neglect of workplace mental health can have serious consequences for businesses too, leading to around 12 billion lost workdays worldwide per year. It leads to high staff turnover and a struggle to attract new talent, along with poor productivity and performance triggered by low staff morale.

So, for too many reasons to count, let’s make 2023 the year we take a new approach to workplace mental health.

Here are some key areas for employers to work on in January, courtesy of Alana Warburton-Whitehead, Wellbeing Lead at Lanes Group:

  • Invest in training for managers and HR professionals, to help them understand mental health challenges and be able to recognise the signs of depression, stress and burnout.
  • Appoint ‘mental health first aiders’ within the office to act as a supportive and compassionate point of contact for anyone who is struggling
  • Offer flexible/remote working options so that employees can develop a healthier work/life balance.
  • Make concerted efforts to recognise employee achievements, to make workers feel valued and foster team spirit.
  • Align your recruitment processes with your mental health policies, to help new hires find their feet easily.
  • Offer a defined pathway for anyone experiencing a serious mental health issue or crisis, which could include reduced workloads, time off and supportive processes for returning to work.
  • Have more regular conversations about mental health within the working week, encouraging workers to speak up if there’s any additional support they need from you.
  • Consider offering wellness-focused perks, such as yoga classes and gym memberships.
  • Run regular sessions on mental health and mindfulness, along with relaxed social events and activities.

Warburton-Whitehead told HR News:

“Ultimately, it is the responsibility of employers to support staff with action, rather than just with tick-box exercises. By leading by example to create a genuinely inclusive culture and training all their staff in mental health awareness, businesses across all sectors can help their workers to be accountable for their health, gain confidence to open up and show vulnerability, and ultimately feel better in themselves, while giving others the confidence to do the same.”

Planning to hire in 2023? Find the talent you need with Castlefield Recruitment. Get in touch with our expert team to start your search – call 0113 212 4610 or email leeds@castlefieldrecruitment.com.