In our article ‘Supporting mental health – benefits for employees and employers’ we focused on the financial benefits of investing in a mental health initiative. In this article we show the benefits of training managers about mental health awareness.
Managers can prevent unnecessary stress and anxiety by being clear with roles and expectations, always treating staff with dignity and respect, and demonstrating zero-tolerance for unacceptable behaviour.
Managers cannot (and should not) be expected to address a clinical need. However, they can work with GPs and occupational health to understand the conditions and make reasonable adjustments for their staff where required.
They can also help by:
- sign-posting employees to relevant support organisations;
- maintaining continual discussions regarding expectations and support needs;
- keeping in touch with employees that are off-sick and work with them to plan their return to work; and
- developing and supporting a mental health friendly culture.
To be fully effective, managerial support needs to reflect the organisation’s commitment to their employees’ well-being.
It may be helpful to carry out a stress risk assessment (eg the HSE Management Standards) to identify the main risk factors, assess their current and potential impacts on employees and consider how they can be mitigated or prevented.
Whilst stress is not the only factor in managing mental health, it is the focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week and is a great place to start.
Managing an individual at work
This useful infographic addresses managing an individual at work, on an organisational and individual level:
There isn’t a one size fits all approach, but whatever the organisation chooses to do, the message should be clear: we value our people, regardless of their challenges, and we will provide support wherever possible to overcome those challenges.
If you would like to further discuss any of the matters raised or if you feel your managers would benefit from training in mental health awareness, please contact Kerri Constable or your usual RSM contact.