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How to keep on top of your staff’s mental health

Poor mental health is a big problem for British businesses. More than 1 in 5 British workers have admitted to calling in sick as a result of workplace stress and a further 14% have ended up resigning as a result of being under too much pressure at work (and a further 42% have considered such action).

In fact, the UK’s poor mental health could be costing the British economy as much as £100bn every year.

To help you improve the mental wellbeing of your workers, here are 5 tips for maintaining good mental health in your workplace.

1. Ditch the email

It often seems easier to send an email instead of getting up and going to speak to someone. The truth, however, is that building social relationships is a fundamental human need and has been proven to help ward off mental health issues.

Why not start an email-free zone once a week where in-house emails are banned, so people have to pick up the phone or get up and actually go and talk to someone? Not only will this help build the social relationships that are needed to maintain good mental health, it will also help build happy and more productive teams.

Find out how our business health and wellbeing services could support both your business and employees here.

2. Offer free office massages

Bringing in a masseuse to offer neck and back messages every couple of weeks can help reduce the stress levels in your office, and help alleviate any aches and pains that may be sapping productivity levels within your team.

Not only that, but your staff will love you for it – everyone appreciates a freebie!

3. Keep your staff active

One of the foundations of good mental health is good physical health. Keeping active can help reduce the likelihood of depression and anxiety, and even helps slow age-related cognitive decline.

Why not encourage your team to take the stairs instead of the lift when they get into work in the morning or to get off the bus one stop early?

You could even start a lunchtime sports club such as badminton or netball, which has the added bonus of building social networks and boosting team morale. Read more on how to encourage staff to stay active.

4. Go bananas!

Healthy living is one of the ways to a healthier mind, so providing healthy snacks such as fruit is a simple way to give your workers a boost.

Don’t be boring! Not everyone loves apples and bananas, so mix it up and provide something a bit more exotic. Throw in the odd passion fruit or kiwi into the mix from time to time and you may be able to entice the most ardent fruitophobes to the table.

5. Provide support and someone to talk to

While office initiatives are all well and good for boosting mental health in the workplace, the best solutions are often the simplest.

Offering a safe and confidential space for staff to speak to someone is fundamental in helping tackle workplace mental health issues, as well as those that could be affecting someone at home.

Making people feel wanted and appreciated is key, and just providing a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on can work wonders.

Some staff may also benefit from professional advice, and employers and managers can help provide support by pointing their workers in the direction of counsellors, mental health practitioners, or even financial advisers or legal professionals.


To discover how Benenden could support your business with our health and wellbeing services please call 0800 414 8179 or visit our Business Healthcare page.