Taking action to promote a mentally healthy workplace and ensuring your staff are emotionally supported have never been more vital.

In the hit US sitcom “Friends”, Matt LeBlanc’s character Joey typically opened with the line …”How you doin’?”. Setting aside his lascivious tone and intent, it’s actually an important question to be asking your staff members right now.

COVID-19 has brought a whole new dimension of complications and stress factors into the workplace. As I write this, Victoria is under stringent Stage 4 lockdown restrictions and all other states are experiencing significant business upheaval. The vast majority of people have experienced major changes in the way they live and work and unemployment is at record levels. It’s vital to ensure your employees are coping well and feel adequately supported in their job.

The aphorism; “Your people are your greatest asset” could not be more relevant. Maintaining their optimal mental health and emotional balance in the workplace is of paramount importance.

A 2017 study by University of NSW and UTS found:

  • The return on investment in mentally healthy workplaces is up to $4 for every $1 invested; and
  • Benefits of mentally healthy workplaces include; increased productivity, staff engagement and retention.

You’re obliged to take proactive measured in the workplace ti determine whether problems exist and then address them accordingly.

SafeWork Australia is very clear about the legal obligations of employers in this regard. Their guidelines state:

“Under the model Workplace Health and Safety Act, Persons Conducting Business or Undertakings (PCBU’s) have a duty to protect workers from psychological risks as well as physical risks. The best way to do this is by designing work, systems and workplaces to eliminate or minimise risks to psychological health; monitoring the health of workers and workplace conditions; and consulting with workers.”

Essentially, their philosophy is that being unaware problems exist is not an excuse. You are obliged to take proactive measures to determine whether problems exist and then react accordingly to address them.

Business proprietors and managers therefore need to be mindful of the increased stress and anxiety their employees are experiencing and implement strategies to help them through this complex time. And yes, that applies even if they may be working from home at times.

A great way to start is to take their metaphorical temperature, by asking for feedback using an Employee Wellbeing and Job Satisfaction Survey. Based on the findings you’ll have a clear picture of what they’re actually experiencing and what strategies will best help mitigate those issues.

A good employee feedback questionnaire should provide measurable satisfaction data as well as qualitative comment feedback. It needs to encompass issues across four key areas:

  • Workplace Safety and Environment
  • Communication and Leadership
  • Company Culture
  • Job Satisfaction

Make sure your staff members know that their responses will be treated with absolute confidentiality. Consider whether it may be appropriate to conduct the survey anonymously. Employees may be reluctant to answer forthrightly if they think it might affect their own standing or cause recriminations for colleagues.

Insight Patient Satisfaction Solutions offers a comprehensive solution providing; a custom-tailored web-based questionnaire for each client practice, secure online hosting and detailed report of the survey data, findings and conclusions.

State, federal and even some metropolitan/regional governments provide grants and subsidies to assist businesses with recovery plans, including staff training/counselling. Subject to eligibility criteria, those funds can potentially be tapped to offset the cost of using external resources and services to support your employees.


For more information visit insightpss.com.au or call +61 414 365 865

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Kerry Bielik

Founder of Insight Patient Satisfaction Solutions, a specialist firm delivering bespoke online customer experience programs for medical practices.[/one_third][one_third_last]

Each year on average:

  • 6% of all serious worker’s compensation claims are for work-related mental health conditions.
  • 92% of serious work-related mental health condition claims are attributed to work-related stress.

Source: SafeWork Australia’s National Data Set

 

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