For a number of years, workplaces have been accustomed to providing support and training for the safety of their staff. We all understand the importance of preventing a bad back by using the correct chair, or where to find the fire exits in case of emergency. However, it’s only in more recent times that organisations have started to realise that there are far more factors affecting employee wellbeing than just the potential physical risks.
In the coming weeks, wellbeing awareness will be at the forefront of our minds, with social media campaigns supporting World Mental Health Day, World Menopause Day and Stress Awareness Day. These aren’t just days for employees to focus on their own wellbeing, but opportunities for workplaces to raise awareness, start conversations, and support and implement change.
What is Workplace Wellbeing?
In the workplace, an employer has a duty of care to support the health of all their employees – both physically and mentally. Workplace wellbeing focuses on holistic health and supporting employees as individuals. Employees might need help with their mental health, with managing stress or during time of transition such as the menopause. This could be given by providing training, raising awareness, modifying workplace conditions or helping to overcome stigma. The CIPD states that:
‘Investing in employee wellbeing can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity. However, wellbeing initiatives often fall short of their potential because they stand alone, isolated from the everyday business. To gain real benefit, employee wellbeing priorities must be integrated throughout an organisation, embedded in its culture, leadership and people management‘
A HSE report published in 2020 shows statistics from the Labour Force Survey 2019/20 found that 51% of all work-related illness was attributed to stress, depression or anxiety. Some of the possible causes for this statistic may be helped and reduced if an employee has workplace support.
Mental Health is about how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Around 25% of the UK population will experience a mental health problem at some stage in their lives.
Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed upon them (HSE). Unhealthy stress affects health and wellbeing and also significantly reduces productivity and engagement, both at home and at work.
Menopause (or Perimenopause) is when a woman stops having periods. This transitional phase may last for number of years and can cause multiple physical and emotional symptoms that affect wellbeing, productivity and mental health.
Signs that Wellbeing Support is Needed
As many as 75% of employees say they find their jobs so stressful that they would consider leaving. As we spend around one third of our time at work, creating a mentally well, stress-free work environment is incredibly important.
Signs of stress in an employee can also be similar to signs and symptoms of menopause or a mental health condition. These can all include (but are not limited to):
- They may be unable to concentrate
- They could have increased periods of absence from work
- More frequent late arrivals
- Eating more or less than usual
- Drinking more, smoking excessively, or taking drugs to cope
- They may be more tired than usual due to problems with sleep
- You may notice mood swings
- You may notice them withdrawing more
- They may lose motivation/confidence
- You may notice increased emotional reactions such as increased nervousness, tearfulness, or aggression
All workplaces can benefit from training their staff to understand and recognise the signs of stress, menopause and mental ill health in the workplace.
Supporting Wellbeing – Prevention is Better than Cure
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of organisations approached us, asking for help with starting the mental health conversation in their workplaces. Since then, the number of organisations seeking support for their employees has increased drastically. Many people still struggle to discuss stress or mental wellbeing at work, or are unsure how to raise it with their employer or employee. Using wellbeing training can help you to raise awareness of mental health issues, educate about menopause, reduce stigma around stress, and build a supportive, inclusive culture for the long term. Here’s how:
Raise awareness – providing awareness training helps everyone understand how support their own wellbeing and that of others. Courses that provide information about wellness and self-care can also show employees how to eliminate or reduce more harmful lifestyle factors such as smoking or drinking excessively, and teach them to and implement wellbeing strategies such as exercise and good sleep hygiene. Being informed and educated also helps you and your employees to support colleagues who may be struggling.
Reduce stigma – opening the conversation and leading by example helps break down the stigma around stress, mental health and menopause. If your team understand the prevalence of an issue, they are more likely to take it seriously and respond accordingly.
Enable employees / Encourage early intervention to help recovery – training can help to build resilience and give employees tools and techniques to manage and support their own wellbeing. Highlighting potential issues rather than ignoring or dismissing potential problems can lead to early intervention.
Build an inclusive culture – inclusive workforces are often more motivated, engaged, and productive. Providing wellbeing training and support allows employees to safely feel vulnerable and increases shared experiences amongst colleagues. If everyone feels encouraged and supported, the wellbeing of your team will naturally increase.
Know how to support others – by learning how to spot signs and symptoms of stress or mental ill health, employers, line managers, and employees will be more able to provide support when it’s needed. Increasing employee confidence in talking about menopause in the workplace means that they will also find it easier to ask for help themselves.
Wellbeing Awareness Training
Using online courses give your team easy access to their training, at a time and place that suits them. Providing awareness training demonstrates workplace commitment to wellbeing and allows employees to feel supported and appreciated.
Here’s a summary of our most popular wellbeing awareness training courses. We also design and develop bespoke e-learning, specifically tailored to the needs of organisations. So, if you’re struggling to find exactly what you need to support stress, menopause, or mental health in the workplace, don’t hesitate to ask us for help.
We created this interactive training course in collaboration with leadership and coaching specialists Zentano and psychotherapist Andy Flack to give learners a greater understanding of mental health, whilst promoting a healthy and supportive working environment. The course helps you to understand how common mental health issues are, and explores mental health strategies. This training also makes sure that all learners know how to confidently talk to someone about mental health issues.
This practical course is loaded with information about improving and maintaining mental health, and includes an interactive ‘tips to manage worry’ section. It also explores ‘tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance’ as well as explaining the importance of sleep, exercise, and diet. You’ll also hear about ‘tips to manage your mood and emotions’, and find out lots of information about how to support and talk to someone who may be struggling with their mental health.
There are currently approximately 13 million UK women who are perimenopausal or menopausal, equivalent to almost one third of the UK female population. More women than ever – 8 out of 10 menopausal women – will be working into and beyond menopause. Many women are unaware of and unprepared for menopause, and may experience debilitating symptoms. Raising awareness through education to normalise what has been a taboo subject, is crucial to create an inclusive workplace. It is important that all individuals in the workplace understand the process of menopause, as everyone will know someone that it may affect – colleagues, partners, family or friends.
Menopause Awareness Training helps explain the menopause process in an easy to understand way and explores the impact it can have in the workplace. Loaded with support, advice, hints and tips, this course also importantly addresses the importance of sharing experiences with colleagues and line managers, and explains how to approach sensitive conversations. A must-have course for all workplaces.
With more than 17.9 million working days being lost to stress, depression or anxiety, workplaces need to tackle this growing issue by providing support and resources for employees. Both work-related stress and stress encountered in your personal life can affect an employee’s health, wellbeing and productivity levels.
Stress Awareness Training arms your employees with information about the causes of stress and the positive actions that can be taken to help manage stress. With an explanation of the different types of stress, and comprehensive strategies that can be used by everybody, this course will become an essential part of your workplace training.
If you need more inspiration, take a look at our Health and Wellbeing Course Catalogue where you may also be interested in Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training or Homeworking Online Training to further support the wellbeing of your team.