We dedicate a substantial amount of time in the workplace. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that most of the world’s population (58%) spend one third of their adult life at work.
WHO defines mental health as “…a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”. Studies have increasingly demonstrated the effectiveness of offering employee mental health and wellness programs.
Leading edge companies, organisations and government departments now recognise the important bottom line benefits of rolling out these essential programs.
Creating healthy workplaces is not only kind but also a smart way of doing business.
There is a strong correlation between interpersonal wellness and business wellness.
When a work team is healthy (physically, emotionally, psychologically), business improves. Research consistently shows that s healthy workplace is also a productive workplace with lowered absenteeism and greater worker retention.
This emphasises the importance of creating a well-functioning and stable workplace environment.
Studies show that, a healthy workforce correlates to improved interpersonal relationships, improved morale and job satisfaction, lowered absenteeism and increased productivity.
When organisations prioritise their workers mental health and emotional wellbeing, it translates to employees having greater resilience, optimism
and ability to rise to the challenges of personal and workplace stresses.
It also increases the potential for staff to adapt more readily to workplace change, manage challenges collaboratively, and take greater responsibility for managing personal behaviour more constructively.
So what makes for a Healthy Workplace Environment?
- The following is a Health Check for Organisations:
- A healthy workplace is made of healthy individuals.
- A healthy workplace is a safe, productive and enjoyable environment.
- A healthy workplace adequately remunerates it’s employees
- (at a minimum the standard rate for the service offered).
- A healthy workplace has family friendly and flexible work arrangements.
- A healthy workplace has mechanisms for addressing bullying behaviour and conflict resolution.
- A healthy workplace overtly promotes healthy workplace practices.
- A healthy workplace acknowledges the importance of reflective practice, including sourcing feedback from employees.
- A healthy workplace promotes a culture where asking for help is encouraged and problems are adequately addressed.
- A healthy workplace values team building and collaboration.
- A healthy workplace promotes communication, collaboration
- as well as genuine connectedness and mutual respect.
- A healthy workplace has a strong atmosphere of trust and support.
- “Mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts”, assert Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
A healthy workplace values staff contribution and promotes positive feedback and gratitude, in what Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner refer to as ‘Encouraging the Heart’.