Building more productive teams by trusting your employees
Increasing transparency and healthier conversations around mental health at work are marking a positive shift in workplaces, but the surprising fact has been known to increase work productivity amongst teams far more than you would expect.
Feature with HYER NEWSROOM
Now in its third year, Nuffield Health recently published their ‘Healthier Nation Index’ report. Based on a survey of 8,000 adults, it is one of the most detailed reviews and barometers of all aspects of our health.
The report reveals a positive change in the workplace, showing that employees are now more comfortable openly discussing their mental health. This shift has led to improved communication between employees and their workplaces when it comes to their emotional well-being.
35% of employees said they called in sick due to poor mental health but gave another reason which has decreased from 39% in the 2022 report
29% now feel comfortable enough to tell their employer if they feel they need time off due to poor mental health.
The report was published to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week which had a specific focus on anxiety. Anxiety can be a significant challenge in the workplace, affecting employees' well-being and overall productivity. Recognising and addressing anxiety in the workplace is crucial to creating a supportive environment that fosters employee well-being and enables them to perform at their best.
59% said they were less productive at work when their mental health was poor.
48 percent said their work had negatively impacted their physical/mental health
Mental Health Prevention Lead at Nuffield Health, Lisa Gunn commented: “We are passionate about building a healthier nation and know that challenging work environments and stress can have a huge knock-on effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing. As well as the day-to-day worries that come with our personal and working lives, employees have also had to deal with the impact of a global pandemic and now the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. All these stressors combined can significantly affect the mental health of employees, so it’s more important than ever that businesses find ways to create open, transparent, and connected workplace environments”
Last year, Nuffield Health introduced the #Find5 initiative, urging people to dedicate an extra five minutes each day to prioritise their physical well-being. The report shows that 27% of people recognise that exercise lifts their mood and helps them feel less anxious or depressed. Building on this success, their goal for this year is to inspire individuals to extend this practice and allocate an additional five minutes for both their physical and mental health.
With 38% of people in the last 12 months dedicating no time at all to supporting their own mental health, employers can play a huge role in creating an environment where employees feel a sense of connection and belonging by promoting campaigns that foster connectivity, team building and reduce stress. Managers should be encouraging employees to #find5 throughout the working day, with simple activities like stretching or movement, breath or meditation exercises, or even just stepping away from their desk into the fresh air.
#find5 can also extend to open communication between employers and employees. Taking just five minutes to ask ‘Are you OK?” or to schedule dedicated short catch-ups on how employees are feeling about their workloads etc can have a monumentally positive impact on their wellbeing.
The report also suggests that the key to supporting the workforce is flexibility. How and when employees choose to #find5 should be open to individual preference. It is also worth considering how teams choose to communicate, and allowing individuals to use a communication style that works best for them – whether in person or email or a messaging platform - the more comfortable a person feels the more likely they are to come forward and share their feelings and experiences.
By harnessing connected and supportive environments, businesses can contribute to a healthier and more productive workforce.