Recruitment and HR Blog
Is mental wellbeing in the workplace a priority for employers?
Mental wellbeing in the workplace is at the forefront of many employees’ minds when they look at developing their career with their current employer, or as they begin to search for their next job.
With it being Mental Health Awareness Week it seems the majority of employers recognise they have a part to play in supporting their employees but often aren’t sure what steps they need to take.
From an employee’s perspective they are looking for clear signs that an employer doesn’t just talk about mental wellbeing, but they are actively doing something to provide a work environment that promotes metal health.
In a recent poll by JVP Group employers were asked if they feel organisations are doing enough to support their employee’s mental wellbeing in the workplace, 48% said they believe things are improving however worryingly 35% said no it wasn’t a priority.
There are now numerous courses available that will allow employers to provide trained mental health first-aiders in their organisation. Once these individuals have been trained, they will know how to spot signs of potential problems, listen without judgement, give assistance, or encourage the person to seek further help.
This week we caught up with Tracy Jones, HR & CSR Manager at Hydro Aluminium Wrexham, on the steps they have taken to promote Mental Wellbeing in the workplace.
How do you encourage a culture of openness at Hydro Aluminium Wrexham?
Care, Courage & Collaboration are the values that we build upon at Hydro Aluminium Wrexham. As these values are led from the very top, they are an integral part of the whole group’s culture and form part of all business decisions, from strategic plans to day to day operations.
What do you do at Hydro Aluminium Wrexham to enrich employees work experience?
Hydro Aluminium Wrexham’s Wellbeing Policy purposefully covers 4 pillars of wellbeing and treats them with equal importance: physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing.
During a period of reduced market demand, we offered our employees the opportunity to volunteer at the local community hub, The Miners Rescue centre in Wrexham. As a team they renovated the rear garden area at this important local resource, an achievement of which they are rightly proud.
We take a continuous improvement approach to the employee experience and conduct regular surveys. All suggestions received are considered and feedback is shared with the workforce.
All worker groups are invited to get involved when we are developing our local company strategy and as we work on the strategy there is open communication of progress to all employees. Openness is key to gaining and maintaining the engagement and trust of our employees.
The company has an annual Safety Day during which we stop production and bring the whole workforce together to do training and development that’s aimed at improving safety. This year we are spending the day at Carden Park in Chester with a range of activities and workshops focused on wellbeing and team building.
Do you have any Mental Health First Aiders? If so, how are they interacting with employees?
We have a team of mental health first aiders who meet regularly as a small but active network. This group develops and promotes the company’s Wellbeing Policy as well as facilitating whole workforce wellbeing activities. There is signage around the site and on the company intranet that introduces the MHFAs and their role. This is also explained to all new starters on induction. Feedback has been really positive from the workforce since the we set up the network just over 3 years ago.
Hydro Aluminium Wrexham are clearly leading the way in their approach to Mental Wellbeing in the workplace and provided great examples of how to enrich employees work experience.
In addition to providing a mental health first-aider, there are other steps than an employer can take that will improve the mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace:
Actively encourage a culture of openness so employees feel they’re able to speak up
Offer flexible and hybrid working where roles make it possible
Ensure employees plan and use their annual leave
Ensure managers keep an open dialogue with employees to encourage a good work life balance
Offer employees regular check ins with their managers and listen
Promote volunteering schemes to enrich the work life experience
Taking all these steps will allow an employer to develop a mental wellbeing policy enabling them to retain and attract the very best talent.
To find out more about how JVP Group helps employers identify and communicate their EVP and employer brand to improve both employee retention and talent attraction, please visit our Employer Branding Consultancy webpage.