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How to Discuss Mental Health Within Your Workforce?

Lots of us feel worried about the coronavirus pandemic, and everyone will feel differently about the changes to lockdown restrictions and the rollout of vaccinations across the UK. However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues, it’s becoming more important than ever to regularly check in with your employees and colleagues to specifically discuss, mental health.

Like many other corporate organisations, Virgin Incentives is taking the national Time to Talk day 2021, as an opportunity to re-consult with each person and ensure the topic of mental health is openly discussed and freely talked about.

If someone within your workforce is feeling anxious or worried, there’s no need for you to be an absolute expert on mental health to support them. Instead, you can think about using the Time to Change organisations top tips to help start and maintain conversations.

1) Communication is key – Check in with all your employees

As an employer it is crucial you take the first step to address mental health. Now more so than before, business leaders need to adopt an open door policy where all employees are encouraged and feel comfortable enough to talk to their line managers about how they are feeling, how they have been impacted and any ongoing concerns. Discussions need to be kept calm, clear and unambiguous – this will help create physiological safety for employees and leaders alike.
If an employee doesn’t feel ready to speak about their mental health, simply let them know you are there to talk and ready to listen when they’re most comfortable to do so.

2) Listen and reflect

Whether someone in your workplace has a mental health problem or not, this is a challenging time for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. If an employee opens-up to you and shares their personal experiences and struggles, remember that you don’t need to necessarily fix things – even if you want to, you may not be able to change everything for your employee. Often just listening, and showing you take them seriously can help someone to manage better. It goes without saying, if you can help with their work-life balance and adjust any work challenges, this will no doubt go a long way and will hopefully put any work anxieties and concerns at bay.

3) Ask questions

A great way of speaking about mental health is to simply ask open questions. Set time aside to ask your employees how they are managing and what they are having to cope with. And ask again if you’re worried that they are not sharing the full picture. Asking again, with interest, can help someone to open up and explore what they’re truly feeling.

Mental health is such a hot topic right now and it has become a huge priority for many businesses. If you’d like to find out how Virgin Incentives can help your employees’ wellbeing through Reward & Recognition or through team experiences, get in touch today.

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