We know that small and medium sized organisations account for most of the businesses in the UK. However, we know that they are often well behind of larger organisations in terms of dealing with mental health. According to Mind’s research into workplace wellbeing, almost half (48%) of all surveyed employees (some 44,000) said that they had experienced a mental health problem in their current job and now poor mental health is the number one reason for staff absence.
There are unique challenges that come with working in a smaller business, though there are also opportunities. As part of an initiative from Heads Together and Mind launched by the Duke of Cambridge in September of 2018, free online training aimed at small businesses has been made available at the Mental Health at Work Website.
The initiative aims to build staff confidence in thinking and talking about mental health. There are three quick training modules included: Building your awareness, Tips to look after yourself, and Tips to support colleagues. Each of the modules takes 20 minutes to complete, and there is also a guide alongside to help employers to roll out the training in their organisations. Also available is a comprehensive handbook filled with advice and tips for small business owners and the self-employed, a free and confidential mobile app to encourage employees to take care of their own wellbeing and some practical tools that can be quickly and easily implemented to start making the difference immediately.
Faye McGuiness, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind, said: “For small workplaces, employees are the most valuable asset. We are beginning to see employers prioritise the mental health of their staff, but we have some way to go. Not only is looking after staff the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense, resulting in increased productivity, morale and retention.
“From talking to small business owners, we know that it can sometimes be difficult to find the time or resources to invest in mental health in the workplace. That’s why we have made it easier, with online training ideal for employees of smaller organisations.”
This toolkit is useful, quick, free and easy to access and it will contain information that you need to start making a difference now.