Despite the fact that much more importance is now placed on the health and well being of staff in the workplace it is only comparatively recently that many businesses have begun to look at mental health issues amongst their workforce.
A survey by the Confederation of British Industry reported that over 90% of its correspondents believed that the mental health of employees should be a concern of their company. Unfortunately, less than 10% of businesses actually have a mental health policy in place.
Of course, many people spend a large amount of their time at work so it makes good business sense to make sure that mental health issues are not ignored. Because of the stressful nature of work the mental and psychological well being of staff should be equally important as all other aspects of health and safety at work. In fact it should most probably be the factor of most concern within a companies health and safety regimen.
Thankfully, more and more companies are now taking on board the importance of mental health amongst their staff and are encouraging their employees to attend workshops and training courses on how to control stress in the workplace. These training courses work on two levels; firstly it enables staff to be more aware of the stress they are feeling and provides them with tips and techniques to control those feelings and, secondly, it equips staff to recognise signs of stress in their co-workers.
It is important that businesses take advantage of the courses that are available as a stressed workforce will, in the long term, negatively impact on productivity and profitability. Initially it can result in staff taking more time off and can lead to issues amongst the workforce. Sending staff on a mental health training course will provide solutions for those already feeling the pressures of stress but will also be a pre-emptive safeguard to other employees who will learn how to identify the symptoms of stress and be able to take measures to ensure that stress doesn’t develop.
Possibly the single biggest advantage in sending staff and management teams to a mental health training course is that they will gain a valuable insight into understanding stress and how it is caused. This new awareness will enable employees at all levels, from the shop floor to the boardroom, to be able to identify and control the problems that can be caused by stress in the workplace.