The short answer is ‘yes’… but that doesn’t really address the whole question because it straddles both the workplace and the employee’s privacy, that work-life balance.
But you can’t be expected to stand over them ensuring they eat properly, exercise, get enough sleep. So where do the boundaries lie? And you might also be thinking along the lines of “Why would I introduce the idea of stress management or mental health into my business? Isn’t it just giving people an excuse to go off sick?”
Wellbeing falls under your health and safety remit. There is a duty of care to ensure that people turn up to work well so that they can carry out their work duties safely and an expectation that they go home healthy too.
Just as you would expect your employees to be in a fit state for work, so they should expect to be in a fit state for their home life too.
Beyond that most basic level of compliance, it’s time to think about shifting up into best practise, because that’s when you find yourself creating a workplace that is much more than the sum of your company parts.
It isn’t difficult to understand that a healthy, happy workplace makes for a more productive, more profitable business, which all stems from the culture you create and how engaged your employees are. And there lies the difference: employees who just turn up to do their job, or employees who thrive in their roles, who go the extra mile when needed, who think beyond their remit and see the bigger picture of your whole business. They are your best advocates inside and outside the workplace.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you look after your staff well, they will look after your customers. Simple.”
Sir Richard Branson
According to Deloitte’s report ‘Mental health and employers, Refreshing the case for investment’ published in January 2020 (a follow up on their 2017 research that contributed to the UK Government commissioned report ‘Thriving at Work, The Stevenson /Farmer review of mental health and employers’), poor mental health costs UK employers £45 billion annually.
As a straight forward business case, they place the return on investment (ROI) in mental health and wellbeing training and support at £5 for every £1 spent.
For the most part, employers are aware of their responsibilities towards their staff, the costs related to increased sickness absenteeism, low productivity, legal complications and high staff turnover, and the impact workplace stress has especially in our increasingly technologically switched on world.
The key question is what can employers do?
We all have innate human needs, making sure they are met in balance lies at the heart of a healthy workplace culture:
It’s a two-pronged approach:
And as for crossing those work-life boundaries, bear in mind we are all whole people. We take our work-selves home with us just as our home-selves come into work so making sure your employees have the tools to manage their mental and physical health in all areas of their lives will benefit the business.
Our thanks to Geraldine Joaquim for this article.
Geraldine Joaquim is a clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, holding the Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma, considered the ‘gold standard’ in hypnotherapy training. She specialises in stress management, moving people from feeling overwhelmed, anxious, guilty or not good enough to being confident in their abilities, better decision makers with a more relaxed approach and positive outlook. She regularly contributes to various media outlets including working on a BBC2 programme (How to Break into the Elite), BBC5Live, BBC News, BBC World Service, Men’s Health, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Metro, HR News, Huffpost, Glassdoor. She is also a TEDx speaker and author.
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