Your employees' mental health is your business!
Psychosocial hazards are aspects of work that can have a negative impact on an employee's mental and emotional health. They can include job demands, lack of control, poor relationships with colleagues or supervisors, and exposure to violence or aggression.
I know what you're thinking. You're busy running a business. You don't have time to worry about your employees' mental health. But trust me, it's worth it.
When employees are stressed, anxious, or depressed, they're not as productive. They're more likely to make mistakes. And they're more likely to call in sick.
It's not just productivity. When employees struggle with mental ill health, it can affect their overall well-being. They may have trouble sleeping. They may have trouble eating. And they may even think about self-harm.
So what can you do to keep your employees' mental health in check? Here are a few tips:
Create a supportive work environment. This means fostering a culture of trust and respect and providing employees with the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
Set clear expectations. Employees should know what is expected of them regarding their work performance and behaviour.
Provide regular feedback. Employees should receive regular feedback on their work, both positive and negative. This will help them to identify areas where they need to improve and to feel valued and appreciated.
Encourage open communication. Employees should feel comfortable talking to their managers, EHSE or HR department about their work or workplace environment concerns.
Promote a healthy work-life balance. Employees should be able to balance their work life with their personal life. This means providing them flexible working arrangements, such as telecommuting or flextime, and ensuring they have adequate time off.
I know it's not easy to take care of your employees' mental health, but you can’t afford not to! Legislation is changing, and Psychosocial injury claims are on the rise! In return, you'll have a happier, more productive workforce and help prevent serious mental health problems.
Here are some additional tips to help you keep your employees' mental health in check:
Offer mental health training to employees. This can help them to learn how to identify and manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
Provide employees with access to mental health resources. This could include employee assistance programs, counselling services, or meditation apps.
Break the stigma by creating a culture of openness and understanding. Employees should feel comfortable discussing their mental health challenges without fear of judgment.
Be a role model. If you want employees to care for their mental health, setting a good example is good practice. Make sure you're taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally.
Following these tips can help create a mentally healthy workplace for everyone.
What's the law in Australia about psychosocial hazards?
In Australia, employers have a legal duty to protect their workers from psychosocial hazards. This means identifying and assessing the risks posed by psychosocial hazards in the workplace and implementing control measures to reduce those risks.
What's a risk-based approach?
A risk-based approach to managing psychosocial hazards means identifying and assessing the risks posed by those hazards and then implementing control measures to reduce those risks. The control measures that employers implement should be proportionate to the risks. This means that the measures should be as effective as possible but also reasonable and practicable.
What happens if an employer fails to take a risk-based approach?
If an employer fails to take a risk-based approach to managing psychosocial hazards, they could be liable for injuries or illnesses. This means that the worker or their family could sue the employer.
What can I do to ensure my workplace is safe from psychosocial hazards?
The legislation now requires you to ensure your workplace is safe from psychosocial hazards:
Identify the hazards. The first step is to identify the psychosocial hazards in your workplace. You can do this by talking to your workers, reviewing company policies and procedures, and conducting surveys.
Assess the risks. Once you've identified the hazards, you must assess the risks they pose to your workers. This will help you to prioritise the hazards and develop appropriate control measures.
Implement control measures. There are several control measures that you can implement to reduce the risks posed by psychosocial hazards. These include training workers on stress management, creating a supportive work environment, and providing transparent and fair policies and procedures.
Consult with workers. It's essential to consult with your workers when developing and implementing control measures. This will help ensure that the measures are effective and that workers feel they have a say in the process.
Measure and Adjust. Collecting data and cross-referencing what you’ve implemented to ensure its effectiveness allows you to make necessary and intentional adjustments. ‘You can’t improve what you don’t measure’ - Peter Drucker.
So don’t do just what's right for the company. Do what's right for your team! Create a safe and supportive workplace where they can reach their full potential, ensuring they can go home to their families each day feeling safe, healthy, and valued.
So what are you waiting for? Start taking care of your employees' mental health today!
If you have any questions about improving your current process to ensure compliance and exceptional outcomes or how MindSafe 360 can support you in managing psychosocial risks, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 0481 286 550 or email@example.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!