We’ve seen a big shift in organisations placing more emphasis on mental health initiatives in the workplace, so we’ve taken a look at how engaged organisations are supporting their employees in this area.
We asked organisations who used the Best Companies employee engagement survey for information about their mental health initiatives – of the 727 organisations surveyed, 64% of these reported supporting their employees’ mental health with a huge variety of actions.
We will be releasing the Best Companies mental health report shortly, which goes into detail about the most common actions taken by organisations focused on workplace engagement and how these have changed over time. In the meantime, here’s some mental health best practice from four organisations that differ in sector and size.
Assael Architecture (99 employees)
We encourage staff to get involved with our monthly mindful drawing sessions and yoga classes (proven ways to ease stress), have full lunch breaks with a no lunch at desks policy, and step away from their desks during the day to have a chat over coffee, play some pool, solve the crossword together or read the newspaper. We also have a variety of spaces, such as individual booths, meeting rooms and break-out spaces, so individuals can choose what works best for them if they need a quieter environment to focus or a change of scenery at any point.
Audit Scotland (286 employees)
All staff have access to a wellness check. These assess physical & mental health and offer advice on how to improve diet, nutrition, lifestyle and mental health. The wellness checks are supported by a Handbook to Health which allow people to chart their progress year on year. We also offer colleagues access to free and confidential counselling if required. For those off sick, our HR&OD team work with the line manager and Occupational Health to develop a tailored and supportive return to work plan.
AJ Bell (830 employees)
Singing and making music as part of a group is proven to be great for emotional and social wellbeing, as well as improving stress relief and relaxation. We’re super excited to have formed our AJ Bell workplace choir! We run internal workshops on mindfulness and coping with stress, aimed to broaden knowledge on mental health, break down the stigma and signpost the appropriate actions if someone is struggling.
UK Power Networks (6,200 employees)
We have a number of employee-led groups to help relieve stress, including; the mediation group at Bury St Edmunds, multiple lunch time walking groups and a monthly book club. All of the groups are open for all employees to join and employees are encouraged to create new groups to suit their interests. Validium, our Employee Assistance Programme provider, is accessible 24/7 365 days. The service is confidential and free-of-charge to UK Power Networks employees and their immediate families. They can advise employees on topics ranging from health & wellbeing to financial advice.
Our full Mental Health Report will be released soon, focusing on the changes in flexible working, and how mental health first aiders and employee assistance programmes are changing lives at work as organisations strive to increase workplace engagement. For those who are keen to find out more around the subject of workplace mental health you may view best practice from Best Companies accredited organisations and information from Mind and The Health & Safety Executive.