Why well-being is as important as safety
Often in the workplace, safety is viewed as more important than well-being. There is a difference in the two, so why is one deemed more important than the other?
There is strict regulation surrounding health and safety and it may be that this is why it is seen as a higher priority. However, with a fifth of workers taking leave due to stress, that’s around 70 million working days lost every year. Therefore, it’s crucial that businesses recognise the importance of mental health and well-being, on a par with how seriously we take health and safety.
Surveys have shown that more than half of employers would like to do more to improve the well-being of their staff. What stops them is the feeling that they don’t have enough expertise or guidance in how to do so. There has been a significant increase recently in media stories focusing in the importance of improving mental health care, but businesses don’t always know how to go about this.
Mental health covers a broad range of issues including anxiety, stress, depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, OCD, drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders. Current figures state that 1 in 4 of us will suffer with mental health issues at some point in our lives. That’s a lot of people, in a lot of workplaces!
Starting a conversation in the workplace about mental health is a good place to begin. Promote an open and caring culture and devote some time to looking for the signs and symptoms associated with mental health problems. You don’t need to be an expert, but on spotting the signs, this is where occupational health come in. For Occupational Health Cardiff, visit https://www.insightoccupationalhealth.co.uk/
Health & Wellbeing
Employers are beginning to notice the health and well-being of their employees more and more, with many investing in programmes to support this. Well-being includes physical, social, emotional and intellectual health and the impact this has on our performance and satisfaction in the workplace. Currently, stress accounts for more than a third of all work-related sickness leave, so it’s essential to start taking this more seriously.
Programmes dedicated to health and well-being include checks in the workplace to measure mental health and physical related factors. After analysis of the results, recommendations and solutions can be identified. When you foster happier staff, productivity increases, as does quality of work and efficiency.
If we want to start taking health and well-being as seriously as health and safety, then we must raise awareness and educate businesses on the negative impact that poor well-being can have on an employee’s work. Providing staff with support and the information they need is important to help them perform to their best. Fostering awareness and a proactive attitude to such issues will promote a positive culture, hopefully making mental health problems easier to tackle in future.