January can take its toll on your mood, which is why employee support is paramount

This year, Blue Monday falls on the 16th January. This is the day experts declare to be one of the worst for our mental health, due to a variety of factors. Christmas is over, winter is still in full swing, finances are low and many of our resolutions have likely already been broken. All of this cumulates in a January slump that can manifest itself through low mood, anxiety and even symptoms of depression.

So while January is a time when many business owners want to kick productivity into high gear, it’s important to provide the necessary support for employees who may be struggling mentally at the start of the year. Here’s how you can support mental health in your business this Blue Monday and beyond.

Create an open and honest workplace culture

Business leaders must send a clear message to staff that their mental health matters, and that being honest about it will lead them to support and sympathy, rather than discrimination. A simple way to communicate this is to let staff know that mental health will be treated as seriously as physical health.

There are several ways to create a better mental health culture in your business, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Make sure there are resources in place, clear signage displayed, and that your door is always open.

Don’t be afraid of mental health conversations

Having a conversation with a staff member about their mental health is something many managers fear, but if you notice changes in your team, it’s important to address them kindly and sensitively. Look for changes in the way people behave at work, interact with colleagues, and the work they put out.

Choose an appropriate place for a chat, and be sure to listen to them instead of making assumptions. Creating a comforting environment for staff will make it easier for them to talk openly, which in turn will help you address any issues together.

Work together to find solutions

A big part of letting your team members know you’re there for them is listening to their concerns and working with them to resolve them. This could take the form of a personalised action plan that addresses your staff member’s struggles directly. If their stresses are stemming from something at work, what can be done to change these circumstances and make them feel more comfortable? Work with them to create a better work experience for them.

Make workplace adjustments

There are changes you can make to your business workplace and model to support better mental health, such as offering flexible working hours or remote working for staff. This can help them curate a better work/life balance.

If a staff member admits to being overwhelmed by their workload, you can redistribute tasks or redeploy jobs to a more suitable role. Training and support can also help your team feel more confident in their job.

Avoid quick fixes

Mental health isn’t just an issue in January. Mind reports that one in six workers now suffer from symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, meaning responsible business owners must factor mental health into their practices all year round.

It can be frustrating to have employees who aren’t meeting their targets due to low mood or mental struggles, but it’s important to avoid the temptation to find a quick fix to the problem. Often, professional help and even time off are necessary in order to truly support staff members as they navigate the muddy waters of mental health and take steps towards a better mindset.

Got a business idea you’d like to get off the ground? Get in touch with the team at TEDCO Business Support today. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at hello@tedco.org.

 

 

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TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

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