The health epidemic of the 21st century, according to the World Health Organisation, is stress.
Professor Patrick McGorry, Australian of the Year in 2010 and expert on mental health said we need to transform our workplaces into 21st Century Workplaces where leaders at all levels: promote mental health and prevent harm, recognise when people are struggling, are empowered to turn towards strugglers, rescue those who have already been swept away.
Employers and leaders are realising it is time to become more active in providing healthy workplaces and seeking out tools to develop resilient teams.
Why it matters?
Resilient teams are more creative, productive, resourceful and high performing teams.
Studies support that developing practical strategies will decrease the damage done to the individual and the business; reducing costs, increasing staff loyalty, improving morale, and avoiding fines, claims and disputes.
It is reported that:
- 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health condition.
- The typical age of onset for mental ill health is late teens to early 20s.
- There are a large number of workers who are carers for friends or family with mental ill health.
What does a resilient workplace look like?
In a resilient workplace all team members, from the top down, are actively involved in developing, supporting and actioning programs. The team members understand that their physical health affects their mental health and support each other to reach health goals.
Management is considerate of the mental wellbeing of staff and provides a safe environment for staff to be heard, acknowledged and recognised. Comprehensive training and support are offered during times of change and flexibility and autonomy are encouraged.
Team members are given access to resources that promote skills they can use as individuals to take care of themselves and manage stress. Skills such as goal setting, meditation, mindfulness, taking regular ‘me’ breaks, eating well and being kind to self.
Most importantly, communication in the workplace is effective and open, and social interaction with other employees is enjoyed. These positive relationships promote good mental health and problem-solving solutions among the team.
Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work offers good practice and practical information to this complex area of resilient workplaces and teams. This online resource acknowledges that resilient individuals are flexible, adaptive and optimistic, and a resilient team is one of support based on mutual trust and participation.
Whether you are a solo-preneur, not for profit organisation or a large company, building a resilient workplace will have benefits for you, your workers and your business.
To begin to build your healthy, happy and productive workspace practical strategies can include:
- Identify areas of concern and areas of improvement.
- Gain involvement, acceptance, and commitment from all.
- Provide clear expectations and goals, tools and support that promote resilience, individually and professionally.
- Take an active role.
- Have clear role descriptions, outlining all responsibilities and opportunities.
- Have effective and regular communication methods in place.
- Encourage social interaction and self-care check-ins.
- Promote a fair, inclusive workplace.
- Set up peer support and mentoring opportunities.
Now that you have considered how performance affects productivity, and how building a resilient workplace can benefit each one of your workers in a positive way, what would you consider the most important change or improvement you could make now?
Please share your strategies here.