Acas, mental health problems cost UK employers 30bn a year through lost production, recruitment and absence. The definition of mental health is the mental and emotional state in which we feel able to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life. Acas believes that if we are feeling good about ourselves we work productively, interact well with colleagues and make a valuable contribution to the workplace. Mental ill-health can range from feeling “a bit down” to common disorders such as anxiety and depression and, in limited cases, to severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Read more about the issue:
- Mental health at work: Stop ignoring the issue
- Bosses continue to fail those with mental health conditions
- Old stigmas about mental health are beginning to fade”
DemandsEmployees can become overloaded if they can’t cope with the volumes of work being asked of them. An employer needs to pay attention to the way the job is designed, training needs and whether it is possible for the employees to work more flexible hours.
ControlEmployees can perform poorly and feel disaffected if they have no say over how and when they do their work. In this instance employers should get employees actively involved in decision making and how reviewing performance can help identify strengths and weaknesses.
SupportLevels of sick absence can rise if employees feel they can’t talk to managers about issues troubling them. Employers should allow employees the opportunity to talk to managers about these issues. Provide a sympathetic ear and keep them informed on progress.
Staff relationshipsThere could be bullying at work. If so check your policies for tackling bullying and harassment and make sure all employees know them and that disciplinary actions will be carried out.
What’s my roleEmployees will feel anxious about their work if they dont know what is expected of them. Employers should maintain a close link between individual targets and organisational goals.
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