A few years ago, when the first wave of Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Awareness trainers explained their value propositions to businesses, they received reactions ranging from doubt to derision. Some employers only accepted that the idea might be beneficial to their businesses if it allowed them to tick boxes on a form and comply with the latest HSE legislation.
Then more and more staff started to speak out about their experiences with mental ill-health and employers realised that if they wanted healthy, productive staff, they had to look after their wellbeing. The impact of their testimonies was increased by high-profile public figures speaking openly about their own mental health. Prince Harry led the way by raising the issue of mental health at last year’s Invictus Games in a passionate speech during the closing ceremony in Sydney. When speaking about mental health he said, “Asking for help is courageous. It will improve your life and the lives of those around you immeasurably.” This speech received international media attention and made a colossal contribution to the reduction of the global stigma surrounding mental health. Businesses started to take notice of issues that they hadn’t previously thought would significantly impact their employees’ productivity and implemented a number of wellbeing strategies, including Mental Health at Work training. Then they started to achieve outcomes such as reduced absence rates and staff turnover.
Raising Engagement In Order To Raise Productivity
Most importantly, businesses started to pay far more attention to how their staff were feeling. For years, stress had been misconstrued as something that only people who couldn’t keep on top of their workloads suffered, or something that could be fixed by a few cups of coffee. Now employers were beginning to engage more with their staff and appreciate the havoc that stress brings to those who are suffering from it. Memory loss, lapses in concentration, physical pain and a profound emotional pain causing extreme reactions towards colleagues are all classic symptoms of ongoing stress. These symptoms can prevent anyone from functioning normally in life, let alone working productively in the office. Employers realised that if they were going to get the most out of their staff, they had to look after their mental health, as well as their physical health.
With that realisation, the penny or rather, the extremely large six-figure cheque, had finally dropped. Billions of pounds had been lost by businesses every year as a direct result of their failure to help their employees to manage mental ill-health at work. Helping employees suffering from mental ill-health as quickly as possible could prevent these huge losses from occurring. Apart from that, caring about your employees’ overall well-being is the right thing to do. Happier employees stay with you for longer, saving you from the cost of having to redesign your team every year or so in reaction to a series of departures. This leads to more productive teams and ultimately generates more revenue for businesses around the world.
Why Wellbeing Matters
Mental Health at Work training works best as part of your overall wellbeing strategy, ensuring that the appropriate policies and procedures are in place. Reducing stress is also hugely helped by regular exercise, a balanced diet, appropriate quantities of sleep and talking to someone about any difficulties you’re facing in completing your workload. Sometimes even not talking about work for five minutes and having a programme of team activities that facilitates pastimes other than detailed discussion of work after work, helps enormously.
How We Help
Quality advice in any sector will always accrue the best returns for clients. The same goes for Mental Health at Work training.
However large or small your business, Altruist Enterprises can give your staff the guidance they need to support themselves and each other, through the many challenges of work and home. If you would like us to create a bespoke training program for your business, so that you can help your staff get the most out of their work lives, then get in touch with us today.
If you wish to attend a public course, our next 2-day Mental Health First Aid course will be taking place on Monday 1st April 2019 and Tuesday 2nd April 2019 in central Birmingham. Further details here