Mental wellbeing tips for your workplace

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Six key mental wellbeing lessons for your workplace - ”Fruit on Fridays won’t cut it when it comes to protecting your workers’ mental wellbeing”, says Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum Executive Director Francois Barton.

Nor will it meet your legal obligations, if workers remain in workplaces that harm their mental wellbeing, according to new findings from the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum.

The 2020 NZ Workplace Barometer found nearly 70 per cent of respondents reported an absence from work during the last 12 months due to ‘physical or mental health’ issues.

A recent guide by the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum describes risks to mental wellbeing as a “wicked challenge” – the risks are widespread, highly personal and rarely open to easy solutions. Forum Executive Director Francois Barton says “businesses can’t manage these risks just by building up the resilience of their workers. They also need to fix things in the work environment – by replacing toxic work with good work”.

“This is not an easy switch for business owners and managers, but if you don’t do it concerns such as high turnover, absenteeism and other performance issues will remain. Risks to wellbeing must be confronted and managed systematically, and managers must lead that.” Here are six lessons from the Forum’s guide:
> Risks to mental wellbeing can affect every person and every business
> There is no such thing as a single ‘psychosocial’ risk
> Many factors affect mental wellbeing
> Mental wellbeing operates on a continuum
> Not all work is equal
> Responsibility and influence rest with the boss

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