As part of their ongoing partnership with Dorset Mind, Blanchards Bailey joined others around the world in celebration of World Mental Health week. The firm’s Head of HR & Operation, Jane Eldridge-Cordner, provides expert advice to business clients on how they can best look after their employees’ mental health and offers examples on how the firm puts that advice into practice:
“Looking after your employees’ well-being should now, more than ever, be a key priority. Modern day life pressures, coupled with challenges presented by the pandemic, have left many feeling anxious and depressed. Signs of this in the workplace include decreased productivity, morale problems, lack of cooperation, absenteeism, presenteeism, complaints of tiredness, complaints of aches and pains and alcohol/drug misuse.
The good news is that there are a number of tools and strategies that employers can adopt to proactively manage health and well-being in the workplace. These include:
· ensuring you have a wellbeing policy.
· developing a supportive culture by training mental health first aiders, educating line managers in recognising the symptoms of anxiety and stress, and running self-awareness workshops for staff.
· providing easily accessible resources for staff which include self-help information as well as useful telephone numbers and links to websites.
· providing access to an employee assistance programme which includes advice for maintaining and improving health as well as a counselling service that can be accessed free of charge.
· signing up to the Wellbeing Charter or other recognised mental health champions to access current research and training.
· carrying out regular staff surveys/stress audits to retain awareness of the overall mental wellbeing of your workforce.
Blanchards Bailey takes the mental health and wellbeing of its staff very seriously and, as such, has worked hard to build a supportive culture over the last few years. Actions taken during this time include; signing up to the Wellbeing Charter and sourcing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) that not only supports ongoing good physical health but provides an online resource base for mental health. This includes the option of attending up to eight free counselling sessions, creating mental health champions who have been given formal mental health awareness training, developing a set of mental health resources and signposting for staff to access, delivering mental well-being sessions to all staff, and ensuring opportunities for informal networking and teamworking are provided across the Firm.
Management awareness training is planned for this coming year, as well as improvements to the provision of flexible and remote working which the pandemic has made more possible and is strongly supported by the Firm.”
For all HR and employment enquiries contact Jane Eldridge-Cordner on 01258 488220.
By: Blanchards Bailey