There are many stresses in life, but for men, work is the most common issue. In fact, according to recent research by Mind, men are twice as likely to have mental health problems because of the impact of their work.
Managing stress in the workplace is a challenge not only for employees but for employers too.
The combination of the pressure to produce results, financial stability and managing people can be a serious juggling act for anyone.
The main concern is that while there may be support available, the fact is that men are less likely to ask for help. Mind data shows that while 38% of women feel their company culture is open to tackling issues of mental health, only 31% of men would agree. The result is that men try to deal with the problems themselves, often looking towards self-medication or denial.
How Can Employers Help?
Working in a competitive office environment, let alone a more macho working environment does not encourage men to come forward and open up about their struggles.
Even if there is support, men are reluctant to ask for help usually due to fear of weakness and demonstrating vulnerabilities. So, what can employers do both internally and externally to promote the fact that they offer support without the stigma?
A recent review by Stevenson and Farmer called ‘Thriving at Work’ focuses on the role of employers to support and implement initiatives which improve mental health in the workplace.
The review analyses the cost of poor mental health in both financial terms and human cost of loss of life through suicide. It is an important document, offering a step-by-step guide to the available organisations, training and education which companies can access to help their employees overcome their problems.
The review encourages employers to create a company culture that promotes wellbeing in the workplace whereby employees can speak openly and honestly about the feelings and emotions they are experiencing.
Training & Education
To significantly reduce stigma in the workplace, training and education for ALL employees need to be driven from the top down. From the Board, CEO’s, and Senior Management to Frontline Managers; Everyone in the organisation needs to understand the importance of training and education.
However, where men are concerned, they must see their leaders and people in positions of power are acting for positive change. It’s even more important that individuals in senior positions are open and honest with their feelings and emotions.
Starting the Conversation
The review suggests beginning with a framework called ‘Mental Health Core Standards’. The standards are a set of actions which all organisations should be able to implement quickly and efficiently in their workplace.
They are as follows:
- Produce, implement and communicate a mental health work plan;
- Develop mental health awareness among employees;
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling;
- Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance and opportunities for development;
- Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors;
- Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.
The review continues to detail exactly how these standards can be implemented and make three further smart suggestions on how organisations can create a seamless transition:
- Increasing Employer Transparency: Create a culture of good mental health in which employers provide strong leadership by acting for positive change.
- Trade Unions, industry groups, professional and regulatory bodies: Gaining their support will enable all employees to have access to help through a variety of channels.
- Digital tools and products: A relatively low-cost concept, going digital, ensures scalability promptly.
You can read the full report using the link below.
At Your People Potential, we are the experts in helping you to find the right solutions for your employees.
Email or call today on 01954 267640 to find out how we can help you, and your organisation implement the initiatives and strategies suggest in the Thriving at Work report, thus, ensuring you offer your people the latest and most relevant support and advice.