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Building Wellbeing into your Business Plan

Mental wellbeing has been high on the agenda since the pandemic broke out and while many organisations have taken the mental wellbeing of their staff more seriously in the last 18 months, few have gone so far as to build it into their business plan.
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But with one in five people experiencing some form of depression in early 2021 (ons.gov.uk), mental wellbeing must be a concern for businesses and should be considered as part of a strategy for long-term organisational resilience.

In particular, as businesses recover in the wake of Covid-19, directors should consider bringing the matter into the boardroom. While many will think that staff wellbeing and mental health is within the purview of HR, it is such a key part of culture, staff retention and productivity that it should be treated with more importance. The ability of companies to address employee needs in an impactful way may be the difference between surviving and thriving.

Particularly now that the line between work life and home life is so blurred, as boards consider their ongoing policies for working from home, effective wellbeing initiatives require a holistic approach that acknowledges that staff have lives that run outside and alongside work.

While traditionally, the approach organisations have taken to wellbeing has been to issue surveys or offer an employee assistance programme those that want to retain key staff and maintain morale must integrate a culture of support into every level of the organisation. Just having an assistance programme is not enough. Employees need to believe that their employer cares about their wellbeing beyond just how it affects their productivity.

Some practical steps that businesses can take to incorporate mental wellbeing in recovery and resilience strategies include:

  • Creating opportunities for individuals to discuss any issues they are facing and making them feel comfortable taking about mental health. Empathy and understanding go a long way towards reassuring staff and it’s important that everyone feels included and listened to.
  • Creating boundaries so that those enjoying flexible working hours don’t feel like their workday never ends.
  • Showing compassion towards anyone experiencing mental health problems by encouraging time off and offering professional support.
  • Offering comprehensive support for staff whose wellbeing might be affected by out-of-work stresses such as caregiving, childcare or financial difficulties. While, as an employer, you cannot solve every personal problem you can be understanding and offer employee compensation packages that might include gym membership, health insurance or childcare.
  • Beginning a training programme that teaches staff at all levels how to listen for and respond when someone is in need of support.

By showing staff that their mental wellbeing is a business priority, organisations can encourage their staff to speak up when they need help, creating the conditions for mental stability and resilience that will ripple throughout the organisation creating a stable, productive and happy workforce.

TMA UK is part of TMA, a global organisation that represents the interests of turnaround professionals as its members who have the skills needed to assist in these unprecedented times. If you need assistance, please contact our helpline on 0844 804 0116

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