How Businesses can use internal communications to educate on, and aid, Workplace Mental Health
With 1 in 6 of us experiencing a common mental health issue at some stage in life, it’s more vital than ever that business leaders offer support and education in the workplace. As a business, there are things that you can do internally, to offer some stability, reassurance, education and support, for your colleagues or employees.
Here are Salamandra’s Top Tips for helping to talk about and improve mental health in the workplace, using improved internal communication:
Having regular team meetings, allowing everyone to discuss their current workload, will help you stay on top of project management, and help employees feel supported. If employees are feeling of being overworked or undervalued, it can be detrimental to mental health. Giving colleagues a platform to ask for help will allow some of that strain to fade, and allow you to create more open communications internally. A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation found that over the past year, almost three quarters (74%) of those surveyed reported they had experienced stress levels so high they were left feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope. It is important to ask as a business how many of those people were given the open platform to vocalise those thoughts. At Salamandra, we have a morning briefing with the whole team every day, not only does this help with internal communications, but it also allows the team to ask for help if they have a full plate. For further digital communications on this, why not explore using a company blog or intranet, where employees are encouraged to post, allowing for open communication on their workload.
Engage your Staff or Colleagues
Mental health can sometimes be a difficult subject to broach, so being creative with your internal emails can help build engagement and make for a more cohesive and supportive team. Many businesses undervalue the importance of a cohesive team, and how much regular and positive internal communications can do to educate and motive a team. A great example of engaging internal communications comes from Staffordshire police, in discussing with colleagues the importance of sleep for mental wellbeing, where an internal email was sent out with the subject line ‘Are You Getting Enough’. Cheeky and intriguing, this proved to be a conversation starter for a great internal campaign. When sitting close with your colleagues, skip the email entirely, and encourage starting a conversation.
For leadership at businesses, it can be hard to find to talk to and educate your staff about mental health, in a way that is sensitive and universal to everyone’s experience. Using visuals, be it infographics, animation or illustrations in your internal presentations or emails, can be a great way to convey a topic around mental health in a more stylised or representative way that will be relatable to audiences. Take a look at this great example of a very simple animation that successfully communicates how you can help those suffering from mental health issues, that also avoids excluding any potential viewers, by not using any human characters.
You don’t need to be a trained professional to understand someone suffering from mental health difficulties. 1/5th of workdays lost are as a result of Anxiety and Depression, so for business leaders, being understanding when someone takes time off for these reasons can have a tremendous impact in the future. Additionally, ensuring that staff are educated in mental health issues, can help to avoid potentially difficult questions and promote a positive return to work.
These simple communications and visual techniques for talking to and educating your staff can help to promote wellbeing and alleviate stress in the workplace.