Prioritising Men’s Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace: A Guide for Employers
June 12th-18th marks Men’s Health Awareness Week in the UK. Which is a time to focus on the physical, emotional, and mental health of men across the country. Although men’s health is often associated with physical health, it’s important to highlight the increasing importance of mental health and well-being among men in the workplace. As a small business owner, the question to ask yourself at this time is: Is my organisation prioritising the mental health and well-being of its male employees?
With rising concerns over men’s mental health, it’s critical that business owners take action to support their male employees’ well-being. This blog post is a guide aimed at small business owners, outlining a five-point framework for employers to follow to improve the mental health and well-being of their male employees. I’ll share some valuable strategies that will help your organisation create a supportive environment for male employees to thrive.
Men’s Health : Five-point Framework
One of the most effective ways organisations can support male employees’ mental health and well-being is by creating a culture of open dialogue. Building a supportive workplace culture that encourages men to share their concerns without fear of judgement is vital. Encouraging open dialogue can help break down the taboo of mental health concerns in the workplace and create a safe space to tackle problems before they become more significant.
Some ways you can implement this within your small business are:
• Lead by example – Show that you’re comfortable talking about your own mental health and well-being, and make yourself available for employees to reach out when needed.
• Create a safe space – Make sure the language and behaviour within the workplace are respectful towards all genders, and take action against any inappropriate remarks.
• Foster trust – Encourage a culture of trust where employees feel safe to share their struggles and worries without judgement.
• Hear concerns – Setting up an anonymous feedback system to allow employees to voice concerns.
Flexible Working Policies
Offering flexible working policies can have a significant impact on men’s mental health. Many men find it challenging to balance work and life demands, which can lead to significant stress. By providing all of your employees with flexible working arrangements, employers can demonstrate a willingness to create opportunities to support their staff, thereby helping them maintain a healthier work-life balance.
Flexible working policies can include:-
• Flexible hours
• Remote working
• Job sharing
• Unpaid leave of absence
• Part-time shifts.
Mental Health Training
It’s essential to invest in training your management team in mental health awareness and support. Providing quality mental health training helps your leaders identify and support employees who are experiencing mental health difficulties. Identifying and addressing potential mental health issues early on can prevent problems from escalating, decreasing lost productivity and providing a supportive work environment for all staff. Here at Su Chantry, we offer a wide range of workplace well-being services including:-
- Mental Health Training
- Health risk assessment
- Health Surveillance
- Travel Health
- Health Tests – Blood sugar, Blood cholesterol, Height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, and urine dip test
Access to Professional Help
Providing access to professional mental health services to employees can also be incredibly beneficial. When organisations offer employee assistance programmes (EAPs) or signposting to other mental health support services, it provides employees with timely interventions and discreet support whenever they need it.
As a fully qualified nurse, I often see the positive impact of gaining professional guidance and support. Working with many small and medium-sized businesses, I act as their “health go-to expert”. They find having a trained professional who can work with their teams gives them peace of mind for employee care. Businesses can also consider having an employee mental health champion or a dedicated person in the organisation who is responsible for raising awareness and supporting employees. And of course, you can go to the men’s health forum for lots of resources and support.
Culture of Care
A culture of care is more than just a program or policy. It’s essential to ensure that the culture of your business adopts the principles of compassion, empathy, and care that support your employees’ well-being. Employers may choose to create well-being committees that develop and implement a well-being policy within their company. Such committees can foster a supportive culture, cultivate positive relationships and build a sense of belonging for all staff. It is important to remember that improving employee well-being should be an ongoing process. Not just an awareness week or day. As the business and employees evolve, so too must your approach to their well-being.
Improving the mental health and well-being of all employees in the workplace is essential for creating a healthy organisational culture. The benefits of creating a supportive environment for men’s mental health are numerous, including increased job satisfaction, better productivity, and a better work-life balance. By following this guide and implementing recommendations, your company can help create a supportive and thriving workplace culture that prioritises men’s mental health and well-being. Remember, it all starts with taking that first step, and the results will be well worth it!
We understand the importance of creating and sustaining a workplace culture that cares for Men’s mental health, especially for small businesses. For more information on how to create a culture of care, please use the contact form here to get the conversation started.