Good working relationships and a mentally fit work force play an important role in business performance, according to the President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Dr Karen McDonnell says having a mentally healthy workforce is a key component of any successful organisation.
Mental Health Awareness
She was speaking at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. The week is focusing on the value of positive relationships.
She says businesses not only benefit when their staff are physically healthy, but also when their staff are mentally healthy. Positive feelings about work have been linked with higher productivity, profitability and customer and worker loyalty.
On the flip side, poor stress management has a human, business and economic cost, leading to illness, absence and under-performance, she adds.
Support and relationships are part of the HSE’s six key areas for stress management standards.
The HSE recommends organisations foster good working relationships by promoting positive cultures and not tolerating unacceptable behaviour. This includes tackling issues around workplace harassment and bullying and having proper grievance procedures and whistle-blowing arrangements in place.
The Mental Health Foundation says it chose to focus on relationships to help generate a wide understanding of their importance for people. IOSH has already spoken in support of this initiative and the foundation has planned a number of events.
The institution held a Parliamentary reception in February on the subject of mental health at work. It was hosted by Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, and was aimed at recently-elected MPs and new peers.
Date Published: May 18, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown